Day 32, Tuesday May 11, 1999

BBGarsideWWife.jpg (21883 bytes)
Photo Billy Black

Yesterday, Garside was stuck without wind about 150 miles from the finish line. But it picked up overnight and he finally reached Charleston under full sails. He crossed the finish line at 11:40 a.m. local time (15:40:49 GMT) under heavy gray skies.

FolMagelanAlpha2.jpg (21562 bytes) Garside's Magellan Alpha

He was the first Brit to complete the entire course and win a leg. The Leg 4 time was 31 days, 40 minutes and 49 seconds. His overall race time was 138 days, 12 hours, 10 minutes and 03 seconds. This placed Garside second overall in Class II, the highest rank of any prior British competitor.

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Mike Garside & Magellan Alpha Photo Billy Black

The Around Alone race was very hard journey for the 54-year-old ex-Special Forces officer and magazine publisher. Prior to this race, he had not sailed a boat for 18 years. He took a one-week sailing course back in 1979 and put his family aboard and sailed around the world. Then he built a publishing business. He retired to take up singlehanded racing around the world.

MagellanAlphaLiness.jpg (14262 bytes)

Garside often held the lead over his Class II rival J.P. Mouligne. In the end Mouligne always took the top honors, with Garside in second place, but Mike never gave up. He always believed that he could win a leg. Garside credited Class I winner Giovanni Soldini for providing him with some sailing tips just prior to the race's fourth and final leg. He taught Mike how to use the fore-and-aft water-ballast tanks in conjunction with a canting keel and it paid off. When Garside shook the hand of designer Jean-Marie Finot after the crossing of the finish line, he said to him: "You need to include instruction manuals with these!"

FolMagelanAlphaAir4.jpg (16741 bytes) Garside's Magellan Alpha

Looking for advice everywhere, Garside learned racing tactics from Mouligne's Web site. "Every time he wrote that I'd made some mistake, I would write it down and made sure I did exactly the opposite the next time", he said. However, Mouligne was gracious in defeat. He was the first person to congratulate him via email.

At the end of the day Mouligne still had 223 miles to go. He had another hard experience, which he described in his email: "This morning I am 270 miles from Charleston. I had a fast night, often reaching at 14 or 15 knots, but the wind has come down and moved more to the South so I am slower and not heading right for Charleston anymore. I will have to jibe soon… The spinnaker hit the spreaders and exploded into two pieces. I ran forward to the mast to lower it but the retrieving sock was jammed... My only option was to lower the halyard with the spinnaker pieces flapping around in the blinding rain. It was impossible to bring it on deck and everything ended up in the water. When I finally released the halyard the shute got underneath the boat and fouled keel and rudders! It took me two hours with a knife tied to the boat hook to free the sail piece by piece from the keel and rudders. A very depressing job... It was probably one of the worst situations I put myself into in the entire race. I have made my share of mistakes in this race, but I also have learned so much. I really understand how to make the boat go fast, but maybe I still need to realize when it is time to slow down..."

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Photo Marek Slodownik

Positions:

Class 1

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Soldini Fila Charleston 0 0 0 0 0
2 Thiercelin Somewhere Charleston 0 0 0 0 0

Class 2

Place Skipper Boat Latitude Longitude Dist. to go Speed Dist. to first Time
1 Garside Magellan Alpha Charleston 0 0 0 0 0
2 Mouligne Cray Valley 29 30N 077 36W 223 3.7 223 2144
3 Yazykov Wind of Change 24 06N 068 47W 776 8.5 776.1 2144
4 Van Liew Balance Bar 14 48N 058 34W 1578 7.5 1578.4 2144
5 Petersen No Barriers 15 20N 057 58W 1580 5.7 1579.9 2144
6 Saito Shuten-dohji II 15 55N 056 50W 1602 4.9 1602.3 2144
7 Hunter Paladin II 15 17N 054 11W 1742 5.2 1741.8 2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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