Day 39, Tuesday May 18, 1999

BBYazykovPortret.jpg (23622 bytes)
Victor Yazykov Photo Billy Black

Viktor Yazykov finally drifted across the finish line at 01:11:59 GMT (9:11 p.m. on 17th of May, local time). He finished Leg 4 in 37 days, 10 hours, 11 minutes and 59 seconds. His overall time for the entire race was 168 days, 10 hours, 09 minutes and 44 seconds including an 11 day and 7 hour penalty for arriving late for boat inspections and an almost one week delayed start from Charleston.

The 50-year-old Victor became the first Russian single-handed sailor to complete an around-the-world race. In the second and third leg, Yazykov finished consistently a day or two behind Balance Bar, which was 10 feet longer than his boat. During Leg 3 he was the first Russian solo sailor to round Cape Horn alone.

Wind of Change Russia Photo Billy Black  BBWindofChange.jpg (16093 bytes)

He had no functioning autopilot for the last 4,500 miles, which forced him to hand steer sometimes twenty or twenty-two hours a day. He became like a machine. But he admitted that it was an interesting experience providing him with huge amount of knowledge.

The last miles proved to be the hardest. Yazykov said that the last night was the worst of the trip. He did not know the boat could stand up to the conditions. He never needed the fourth reef on his mainsail until last night. He was in and out of the Gulf Stream twice in terrible winds. Even with four reefs the wind was too much for his boat. The Gulf Stream waves were breaking from the bow to the stern. He could not wait until the night was over.

BBWindOfChangeBow.jpg (20204 bytes) Wind of Change Russia Photo Billy Black

On top of that, six miles from the finish one of his hydraulic cylinders failed and left his canting keel swinging free in the water. He was lucky that the wind calmed and he was able to lash the keel close to the centerline using Spectra line. With each tack he made the lashings tighter.

 MSYazykov1.jpg (14793 bytes)
Victor Yazylov 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 Charleston 0 0 0 0 0
3 Yazykov Wind of Change Charleston 0 0 0 0 0
4 Van Liew Balance Bar 26 41N 070 26W 606 7 606 2144
5 Petersen No Barriers 25 47N 070 28W 641 6.3 640.5 2144
6 Saito Shuten-dohji II 23 24N 066 42W 888 5 888.4 2144
7 Hunter Paladin II 22 00N 064 10W 1049 2.1 1049.1 2144

Copyright Richard Konkolski
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