Day 02 - Sunday September 27, 1998

The dominating high pressure gave no promise of significant wind the day after the start. The 14 skippers who set out from Charleston in absolutely perfect conditions had their first night at sea. The hassles of the preparation for the race as well as enjoyable before-the-start parties were over for them. At least for now. The morning position report showed a fleet that was struggling to find some wind.

BBTeamGroup.jpg (20587 bytes)
Team Group 4 Foto Billy Black

In Class I, Mike Golding on Team Group 4 was actually doing 10 knots and just astern, fellow Brit Josh Hall and French Isabelle Autissier were setting their boats for the second place. Marc Thiercelin on Somewhere was clipping eight knots but Russian Fedor Konioukhov, Giovanni Soldini from Italy and Sebastian Reidl from Canada were all doing hardly five knots.

BBMagelanAlpha.jpg (22576 bytes)
Magellan Alpha Foto Billy Black

In Class II, American Brad Van Liew and English skipper Mike Garside were early class leaders. J.P. Mouligne's sixth place was a surprise. He won the Atlantic Alone feeding race, but this morning he found himself behind American George Stricker, Robin Davie, and Japanese Minoru Saito. Saito, in fact, had the top class speed of eight knots. South African Neal Petersen however was at the rear after winning the start yesterday.

It was also difficult to predict each competitor's course due to large variations. For example Soldini was heading north of Charleston's latitude. This unusual course prompted race coordinator Peter Dunning to use COMSAT-C communication system and send a message to Soldini, just to be sure that all was well. Everything was fine as Soldini was merely looking for better wind.

BBGoldingFace.jpg (15635 bytes) Mike Golding, Foto Billy Black
Golding had a different trouble. During a wind shift last night he was able to get away from Austissier, but his 7-mile lead was lost when the fitting which pulls out the spinnakers and gennikers ripped out of the end of the bowsprit. Austissier got in close behind, but one hour later Golding was up to full speed again after lashing a block in place to jury-rig a new system. He has been gaining bearing on PRB for most of the afternoon despite the fact that Isabelle was flying a huge overlapping genniker, which would not fit the deck spreader layout on Team Group 4.

MFMouligneFace.jpg (17829 bytes) JP Mouligne Foto Marek Slodownik

In the morning Mouligne got up and as he scanned the horizon, he was amazed to see Gartmore only 2 miles from him. Then he talked for a few minutes with Josh Hall on VHF. The weather was beautiful with a light westerly breeze. Mouligne was sailing with the Genaker and a full main with hope that the wind would not die out completely.

Today's racing boats are so fast that one breakage or tactic mistake costs very heavily. The competitor's biggest problem was to make a decision on which way to go to avoid a high pressure system laying just ahead and to the SE and just how far to get off course to get around it and not to get stuck later.

BBPaladinII.jpg (23070 bytes) Paladin II Foto Billy Black
Australian Neil Hunter finally crossed the starting line. Neil figured that he could afford a day's delay to complete the installation of a new mast on his Farr 40, Paladin II, which was dismasted in its slip on 3 September in a freak storm. It looked like the fleet would get offshore and end up in light winds. So he figured it was more important to get his boat right than to start on time. Hunter had a time gap of approximately 24.5 hours to make up on the fleet that left a day earlier and was already almost 200 miles out to sea. On his side was the fact that, while most of the fleet had light winds, he started in a fresh 8 to 10 knots wind. Only Russian sailor Viktor Yazykov still remained in Charleston. Yazykov, who already had a 10-day penalty for arriving in Charleston late from his Trans-Atlantic qualifier, was expected to start on Tuesday.

BBYazykovPortret.jpg (23622 bytes) Viktor Yazykov Foto Billy Black

Viktor's electronics did not work all the way across the Atlantic. He was being provided with lots of help and support in Charleston including a new life raft, emergency flares and similar things. Both Russians in this race have faced formidable odds to even make it to the starting line. Class I skipper Fedor Konioukhov and Yazykov have both suffered financially from the collapse of the Russian economy and the resulting devaluation of the Ruble. But in the tradition of this event, supporters have stepped forward, some from the other teams, to provide equipment, help and encouragement.

Positions:

Class 1

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Austissier

PRB

31 57N

075 54W

6623

9.3

0

1540

2

Thiercelin

Somewhere

31 43N

076 04W

6624

8.6

0.5

1540

3

Golding

Team Group 4

32 06N

075 51W

6625

7.8

1.4

1540

4

Hall

Gartmore Invest M

31 48N

076 08W

6629

8.3

5.7

1540

5

Koniukhov

Mod Univ Human

31 16N

078 00W

6699

3.5

75.4

1540

6

Reidl

Project Amazon

32 28N

077 48W

6723

4.1

99.7

1540

7

Soldini

Fila

32 47N

077 42W

6727

2.8

104.1

1540

Class 2

Place

Skipper

Boat

Latitude

Longitude

Dist. to go

Speed

Dist. to first

Time

1

Mouligne

Cray Valley

32 25N

075 54W

6636

10.2

0

1544

2

Garside

Magelan Alpha

31 26N

076 37W

6641

7.6

4.8

1620

3

Van Liew

Balance Bar

31 23N

076 40W

6642

7.5

5.8

1544

4

Davie

South Carolina

32 05N

076 41W

6662

9.2

25.7

1544

5

Stricker

Rapscallion III

31 24N

077 18W

6671

6.3

34.8

1544

6

Saito

Shuten-dohji II

32 25N

076 41W

6671

8.7

35

1544

7

Petersen

No Berriers

32 17N

079 15W

6783

0

?

2144

8

Hunter

Paladin II

32 46N

07953W

6825

0.3

188.8

1544

9

Yazykov

Wind of Change

32 50N

079 56W

6829

0

?

2144

Richard Konkolski
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