PlayStation pulls into Gibraltar

As Team Adventure leads Club Med through the Straits

Tuesday January 2nd 2001, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
PlayStation skipper Steve Fossett advised The Race organisers this afternoon that he would be pulling into Gibraltar for 48 hours for new sails. The first reef clew in the new mainsail has pulled out - the second problem since the start, after the head pulled out of the headsail on Sunday night. That was a repair that the crew could handle on board, but after the second failure - they want different sails.
Fossett commented, "We were sailing upwind in 27 knots of wind when the clew in the main gave way. It is very disappointing of course - to have two sail failures on a new set of sails." While the loss of the headsail didn't help their first day, going into port for assistance is much worse and carries a mandatory 48 hour penalty. The container with the spare sails will arrive early Wednesday, and the crew will change the main and some of the headsails.

Meanwhile, Team Adventure blasted through the Straits, about thirty miles ahead of Club Med and Grant Dalton. Conditions were flat water and westerly winds blowing up to 30 knots. Dalton commented, "We are still going upwind, Team Adventure is ahead of us, about 30 miles up at this point. We are tacking frequently, every six or seven miles, trying to avoid the Moroccan coast where the sea is a lot rougher."

Conditions are tough, it'll be hard work keeping the boat quick in gusty and squally breeze, ranging from 15 to as much as 35 knots. "Although the watch system is established no one has had much sleep in their bunks. Upwind conditions are not conducive to sleeping in these boats," added Dalton. But once through the Straits the fleet will turn downwind and start to seriously stretch their legs.

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