Class two underway

Huge split in Around Alone fleet may play havoc with race schedule

Wednesday October 23rd 2002, Author: Mary Ambler, Location: Transoceanic
The four Class 1 yachts racing have enjoyed a relatively easy passage past the Canary Islands. Emma Richards however got a little shaken up during the night after Pindar did come to a screeching halt from 12 knots: “I jumped on deck to see just behind the boat a very VERY large white object a couple of metres below the surface, I'm sure it was inanimate, (perhaps a semi-submerged container from a ship) so I don't think I killed any whales. I called Josh (Hall) who assured me the boat is designed to take a stop from 12.5kts boatspeed with no damage to the keel! I checked for any sign of damage or leak, thanked my lucky stars that it must have missed the rudders by centimetres and was left a little shaken still trying to work out how to make this boat go faster as Thierry is still catching the odd mile every position report!”

French skipper Thierry Dubois on Solidaires was thankful that he hadn’t hit anything last night after sailing at speed right through the middle of the Canary Islands. Instead he turned his hand to something he phrased as “in between cooking and carnage.” Trying to follow a simple, swift recipe to fillet, season and cook a tuna fish, Thierry described the messy results: “One bump in the road and filleting ended up as hashing, and the saffron seasoned half the cabin. The boat was going at 15 knots so I got the ‘swift’ part right!”

The Class 2 yachts are back in the race again. After a long five days in port, American sailor Brad van Liew sailing Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America was the first to leave the harbour in Bayona, Spain and head out to sea. He was towed by the yacht club launch since his engine, like that of all the Class 2 yachts, has been sealed for the leg to Cape Town. Brad was feeling a bit ill this morning with a persistant cold, but was keen to leave and just reel those miles in. He sent a quick email shortly after leaving. “I am happy to be headed South West and hope the wind lasts, although I know it won't. Kojiro and I were the first off as we are leaving in the order we arrived. The rest are close behind. Conditions are still sloppy with 10 footers or so but a nice 17 knots from the west at the moment."

As for the others, Japanese skipper Kojiro Shiraishi on Spirit of yukoh was calm, composed, and much happier when actually out of the bay and realising that he probably wasn't going to be seasick after all. Alan Paris was his usually bouncy happy self, and also relieved to see how much the sea state had dropped. Derek Hatfield on Spirit of Canada was as determined as ever: "... Can they tow me out faster please? I want to catch Brad!" No surprise there. He was up and away in no time. And last but not least, Tim Kent on Everest Horizontal. As other boats were being towed out, Tim went to town to buy an English paper, ice, and a major supply of diet cokes: "No stress, no worries, just happy to be here and now, I'll take it one day at a time... Cape Town is a long way..." Further to the north John Dennis on Bayer Ascensia had also left port at 08:40 GMT. Derek Hatfield and solo sailor Ricardo Diniz drove up to La Coruna to seal John’s engine for him before leaving – a more than considerate gesture from a fellow competitor.

Ahead of them lies a long passage made more difficult by the knowledge that they have lost touch with the leaders. The Around Alone is a race steeped in camaraderie and so to have the fleet sailing two separate races is a disappointment to the sailors. There is another reason for keeping the fleet together, and that is for safety. These sailors know that they must rely upon each other to help if they have a problem, and by having a fragmented fleet means a fragmented support system. Still, there are six Class 2 boats and Ocean Planet, from Class 1 so if anyone needs assistance, there should be a yacht nearby that can come and help.

While all the Class 2 yachts are now back at sea, two Class 1 boats remain in port. Bruce Schwab, skipper of Ocean Planet has decided to leave on Thursday rather than today in order to carry out some final work on his boat. Bruce had to replace his boom in England and he left Torbay without completing some of the other jobs on his worklist. Determined to have the boat back at 100% before pressing on to Cape Town, Bruce has opted to enjoy the hospitality of the El Monte Real Club de Yates, the local yacht club in Bayona, for one more day. The other yacht not racing is Tiscali. Italian skipper Simone Bianchetti remains in Spain while he and his team try and figure out how to get a replacement mast.

Positions at 1400hrs GMT 23rd October

Class 1
Postn / Boat Name / Lat/ Long/ Boatspd/ Hdg/ DTF / DTL
1 Bobst Group Armor-Lux, 20 23.480 N, 23 41.240 W, 15.38 kt, 187 °T, 5236.95 nm,
2 Pindar, 24 15.160 N, 19 41.200 W, 12.82 kt, 199 °T, 5520.92 nm + 283.97 nm
3 Solidaires, 24 25.320 N, 19 13.600 W, 12.60 kt, 203 °T, 5539.07 nm, + 302.13 nm
4 Hexagon, 26 07.360 N, 18 58.080 W, 10.59 kt, 196 °T, 5639.70 nm, +402.75 nm
5 Ocean Planet, 42 07.360 N, 8 50.760 W, 0.01 kt, 270 °T, 6718.80 nm, +1481.85 nm
6 Tiscali, 43 40.520 N, 8 13.200 W, 3.45 kt, 239 °T, 6814.15 nm, +1577.21 nm

Class 2
Postn / Boat Name / Lat/ Long/ Boatspd/ Hdg/ DTF / DTL
1 Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America, 41 34.200 N, 9 16.680 W, 5.13 kt, 194 °T, 6680.48 nm
2 Spirit of yukoh, 41 42.880 N, 9 16.400 W, 4.71 kt, 198 °T, 6688.30 nm, +7.83 nm
3 Spirit of Canada, 41 49.600 N, 9 01.320 W, 3.78 kt, 187 °T, 6699.41 nm, +18.94 nm
4 BTC Velocity, 41 50.320 N, 9 02.480 W, 3.91 kt, 190 °T, 6699.66 nm, +19.18 nm
5 Everest Horizontal, 41 50.640 N, 8 57.300 W, 4.37 kt, 196 °T, 6701.71 nm, +21.24 nm
6 Bayer Ascensia, 43 23.360 N, 9 03.240 W, 3.38 kt, 260 °T, 6782.38 nm, +101.90 nm

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