Slow crawl for tailenders

Last arrival due as clock ticks prior to Around Alone's leg 3 restart

Saturday December 7th 2002, Author: Mary Ambler/James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic
The final few days of Leg 2 forAlan Paris on BTC Velocity and John Dennis on Bayer Ascensia are proving to be excruciating. Both skippers have found light winds where others were romping along in a brisk breeze just before the final approach to Cape Town.

Canadian skipper John Dennis’ ETA is now for between 02:00 – 04:00hrs Sunday morning at the earliest. He has started to pick up good boat speed and a better sailing angle as the 1400 GMT poll shows him to be making 6.7 knots towards the finish. “Friday morning I had up to 30 kts on the nose and was triple reefed with a reefed staysail. All day I kept asking God for a fair wind and at 22:30 tonight (Friday) the wind which had dropped to 22 kts during the day, moved 45 to 50 degrees aft and moderated to 11 kts. I am now able to bank some Southerly movement as insurance against the current and a wind shift.”

Alan Paris was afraid last night he would need to hand-steer his way into Cape Town after experiencing engine problems, and had to strip his engine down to find the fault and replace a small part before putting it all back together in the early hours of the morning. Alan confessed he was not really a mechanic but had watched someone else do this and so decided to ‘have a go’: "Great lesson in self sufficiency and that is what this race is all about. Pushing your self in many ways beyond ones normal life experience. Next time this happens, it will be an annoyance only."

With just under 700 miles to the finish, beleaguered Italian skipper Simone Bianchetti on Tiscali is due to arrive on 10 December into Cape Town, leaving him three clear days to prepare for Leg 3 of Around Alone. “In the last few hours I managed to get back on course and pick up speed. Last night I kept an average of 15 knots sometimes hitting 20.” Simone’s new book of poems he writes at sea is being published on the 15 December, the day after the start of the third leg of the Around Alone from Cape Town (South Africa) to Tauranga (New Zealand) entitled: ‘The religious enigma of the Estuary - poems caught in the wind’. He said: “The sea is obviously one of my biggest sources of inspiration. Once again it will be one of the most important protagonists of this second collection of poems.”

The start of Around Alone's third leg across the Southern Ocean to Tauranga in New Zealand is due to start at midday on 14 December.

Positions at 1400 GMT 7th December 2002

Class 1
Boat Lat Lon AvgBsp AvgHeading DTF (nm)
1. Tiscali, 36 00.200 S, 4 28.200 E, 8.42 kt, 88 °T, 697.88 nm

Class 2
1. Bayer Ascensia, 34 32.070 S, 17 28.310 E, 6.72 kt, 64 °T, 61.51 nm
2. BTC Velocity, 34 33.700 S, 15 54.100 E, 3.65 kt, 118 °T, 132.07 nm

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