South will pay

Around Alone competitors get their first taste of the South

Monday December 16th 2002, Author: Mary Ambler, Location: Transoceanic
The split, which emerged yesterday between Thierry Dubois on Solidaires and Simone Bianchetti on Tiscali in the east, and Bernard Stamm on Bobst Group-Armor Lux and the rest of Class 1 in the south has lead to interesting developments on the Around Alone race track.

Dubois, perhaps realising that given the same conditions Stamm’s boat may have an edge, headed east on his own course in hope of finding a tactical advantage, and was soon followed by Bianchetti. Dubois’ lead may be short lived however, as his Swiss rival dove south and is now sailing downwind in 25-30 knots of breeze going one knot faster.

In third place, Emma Richards on Pindar is heading in a more southeasterly direction than Stamm, and is being tailed by Graham Dalton on Hexagon and Bruce Schwab on Ocean Planet just 30 miles behind her. Richards is level in terms of DTL with Bianchetti on Tiscali, but the British skipper is in 5–10 knots more wind slightly further south, so averaging 2 – 3 knots more boatspeed.

The real story so far is the incredible performance being put in by Derek Hatfield on the Open 40 Spirit of Canada. Since winning the start Derek has kept up an amazing pace and at last check this morning at 0600hrs GMT he was a mere 13 miles behind Ocean Planet and 18 miles behind Hexagon, both Open 60s. He has even managed to open up a gap of 48 miles on Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America, something that must have Brad van Liew frustrated, as he was only 1 hour and 45 minutes late in starting. This delay for Van Liew and the fact that Spirit of Canada is a rocketship in light winds have both played to Hatfield’s advantage, but nothing should be taken away from his own skill in maintaining this lead. It will be interesting to see how long he can hold onto it as Van Liew is now clocking nearly 3 knots more boatspeed than Hatfield.

Meanwhile John Dennis on Bayer Ascensia has anchored in Struis Bay on the south coast of South Africa to fix his communications equipment. He sent a short email: "I am repairing my Iridium telephone, my Inmarsat system, and my running backstays. For both safety and family I need the phone." Currently the part he needs is on its way to him by land and he should be away later today.


Class 1
Boat Time Lat Lon AvgBsp AvgHeading DTF
1. Solidaires 36 59.550 S 22 40.360 E 9.37 kt 144 °T 6956.21 nm
2. Bobst Group / Armor Lux 38 55.520 S 19 47.300 E 10.85 kt 161 °T 7015.35 nm
3. Pindar 37 18.780 S 20 34.200 E 10.27 kt 122 °T 7032.19 nm
4. Tiscali 36 17.480 S 21 19.430 E 7.50 kt 126 °T 7033.56 nm
5. Hexagon 37 36.070 S 19 36.100 E 10.61 kt 140 °T 7062.82 nm
6. Ocean Planet 37 06.050 S 19 51.410 E 10.57 kt 111 °T 7067.93 nm

Class 2
Boat Time Lat Lon AvgBsp AvgHeading DTF
1. Spirit of Canada 36 51.180 S 19 43.380 E 5.88 kt 143 °T 7081.18 nm
2. Tommy Hilfiger 36 38.260 S 18 43.050 E 8.40 kt 144 °T 7129.06 nm
3. Bayer Ascensia 34 47.070 S 20 03.550 E 0.00 kt 0 °T 7134.63 nm
4. Spirit of yukoh 36 19.050 S 18 44.430 E 6.60 kt 130 °T 7138.35 nm
5. BTC Velocity 36 16.290 S 18 23.260 E 5.31 kt 129 °T 7154.24 nm
6. Everest Horizontal 34 27.420 S 18 39.600 E 2.91 kt 116 °T 7202.88 nm

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