Bobst Group at North Island

Stamm has a flying march on the rest of the Around Alone fleet

Tuesday January 7th 2003, Author: James Boyd, Location: Australasia
The latest positions from Around Alone indicate that Bernard Stamm is about to round New Zealand's north island to make the run south east down to the finish in Tauranga. He should beware however - it was here four years ago that Mike Golding ran aground while leading the race on board Team Group 4.

Luck with the weather in the Tasman Sea has now allowed the Swiss skipper to extend his lead over second placed Thierry Dubois to more than 500 miles. Both skippers were trying to skirt an area of high pressure over the Tasman that was slowly moving east. While Stamm succeeded Dubois further behind was caught in the light weather as where many of the other class one monohulls.

At present Emma Richards is west south west of the high and is experiencing northerlies as she tries to lay a course to Cape Reinga.

"Glad to tell you that the wind has stayed around 20-25kts so I am just about getting away with my 3 reefs and staysail still, and should do for another 24 hours, and as it dies and I go upwind I should get the solent repaired and hopefully be less disabled while I fix the last part of the mainsail," Richards wrote from on board. "That's the plan, but how often do my plans come together? Maybe I shouldn't go there, I need all the confidence I can get! In the last couple of position reports though, I
have watched Bruce [Schwab] sail into the lee of Tasmania, when he might have gone a little further south and kept more wind. I guess the 0600 poll will tell if the weather info I have is accurate about that shadow!"

Last week Pindar's mainsail ripped from luff to leech just under the third reef. Fortunately the leech line at one end and some reinforcement at the other prevent Pindar from suddenly having two mainsails. She has been attempting to repair it ever since.

Position Yacht Name Latitude Longitude Current SOG Time DTF DTL 24h Run
Class 1
1 Bobst Group-Armor Lux -34.3 173.2 11.1 2003-01-07 06:00:28 256.7 333.8
2 Solidaires -40.8 166.3 9 2003-01-07 06:00:49 779.3 522.6 204.7
3 Hexagon -43 161.9 10 2003-01-07 06:00:25 1010.4 753.8 227.1
4 Tiscali -42.6 159.1 10 2003-01-07 06:00:49 1091.9 835.2 256.8
5 Pindar -45 154.1 11.4 2003-01-07 06:00:04 1352.7 1096 271.9
6 Ocean Planet -44.3 150 8.6 2003-01-07 06:00:41 1490.8 1234.1 220.6

Class 2
1 Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America -43.8 148 9 2003-01-07 06:00:22 1559.7 296.6
2 Everest Horizontal -48.4 133.2 12 2003-01-07 06:00:11 2227.9 668.2 220.5
3 Spirit of Canada -46.2 126.7 10.6 2003-01-07 06:00:14 2472.4 912.7 243.2
4 Spirit of yukoh -44.5 123.5 10.6 2003-01-07 06:00:49 2613.3 1053.6 255.5
5 BTC Velocity -44.2 108.9 10.8 2003-01-07 06:00:49 3232.4 1672.7 192

Bruce Schwab reports from Ocean Planet

What a pity to have to sail right by such famous place without stopping! I'd like to see a "Tasmanian Devil," which is an altogether odd animal (and not at all like the hilarious creature in the Bugs Bunny cartoons....).

We've been zooming along pretty good today. It didn't blow as hard as predicted or I must have been just north of it. In any case the sailing is GREAT! The confused seas of the last week (at least) have died down and the ride is smooth but still fast. With the mainsail sorta stuck in third reef, I have been going with the staysail together with either the working jib or genoa. As the wind has been up and down a bit, I alternate the jib and genoa to keep the right amount of power going. For kicks I tried all FOUR sails at once (main, staysail, working jib, and genoa) just to see it. It doesn't work, however, as they interfere with each other too much, but it was funny to look at.

Emma is to the south of me also with her mainsail stuck at the third reef. She ripped it in an unscheduled jibe the other day and had to spend a lot of time sitting on the boom trying to fix it. She sent me an email that her sound system and deck speakers are pretty good so she had music to work to! I gained on her a bit and our courses are converging, so we will be in the same neighborhood soon. It will then be interesting to see how the boats match up with undersized mainsails for the last few days to New Zealand. We've been joking about a "third reef only division"....

We will be entering the Tasman sea tomorrow and leaving the Southern Ocean behind for now. I've learned that keeping your sense of humor is important here, as things break and conditions get dangerous you need jokes and a light spirit to fend off the feelings of dread and fear that try to creep up on you. In dealing with unpleasant issues or chores, the right attitude makes a big difference.

Looks like we might have nice conditions to cross the Tasman, and I might even get to use the spinnaker!

Hmmm.....wind is dying suspiciously outside. Wonder if I'm too far north, but not much to be done about it as once I came up north to try to fix the vang, the course options were limited from there. Better go trim stuff up! It's more upwind now, so I can try the second reef....

Later, from Tasmania,
Bruce and Ocean Planet

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