Canadian mountie rides in

Derek Hatfield takes third in Around Alone class 2

Tuesday December 3rd 2002, Author: Mary Ambler, Location: Transoceanic
It was a dark, moonless night when Canadian skipper Derek Hatfield sailed his Open 40 Spirit of Canada across the finish line in Cape Town at 04:25:40 local time (02:25:40 GMT) to take third place in Class 2 for the second leg. It was a bittersweet moment for Hatfield.

He sailed a brilliant leg managing to stay with fellow competitor Tim Kent on Open 50 Everest Horizontal almost all the way, but in the end the longer waterline on Everest and a tactical move to the south by Kent sealed the second place slot. Derek will have to be satisfied with third, but considering that he has arrived ahead of the other Open 40s and one other 50 footer, fellow Canadian John Dennis on Bayer Ascensia, he should be happy with the result.

Despite the early hour and after a long passage of his own, Tim Kent was out on the water to greet Hatfield as he sailed across the line. "I would not have missed it for the world," said Kent. "If Derek had beaten me he would have done the same." A close bond has developed between these two sailors. They exchanged emails almost daily during their trip from England, and while they are most definitely rivals on the water, they are great friends on land.

"I really enjoyed having Tim there to race against," said Hatfield shortly after throwing the dock lines ashore at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. "Having a boat this close to you keeps you motivated and pushing hard." In fact with or without a boat to race against Derek would have pushed hard. It’s in his nature to not give and inch and his results to date are a good indication of what he is capable of.

"The last week was the hardest," Hatfield told the assembled crowd. "The South Atlantic High was very difficult to deal with. Each time I managed to get away from the light winds, the high would move back over us and we would stop again."

The proximity to the finish also added to the frustration. "When you are far away it’s not a problem, but when you get close it just makes it that much more difficult." When asked about the storm in the Bay of Biscay, Hatfield scratched his head and said; "That was such a long time ago it feels like a different race." He then gratefully accepted a plate of chicken handed to him by Class 1 competitor Emma Richards and said he was really looking forward to a big breakfast of steak and eggs.

Positions at 0600hrs GMT 3rd December 2002

Class 1
Boat Lat Lon AvgBsp AvgHeading DTF (nm)
1. Tiscali, 28 57.120 S, 18 42.000 W, 10.34 kt, 98 °T, 1914.01 nm

Class 2
1. Spirit of yukoh, 34 50.760 S, 16 30.360 E, 7.36 kt, 87 °T, 111.49 nm
2. Bayer Ascensia, 35 17.280 S, 5 22.450 E, 8.68 kt, 87 °T, 650.20 nm
3. BTC Velocity, 36 14.910 S, 2 19.990 E, 8.52 kt, 90 °T, 802.40 nm

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