Hatfield claims final podium place
The Canadian flag could be seen snapping in the wind as Derek Hatfield sailed into view at 10 knots under full sail. Heavy skies gave way to rain, which in this part of the world was just for today welcomed by all as the smouldering embers on Mount Maunganui were finally put out.
Sailing one of the smallest boats in the fleet, Derek lead Class 2 off the start in Cape Town as his three bigger Open 50 rivals all had last minute problems before the line. Since then, he has pushed every inch of performance from his boat at times threatening Everest Horizontal ahead of him, and at other times being threatened by Spirit of yukoh behind him. The tired eyes and well developed beard told a thousand stories. Hatfield is a quiet, understated, immensely polite person and now that he has got half way around the world Derek is pleased with himself and his boat. “I enjoyed the Southern Ocean so much. It was the Tasman and the coast of New Zealand that was the hardest part of this trip for me. The winds were from all over the place and you just couldn’t do anything about it. It’s great to be in New Zealand - the rest of the race is going to be like sailing homewards, but I daren’t think about the end yet.”
One of the first people to climb on board Spirit of Canada after the finish was Tim Kent who looked slightly better after a shower and three hours sleep. "Derek and I had such a great race I had to be there for him when he crossed the line," Tim said. Gone was chimney sweep look, replaced by a slightly cleaner version of the same. The twinkle in his eye had returned and Tim confessed that he was looking forward to getting down to work on his boat. Bay of Plenty Steam Cleaners were already on their way to Everest Horizontal to examine the sooty mess and strategize a plan for cleaning the interior of the boat.
The next yacht, Spirit of yukoh sailed by Kojiro Shiraishi is expected to cross the finish line at 19:30 local time Thursday. Only Alan Paris on BTC Velocity seems to be enjoying his sail towards Cape Reinga in strong Westerly winds to propel him towards the finish just 1,000 miles down the track.
Leg 3 Provisional Rankings – Class 1
1. Bobst Group-Armor Lux finished at 22:24:43 GMT 8th JAN 03 after 25 days, 12 hours, 24 minutes, 43 seconds
2. Solidaires finished at 09:03:54 GMT 9th JAN 03 after 26 days, 23 hours, 03 minutes, 54 seconds
3. Hexagon finished at 06:38:18 GMT 14th JAN 03 after 30 days, 20 hours, 38 minutes, 18 seconds
4. Tiscali finished at 16:30:19 GMT 14th JAN 03 after 32 days, 6 hours, 30 minutes, 19 seconds
5. Ocean Planet finished at 21:17:22 15th JAN 03 after 32 days, 11 hours, 17 minutes, 22 seconds
6. Pindar finished at 23:51:12 GMT 15th JAN 03 after 32 days, 13 hours, 51 minutes, 12 seconds
Leg 3 Provisional Rankings – Class 2
1. Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America finished at 02:05:56 GMT 16th JAN 03 after 32 days, 14 hours, 5 minutes, 56 seconds
2. Everest Horizontal finished at 13:09:04 GMT 21st JAN 03
3. Spirit of Canada finished at 23:10:06 GMT 21st JAN 03
POSITIONS AT 22:00GMT 21st JANUARY (11:00 am 22nd JAN LOCAL TIME) 2003
Boat Lat Lon AvgBsp AvgHeading DTF
4. Spirit of yukoh 36 27.610 S 175 58.530 E 9.52 kt 143 °T 69.00 nm
5. BTC Velocity 40 28.770 S 158 16.150 E 7.87 kt 78 °T 1063.67 nm