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Playstation= Code Green
This week should see Steve Fosset's Playstation make her attempt at the Transatlantic record crossing. Playstation and her crew are now on a code green readiness level meaning departure in planned within 48 hours.
Expected departure is at 1200 Wednesday. Steve Fossett expects gale force winds on the beam of the 105 foot machine the first day. Once they pass Newfoundland, Fossett expects some downwind sailing. This will necessitate sailing north of the great circle rhumb line and then at some point gybing and crossing to the south of the line.
ISAF Women's Match Racing Worlds
This weekend saw the quarter, semi and finals of this regatta. By regatta's end a new champion had won the title.
Emerging from the 24 boat field to make the quarterfinals were: Klaartje Zuiderbaan, Cory Sertl, Betsy Alison, Dorte Jensen, Shirley Robertson, Dru Slattery, Millbourn, and Sharon Ferris. Eliminated were Millbourn, Ferris, Robertson and Slattery.
This gave semifinal pairings of: Jensen and Sertl and Zuiderbaan and Alison. Advancing to the finals were Alison and Jensen.
Sailing J22's in moderate conditions the finalists split the first two races. The winner would be the first 3 wins. Jensen then swept the next two races and is the new match racing world champion.
In the contest for 3rd Cory Sertl beat Klaartje Zuiderbaan.
Jensen's victory gives Denmark the distinction of having the reigning women's match racing champion, and also the men's champion who is Sten Mohr also a Dane.
Transat Jacque Vabre
It appears that Fujicolour will cross the finish line to win the multihull division. At last report Loick Peyron's trimaran was 43 miles from the finish sailing at 15.9 knots. The battle for 2nd in this class is tremendously close. Groupama has charged from way back and now holds 2nd place by 2 miles over Foncia. Groupama would seem to have the edge in what is now a very fast match race with a reported speed of 15.1 to Foncia's 12.6. Groupama continues to push hard reporting: "We relay at the helm every two hours with Franck."
Whirlpool still leads the 60 foot monohuuls. The lead is down to 52 miles. One reason for this is that Whirlpool made a pit stop to pick up a new spinnaker. Whirlpool report, "We're in our first calm zone since the start." Due to this Whirlpool's speed is down to 6 knots less than most of her pursuers. 2nd is Sobedo. Thomas Coville describes Sobedo's strategy: "we have just gybed in order to go on the port tack. During the night we headed to starboard to keep Sill Enterprises in check, but also to be on a different heading to Whirlpool-Europe 2. This strategy is both optional and conservative as we're already a long way to the south." Sobedo is obviously trying to simultaneously take over 1st and hold onto 2nd. 3rd is Sill Enterprises only 20 miles in back of Sobedo. From Sill, Jean Le Cam comments: "It's always more comfortable to be in front, but there are lots of lessons that can be learnt by those behind." Perhaps the trailers are learning as both are faster than Whirlpool. Now 4th is Team Group 4 54 miles back of Sill. Group 4's Mike Golding sums up their comeback: "On the final run towards the St Barts gate we have consistently been making gains on the rest of the fleet. Its been light airs downwind sailing for the past few days not usually our best point of sail. Somewhere is now 26 miles astern and Sill only 48 ahead. Even Sobedo now seems catchable at 83 ahead. Whirlpool is now 157 away, when we finally escaped from the Biscay hole they were near 400 ahead so our gains seem significant." At 8.4 knots Group 4 was at least keeping up if not gaining. Next comes Somewhere which at one point in the race was 2nd, and is now 5th 49 miles back of 4th.
6th is Aquitaine/Kingfisher 606 miles back of 1st. 7th is Gartmore/First Call 773 miles out.
Class II is led by Pindar by 95 miles over Spirit of the Race.
This Transat will be Loick Peyron's and he comments: "We are completing our 4th transat with Franck and Fujicolor II and it's a pleasure to dedicate this victory to Fujicolor II. It's a good way to say to each other farewell." Why is Fujicolour ahead? Peyron explains: "If you can't be extremely good in all areas then at least you should not be bad in any area. We've been very good in the transition of the race when tactical decisions were needed."
As the fleets close on Columbia Peyron's statement sounds true. The boats will have to maintain a high level of sailing and make the correct decision or places could be lost.