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Now available Laser Coach 2000 CD ROM

2 November 1999

Issue # 84

Playstation Status Update

Steve Fossett and his Playstation team have changed plans for a mid week departure.  They are back to code red status meaning a departure is not expected as favorable weather is not seen for 4-6 days.

The low pressure system that they had hoped would get them off to a good start is heading inland to the west of New York.  This would leave Playstation sailing downwind across the Atlantic, not the ideal angle on which to sail fast. 

The team does not expect a positive weather window for a week, and so will likely remain Code Red.  


Fujicolour a winner

Sailed by Loick Peyron and Franck Proffit the 60 foot trimaran made her 1999 Jacques Vabre Transat victory official yesterday.  Fujicolour sailed the course in 15 days 17 hours 7 minutes and 4 seconds an average of 14.23 knots.  Since the course was 500 miles longer due to a mid race change Fujicolour is not eligible for a race record.  However, her average speed was 14.81 knots compared to the 14.13 posted by Primeval in 1997.

Upon finishing Proffitt and Peyron talked of several attributed of their win.  One, according for Proffitt is experience, "Lo´ck and I have been racing together for seven years. Our common knowledge at sea meant we could push the boat as hard as if we had a full crew on board."  Another he says is intensity, "We always went on the right tack," added Franck. "We only calmed down during the last couple of hours. The tension on board was huge during this race."

Second was Groupama sailed by Franck Cammas and Steve Ravussin.  Grupama sailed the race in 16 days 8 hours an average of 14.23 knots, also faster than the 1997 winner.  Cammas knows when the race got away, "During the storm we lifted our foot off the accelerator and it's here that Fuji and Foncia built their lead on us but after that we never stopped coming back on them."  Still, he is pleased with 2nd "It's very pleasing. We worked very well together these last few days and having Foncia behind us has been something."  

Laurent and Yvon Bourgnon sailed Foncia to 3rd in a time of 16 days 10 hours.  Their average speed of 13.62 knots was under their winning average in 1997.  The brothers are happy with their race.  Yvan commented, "The second part, when we caught the trade winds, has been a race based on pure speed. Downwind Groupama went at least 1knot faster than us."  If Yvan can keep Foncia as his sponsor he plans to further optimize the trimaran and continue campaigning her.

Whirlpool continues to lead the monohulls by 59 miles.  With 600+ miles to go the report from Whirlpool is as follows: "We're permanently on deck. It's the final home strait and we're going to give it everything."  Whirlpool likely has 2 to 3 days of full on racing left.  2nd is Sobedo 21 miles ahead of 3rd place Sill Enterprises.  On board Sobedo Thomas Coville feels the race is still quite changeable saying, "Since the start we've been doing our best to catch her. Sill isn't far behind either. The weather isn't easy to analyse."  4th is Group 4 60 miles from Sill.  Of the top 4 Group 4 is the slowest at 7.3 knots.  Group 4 is not pleased with Whirlpool's pit stop: "We are both shocked and amazed that this has been allowed. Clearly Whirlpool had blown a spinnaker - normally one pays the price. Whirlpool was being caught up by the chasing pack and now they have been allowed to board a replacement with no penalty. We are both stupefied by this unprecedented action and have protested accordingly."  Next is Somewhere 30 more miles back.  

Aquitaine/Kingfisher is 1224 miles from the finish with the final class I monohull being Gartmore/First Call 1382 miles out of Columbia.

Class II is led by Pindar by 147 miles over Spirit of the Race.

For the Class I  monohulls the race is still to be one.  A report from Group 4 gives us an idea of the situations all are experiencing: "The effects of the tropical wave which passed nearby today as we passed through the gate at St Barts, made the passage very tricky. Our forecasts indicated a wind shift to the right, more SE than East so we positioned ourselves to the right. In the event the breeze went left leaving us changing sails first to Genniker then Genoa back to Spinnaker then Genoa again before we cleared the Pain de Sucre off St Barts."  Today Group 4 is 60 miles back of Sill Enterprises rather than the 54 yesterday.  Many more situations such as the above will arise over the next days, and who handles them best will succeed.