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Monet heads the wrong way
At 13 55 56 GMT today, French mariner Philippe Monnet began his attempt at breaking the single handed circumnavigation. Monnet is after the so called wrong way record. Most around the world sailors sail west to east, in general with the prevailing winds. Monnet and others such as Mike Golding, Chay Blyth and Jean Luc Van Den Hede have attempted wrong way voyages.
It is Mike Golding who holds the current record of 161 days 16 hours. It is Chay Blyth who originally accomplished the feat in 1970-71. It is Van Den Hede who made a recent attempt. He was ahead of record pace, but had to drop out due to structural failure.
Monnet began his voyage in a Force 4 northwesterly. This breeze should give him safe passage through the notorious Bay of Biscay.
If Monnet is to set the record he'll eventually have to do some tough sailing. The current record of the Jules Verne trophy which signifies outright sailing speed around world, Olivier de Kersauson describes Monnet's task this way : "going the wrong way round the planet is the most difficult circumnavigation possible. Its like climbing Everest with your feet in the air !"
Torresen Sailing Site Sailing News Service will provide full coverage of Monnet's attempt at achieving this steep sailing task.
Cape to Rio Off
Saturday saw the start of the 3450 mile Cape to Rio race. Light westerly breezes were the conditions for the start.
The Reichel Pugh Maxi Zephyrus lead the fleet out of famed Table Bay.
Approximately 4 hours after the start disaster struck of the Invgall skippered maxi Portugal-Brasil 500. While sailing off the wind and in the midst of a sail change, the maxi's boom snapped. The break came 2 feet aft of the boom vang fitting. No particular reason is seen as the cause.
Portugal-Brasil 500 returned to Cape Town to effect repairs. After making repairs she has returned to the race. This incident has cost Portugal-Brasil 500 28 hours.
Upon hitting the open ocean Sagamore and Zephyrus V shot to the front. At least report Sagamore led. Sagamore made 256 miles on Sunday and has covered a total of 470 miles. 2nd is Zephyrus V 61 miles back. Most of this lead can be attributed to Sagamore's 256/10.67 knot day as compared to Zephyrus' 191/7.97 knot day.
In a race of this distance long term tactical considerations can take precedence over short term results. Position reports show Sagamore over a degree of latitude further to the South than Zephyrus.
A look farther down the results table reveals that George Stricker's Rapscallion sailed 263 miles in 24 hours. Stricker sailed Rapscallion in the 1998-99 Around Alone race. Due to breakdown he discontinued racing in Cape Town.
It will be interesting to see if Sagamore and Zephyrus split far apart this early in the race. Torresen Sailing Site Sailing News Service will provide continuing coverage