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Sailing North East West South

Published Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

 9 January 2001 Issue # 317

By Ike Stephenson

 Today's Sailing News 

The Race: Beginning the Doldrums

Today's Race Class cat of note is Innovation Explorer. Today
'IE' has both posted the best 24 hour run (441 miles) and taken the most radical course through the Doldrums. 

Loick Peyron has positioned the  cat at 27° west, 4 degrees farther than either Team Adventure or Club Med.

This move has taken Innovation Explorer from farthest east in the 
fleet to farthest west. Whether this side of the course pays better remains to be seen.

It seems that even though the most prodigious speed machines in the
history of sailing are crossing the Doldrums they too slow down. After hitting the Doldrums at 4° north 23°west, leader Club
Med's latest 1 hour average speed: 4.2 knots. In addition to lack of speed, the Doldrums carry other hazards according the Grant Dalton: ": “The conditions aren’t good for these boats right now. We are moving with the big genneker set sailing into head seas from the South East. Every wave is coupled with a big shock, I can’t believe nothing has broken yet!” 

This is not to say that Club Med and crew have been boring. While still moving at speed on the way to the Doldrums Grant Dalton reports: "We had a big scare last night, sailing along at huge speed when a steering cable came off the quadrant. The boat broached, unusual for a catamaran,
with the genneker up. We managed to furl up the genneker without ripping it and we managed to get the boat to bare away again. But it could hav
e been over right there."

 Cam Lewis has commented that these cats are of the 9 live variety. The above incident is one of Club Med's 9!

Behind the lead 3 the 125 foot Playstation is moving along. Her
24 hour run of 418 miles was 2nd best.

Playstation is setting up to sail a track similar to Innovation Explorers: "having determined that it is best to get our Westing now, and it might be more costly if we have to get it later when we are further South. Apparently Innovation Explorer has had similar thoughts. It will be interesting to see when/if Cam or Grant decides to move West a bit."

Playstation crew Nick Maloney suffered a sprained ankle. According
to skipper Steve Fossett: "Nick Moloney woke this morning thinking he was going to stand his watch--I don't think so. Hopefully he will be back on limited duty in another day or two."

Other crews continue to make adjustments. Team Adventure helmsman
Lewis, Lemonchois, Smyth and Vincent have cut their helming stints to 2

The Race has started off more tactically than many imagined. The
current confrontation with the Doldrums again see different tactics being
chosen, with results being by when the teams can get their machines up
to 20 knots again.





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 Today's Sailing News 

Today's Cam-Gram Quote 

Team Adventure skipper Cam Lewis is not just a world class sailor he's also one of the best sailing writers around.  He's writes daily reports/Cam-Grams from his Race Class cat. Here's an excerpt from today's: "
The night skies are changing fast, last night the Southern Cross was spotted and is now another bright light in the heavens to guide us through the liquid desert of the south. The next land we will see will be New Zealand and that encounter will be brief as we pass quickly through the Cook Straight and into the world's largest ocean."

Times Clipper Update

Leg 5 is  from the Galapagos Islands to Hawaii, 4100 miles.

Leader: Portsmouth Clipper by 13 miles

Best 24 Hour Run: London Clipper 192 miles 

Position:  Crossing the equator heading north

Current Weather: Light winds

Weather Forecast: Looking for the best place to cross the Pacific ocean 'doldrums'

BT Challenge Update

Leg 3 is  Buenos Aries to  Wellington New Zealand via Cape Horn.  

Leader: Compaq by 4 miles

Best 24 Hour Run: BP 173 miles

Position:  1000 miles to go

Current Weather: NW Force 3

Weather Forecast: NW force 6




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