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Sailing North East West South

Published Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

 15 January 2001 Issue # 320

By Ike Stephenson

 Today's Sailing News 

The Race: Playstation Out

Saturday nite Playstation the largest of The Race class catamarans withdrew from The Race. Steve Fosset's boat suffered a broken port dagger board after suffering mainsail damage earlier in the day.

They had sewed up a 3 foot tear in their main when the port dagger board collided 
with something breaking off at the waterline. 
Playstation was using old sails after a new set blew out while still
in the Mediterranean.

Combining the unreliable sails with the broken board
skipper Steve Fossett said: "We just aren't prepared to tackle the Southern Ocean."

Playstation is en route to Miami. After repairs Playstation is 
planning a Miami-NY record attempt and another trans at record attempt
in May.

For the three lead boats it's a period of slow sailing induced by a high pressure. They are currently about 5 degrees of latitude north
of 20 knot westerly winds that will allows them to speed up.

Club Med leads by 27 miles over Team Adventure. Club Med is the farthest east. Innovation Explorer is still to the West and has closed
to 116 miles of the lead. Best 24 hour run of the three is Innovation
Explorer's 249 miles, likely about half of what the boats will cover in the next 24 hours.

Warta Polpharma trails by over 1400 miles, but did have the best 24 hour run at 385 miles.

Team Legato is another 700 miles back averaging nearly 12 knots as she sails still in the Northern Hemisphere.

The question for the lead 3 is whether Innovation Explorer's move
to the west will allow Loick Peyron to catch the west winds first. Whichever Race class cat catches the westerlies first they will have that much more time at speed than their sister ships.

Whilst awaiting Southern Ocean conditions the crews are giving things a thorough check over. Cam Lewis says, "This morning we started a complete top to bottom check of our boat, from the tip of the mast to the bilges." Also according to Lewis, "We are changing our two steering compasses out for special southern hemisphere-balanced ones. Northern hemisphere compasses will tilt dramatically in the deep south as the magnetic pull will be felt straight through the earth and not around the curve, tipping the card's compass rose and sometimes jamming its rotation."

Light air sailing on any boat demands high concentration. Whoever
can get their boats to the big westerly will take the lead as they head
to the Southern Ocean and a severe testing for these Race Class Cats.

Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race

First to Finish,2nd overall: Magnitude Andrew 70 27 hours 45 minutes 

PHRF A and Overall Winner Grins Andrews 70

PHRF B Winner Strabo J-145

PHRF C Winner Tibouron Melges 30

PHRF D Winner Holy Toledo Hobie 33

PHRF E E-Ticket Beneteau 38

Multi Hull No Name F-31

3rd Overall Chessie Racing Farr 52


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 Today's Sailing News 

Key West: Day 1 Outlook

Over 300 boats sailing on 4 separate course areas will begin the annual Key West Race week today. 18 classes are hoping to get in a total of 8 windward/leeward races.
Looking back SD 128, there were several strong performances on
day 1 last year. In the Farr 40 class Mascalzone Latino scored 5 points in 2 races to lead. Barking Mad on of the Admirals Cup contenders scored 8 points. Despite these good starts neither boat was the class winner.
Atlanti XI ended up 19 points ahead of Mascalzone Latino.

In the One Design 35's the day 1 saw Avalanche and Roxanne tied  after Day 1. Heartbreaker which ended up as boat of the week did not
appear in the day 1 story.

Two of the top Melges 24's- Full Throttle which was 2nd after Day 1 and Zenda Express (4th) dueled until the last race with Full Throttle 

Trouble led the Mumm 30 class after Day 1, but ended up a close 2nd to Ville de St Raphael by 2 points.

Race Week usually has deep enough fleets that a lead on day 1 does not mean a certain win. Consistency does it and day 1 leaders can easily drop back.

Conditions in Key West this morning are 66° with a North wind of
9 knots. The wind has been from the north for nearly 24 hours, peaking at 12 knots with a minimum of 4 knots. The forecast calls for this  North wind to stay, at 10-15 knots.

A review of weather reports from automated sources in the area shows wind directions from 010 to 020 at 10-13 knots. It would seem

that whoever can divine the small shifts in this northerly breeze will gain Day 1 honors.

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: "ince then we have been slowing down and are now coasting along in a huge high pressure zone with the fleet compressing in behind. This will be the gateway to the south and for another 24 hours we will be working hard to maintain the best speed in light and trying conditions. First boat out into the westerlies will have a great chance to jump into a nice lead on the eastbound expressway to the Indian Ocean."

Times Clipper Update

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

Leader: Plymouth Clipper by 48 miles

Best 24 Hour Run: Bristol Clipper 241 miles 

Position: Boats range from 8 to 15 degrees north of the equator

Current Weather: NE 20-30 knots

Weather Forecast: Decreasing wind speed.

BT Challenge Update

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

Leader: Olympic Group by 17 miles

Best 24 Hour Run: Veritas 220 miles

Position: 3 boats under 100 miles to finish

Current Weather: North Force 3

Weather Forecast: Gale possible


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