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 23 March2000

Issue # 166

By Ike Stephenson


  Torresen Sailing Site



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Southern Ocean Report


Over 3000 miles from Cape Horn came a recent mid ocean rendvouzs between 2 unique vessels.

Frenchman Jo Le Guen is currently attempting a solo row across the Pacific.  Ellen Macarthur along with a crew is sailing the recently launched Kingfisher on a Southern Ocean shakedown.

Le Guen is one the the extreme adventurer's affected by the recent troubles of Iridium Satellite telephone corporation.  Without his Iridium Le Guen would be with out communications.

Accordingly Macarthur decided to sail Kingfisher to his location and transfer backup communication equipment to him.  When Kingfisher arrived on the scene Le Guen had to shoot up flair for his small rowing boat to be spotted.  Kingfisher then made 9 attempts to transfer a waterproof back that among other things contained an e-mail capable Magellan GPS unit to him.  However, the multiple attempts ended in failure as the bag was lost in the midst of the ocean.  

Kingfisher will continue on a 12,000 mile voyage to England.  Jo Le Guen will continue his solo row which is designed to raise environmental awareness.

On the other side of the Southern Ocean, is French mariner Phillipe Monnet and UUNET.  He is attempting to set the record for sailing around the world in an east to west direction.

At last report Monnet was at 46° south, 166° east.  This puts him in the Tasman sea, south and west of New Zealand with Australian to the North.

Monnet has an ongoing problem with his starboard running backstay.  Although not certain about its reliability he sounds optimistic: "I managed not to stop in New Zealand, so if all goes well, I won’t have to stop in Australia. I hope to be able to make it back home like that."

UUNET is still six days ahead of record pace.  On this leg which aims to round the Cape of Good Hope, Monnet will try to say north and out of the often damaging deep south conditions.

The rest of Monnet's voyage may also be hindered by lack of satellite phone communications.

Olympic Sailing: Scheidt is Laser World Champion

Brazilian Robert Schedit closed off a dominating performance which gained him a 4th Laser world title.  Scheidt was far enough ahead to sit out the final race.

2nd by over 20 points was Australian Michael Blackburn.  Defending world titlist Ben Ainslie of Great Britain ended up 3rd.

The USA was the only country with 3 sailors in the top 20.  Mark Mendenblatt was 9th on the strength of a number of top 10 finishes.  John Torgeson ended 12th after having to keep a 34th place in the final race.  Bill Hardesty was 17th but finished in the top 10 in 4 of the last 5 races.

Sweden, Great Britain and New Zealand had two sailors in the top 20.

Off his dominance Robert Scheidt must be the favorite.  Michael Blackburn of Australia will have the home water advantage.  USA sailors have moved up and may improve enough to medal.  Other countries with strong medal chances are: Sweden, Great Britain and New Zealand.


Olympic Sailing: 49er Worlds

Preliminary overall results for the 49er worlds indicate that the Spanish team of Lopez-Vazquez and De La Plaza have won the world title by 7 points.  This despite not winning a race.  2nd were the Danish team of Hestbaek and Perrson 7 points back despite 3 wins.  3rd was the past world champion team of Nicholson and Phillips with 1 win.

The team that will carry American colors Jonathan and Charlie Mckee ended 7th.  

Spain (2), Great Britain (4) and the USA (2) placed multiple teams in the top 15.  Top Sydney medal threats look to be Spain, Australia, Denmark, USA and Great Britain.

Venue was the Club Med resort in Sonora Bay Mexico.

Steinlager Line 7 Cup

The first event of the Swedish match sailing tour is now at the penultimate stage.  16 skippers have now sailed 2 round robins in identical Farr MRX boats.

The man of the second round was Team New Zealand helmsman Dean Barker who posted a 7-0 record. He ended the two round robins with a 12-2 mark.

Another strong second round performer was Frenchman Bertrand Pace also an America's Cup helmsman.  He was 6-1 after a 4-3 1st round.  These two sailor are the first of the 4 semifinalists.

The other group of sailors has net yet finished round robin competition.  Leading are Cameron Appleton and Gavin Brady with 9 wins.  Britain Andy Green is close by with 8 wins.


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