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Sailing Daily NewsPage

Published Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

26 October 1999

Issue # 79

Transat Jacques Vabre

The term race has several meanings.  One has to do with a contest that progresses towards a goal, in this case the finish in Columbia.  Another has to do with sheer speed as in Sill Enterprises has been racing along covering 392 miles for an average of 16.33 knots.  Stunning stuff, but topped by the trimarans Fujicolour (400/16.66) & Foncia (16.46) and almost matched by Group 4 (391/16.29).  With following breezes and a full moon the fleet has enhanced nite vision and these professionals use it to race in both senses.

The race in relation to one another has closed up.  In the monohulls Whirlpool still has a good lead at 114 miles.  Somewhere is 2nd, with Sobedo closer only 24 miles back and sailing faster at last report.  From Somewhere Marc Thiercelin reports: "Everything is fine. It is a trade wind style day with sun, wind and speed. It is superb! Our rivals seem to go like planes and I don't know which turbo to engage as we are already at full speed without having much time to relax." 4th is the speeding Sill Enterprises, 45 miles back of Sobedo.  What did the Sill Enterprises crew do to pull of a 392 mile day?  Jean Le Cam answers: ". "We're doing 15-17 knots on average under staysail and solent, a sail combination that Tabarly loved."  Group 4 is 5th, with Aquitaine/Kingfisher next.  This boat has recently got their rig problems straightened away.  They are now able to fly their mainsail after 4 days of storm jib only.  Gartmore/First Call's southern route has not paid so far and they are 72 miles back of Group 4.  Spirit of the Race leads Pindar in Class II by 94 miles.

The multihulls are still led by Fujicolour.  37 miles back is Foncia.  The Bourgnon brothers on Foncia still are nervous about a problem to their starboard float.  Next is Groupama, and then Banque Populare.

Both fleets are now experiencing trade wind sailing.  The monohulls head to Saint Bartholomew while the trimarans go to Barbados.  From Fujicolour Franck Proffitt gives us an idea that the tradewinds are not sheet it and cleat it sailing: "A variation of 10 is huge when you look at the distance left to cover. It is by adapting to these slight changes that we have managed to take the lead. It is certainly not due to pure speed."  A winning combination will include speed and the correct course to the next waypoint.



Although still awaiting the resumption of Round 1 racing teams stayed busy on shore.  Racing was to resume on Wednesday.  However, America one successfully petitioned the jury for another days delay while finishing repairs on USA 49.  This was granted, so America One's races against Young American and Young Australia will not occur until Thursday.

There also is a weather related chance that all racing will be cancelled on Wednesday.  An approaching front looks to pack winds of 20-30 knots, above the 18 knot ceiling in which racing is allowed.  Latest reports show NE winds of 10 knots in Auckland.  However, racing is still over 8 hours away so conditions have time to morph.

There are several other developments off the course.  The Swiss boat will not be repaired in time for racing on Wednesday.  Be Happy may make it by Thursday.  Since damage to the boat did not occur from another boat Be Happy will not get extra time.  They may have to forfeit the final races, ensuring a winless first round.

The French are planning to skip the remainder of round one.  They plan to fit a new keel and lengthen their boat.  To ready their boat for the 2nd round on 6 November they must start now and sacrifice two points.

When racing does resume Young America will have a very interesting conclusion.  Their two races will be against Team Dennis Conner and America One.  Team Dennis Conner has shown an up and down pattern.  The match with America One should settle 2nd place on the points table.

Updated standings are below.  

AB   L L W W L L L W L W 4 8
AO W   W W W W L W W L W 8 3
AT W L   W W L L L W L W 6 4
FA2 L L L   L L L L L L L 0 11
FRA L L L W   L L L L L W 2 9
JAP W L W W W   L W L L W 5.5 5
PRAD W W W W W W   W W W W 10 1
SPA W L L W W L L   W L Y 5 6
TDC L L L W W W L L   W W 4.5 7
YAM W W W W W W L W L   W 8 2
YAU L L L W L L L L L L   1 10

Complete Round Robin 1 Standings
Reference Note:  Top 6 move onto semifinals.
Standings reflect half point penalties to Nippon and Team Dennis Conner. 
Ties for placings in standings were broken on a head to head basis.
Racing resumes Saturday 6 November with the first flight of Round Robin 2.

Mini Transat

With the coming of wind from the North the part of the Mini Transat fleet that took the more direct Northern route is looking good.  Leaders Tabarly and Heppel are are 27 degrees and 26 degrees longitude respectively.

To the south are race leader Seb Magnen at 24 degrees latitude and 21st place Andrew Cape also at 24 degrees.  The benefit of staying south is earlier entrance to the tradewinds which will allows spinnakers to go up before boats to the north.  Going south, is all about looking ugly early and then getting a payoff at the end.  Pay window is  not open yet.