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Sailing Daily NewsPage

Published Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

28 October 1999

Issue # 80

Transat Jacques Vabre

5 monohulls remain in contention for the three podium spots.   In the multihulls Fujicolour has pulled out ahead of Foncia.

Whirlpool-Europe 2 still leads the monohulls.  The lead is down a bit to 113 miles.  Sobedo has maintained 2nd place and is now 72 miles up on 3rd place Somehwere.  Further Sobedo's 15.5 knot speed is tops in the monohulls.  3rd is Somewhere.  Only 2 miles back of Somewhere is Sill Enterprises.  These geographically close boats reported identical 13.7 knot speeds.  Still in contention for the podium is Group 4, 47 miles back.  From Group 4 Mike Golding comments: ". The positioning shows that we are trying to catch up to the head of the fleet…we are under spi and genaker. It's very demanding, not the idyllic surroundings people would imagine!"  Next is Aquitaine/Kingfisher which is now up to full speed after rig problems.  Ellen Macarthur states, "Hi, not really loads of news today.. Storming along under gennaker."  Gartmore/First Call is a further 115 miles back.  Josh Hall comments on Gartmore's situation: "We seem to have landed ourselves in the wrong piece of ocean for the time being which is a frustration to us both. The problem traces back to The Canaries where we were held up for @ 18hrs instead of catching the forecast wind shift to open the gate and allow us to trundle west."  The Class II monohull race is heating up with Pindar only 6 miles back of class leader Spirit of the Race.  For the monohulls it's still a search for the ideal combination of course and speed.

For sometime the multihulls have seen Fujicoliur and Foncia dueling.  Finally Fujicolour has pulled out a bit, the lead is now 72 miles.  Today these trimarans will round Barbados and head north to St. Bartholomew which is the monohull waypoint.

The Fujicolour crew describes how they have maintained their lead: On the trade wind highway we've got Foncia to our left and Groupama to our right. We're negotiating the slight changes in wind direction and have had to gybe at least 20 times in the last 24 hours."

On board Foncia the Bourgnon brothers sail on: ". Today we have fitted an adaptation to the helm so that we can steer standing, which makes it easier on our bottoms. Who dares wins!"  Foncia may make a pit stop in St. Bartholomew to repair outrigger damage.

3rd among the trimarans is the fast closing Groupama.  Groupama closed in by virtue of a 476 mile (19.45 knots average) 24 hour run.  From onboard the crew reports: ""Our morale keeps changing according to our speed."  Groupama is only 41 miles to 2nd.

As both fleets near land standings may get juggled.  Land can often mean wind holes, so the fatigued mariners must stay on top form to keep their postiions.




Round Robin 1 of the Luis Vuiotton Cup America's Cup challengers elimination series has come to an end.  As with much of the round, the final day of racing was not normal.

There were a total of 4 matches to be sailed.  America One was scheduled for two races.  America One had received several delays to repair damage received on course.  The other matches were races order resailed by the International Jury.

The two matches which were sailed for the 2nd time saw the same results as the first time.  Prada and Team Dennis Conner were winners over Abracadabra 2000 and Young Australia respectively.  

America One began its day successfully by beating Young Australia by 1' 32".  This set up a match with Young America.  An America One win would give them a clear 2nd place.

Near the end of the morning race America One suffered mast damage.  By the start of race two they were under headsail only.  With a bowman up the mast America One attempted to fix the damage.  After sailing to the leeward mark with jib only they retired, giving up a point to Young America.

Paul Cayard did ask the race committee for a postponement.  However, they declined.  Cayard admits to thinking of asking for redress, but decided not to saying: "However, I think this "opportunity" has gotten pushed too far. You have to be ready to race. If you are not ready and another yacht is not at fault, then you don't deserve to be in the race. So we will not seek redress."  Thus ended the first round with Prada undefeated, beating both Young America and America One.

Most observers feel that the top three boats in the standings table are the boats to beat, with a winning combination of boatspeed, money and sailing skill.  America True is rank back especially in upwind speed.  Paul Cayard states that: "We have a long list of things to improve upon. We have to improve the reliability of our yacht. Breakdowns are not acceptable. We also have a lot of room to improve with our boat handling."  Surely most of the other challengers have similar lists and will look to improve for the start of the next round Saturday 6 November.  In Round Robin 2 a win will go up in value from 1 to 4 points.

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

The racing continues to be close.  Current standings show an advantage for the boats that have hewed to the north route.  The leader is Erwan Tabarly who is located at 25 degrees north latitude.  2nd is Lionel Lemonchois at 22 degrees north.  3rd is overall race leader Seb Magnen at 24 degrees north.  

As for southern boats Alex Bennett continues moving up and is at 20 degrees latitude.  Andrew Cape is 23rd at 21 degrees latitude.  Weather maps still show a high pressure system dipping below 30 degrees north meaning that the southern option still may pay.


Playstation= Code Yellow

Steve Fossett and his meteorological advisors have changed Playstation's readiness level to code yellow.  This means favorouable weather to break the Atlantic record is expected in 4 to 6 days.  The best window should occur from 2 to 4 November with Playsation departing as early as the morning of 2 November.  Should Playsation change to Code Green we should expect a departure within 48 hours.

Team Rudiger: Volvo Ocean Race

San Francisco sailor Mark Rudiger will head a two boat entry in the Volvo Ocean Race.  Rudiger earned his around the world credentials as navigator on the winning EF Language. 

Rudiger will be involved in all aspects of the campaign from navigation and tactics and co skippering the boat.  No official word on other team members.

Team Rudiger will look for sponsorship from global minded technology companies.  Testing and design will be early next year.  For more see the Team Rudiger Website