Friday, March 6, 2009
Rich Wilson is sailing downwind for Les Sable D'Olonne, France, about to complete the solo, non-stop circumnavigation in 118 days. The 59 year old American, aboard Great American III has not had an easy go of it, but he is on the verge of finishing in 9th position with two boats behind him. 19 starters retired. Vincent Riou was given redress for the damage he suffered in rescuing Jean Le Cam, whose boat capsized and turtled when the ballast bulb was lost. Here's the link to the Vendee Globe
Pity Telefonica Blue and its crew. What can you say when you're 6,000 miles from port with 6,000 miles to go and the forestay fitting snaps in two?
A jury rig with halyards will keep the mast up so long as the wind is at your back. But you're crippled upwind. And half-way between you and Rio is Cape Horn. Port William in Chile is one possiblity - but that's 3,000 miles. Heading west to New Zealand for repairs is another - but that's upwind - and the winds are light in that direction.
Other than that all is copacetic in the fleet with only 96 nm separating 1st from 5th place 3 weeks out of Qingdao, as they head east to the two ice gates - mid-Pacific points above which the boats must pass to stay clear of the iceberg zone. And points are gained for your position at each gate.
Here's the Race Data Centre. Check the 2D viewer when you get there.
My comments on the landmark preemption decision of the United States Supreme Court in Wyeth v. Levine have been moved to my new blog - Otherwise, Commentaries on Law, Language & Politics