Leg 3 of the Around Alone started on Saturday from Cape Town in light winds

Leg 3 of the Around Alone started on Saturday from Cape Town in light winds. An interesting scenario is opening up already with Thierry Dubois on Solidaires and Simone Bianchetti on Tiscali maintaining good boatspeed having headed further east. Bernard Stamm on Bobst Group/Armor Lux, Graham Dalton on Hexagon, Emma Richards on Pindar and Bruce Schwab on Ocean Planet have gone for a more southerly route but have hit a weaker breeze.

A small area of high pressure lies directly in their path to New Zealand and so the French and Italian skippers are riding over the system, whereas the others are hoping to catch a westerly flowing low pressure system and then power on downwind.

Current overall leader Stamm is wary of the fact that Dubois and Bianchetti both have Southern Ocean experience where he does not: “They are going well, in more wind than me and they must have seen something that I haven’t, and I can’t let them get away! Graham is also well placed to my east and he’s a danger now, he’s much more motivated after two disappointing legs and he’s sailing to his home port of Tauranga – this time the competition in the class will be closer than ever.”

In Class 2, Canadian skipper John Dennis on Bayer Ascensia, currently positioned in the lead of Class 2 due to his more easterly position in relation to the others, has made a short stop at the small port of Struisbaai yesterday afternoon to fix his satellite communications. Dennis is not prepared to sail across one of the most hostile regions in the world and chance being out of contact. The other Canadian skipper Derek Hatfield is performing exceptionally well in his Open 40 Spirit of Canada. Not only did he win the start but he is still up amongst the giant Open 60s, ahead even of Bruce Schwab in Ocean Planet.

Brad van Liew, skipper of Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America, has been gaining miles on the four boats ahead of him in Class 2 after starting 1hr 45 minutes late due to mainsail problems. “This is encouraging because I was feeling pretty down and out after my belated departure. It never feels good to be miles behind the competition with thousands of miles to go!”

Less than 24 hours after the rest of the Around Alone fleet set sail for New Zealand, Tim Kent left the docks in Cape Town a little before 10am local time and headed out to the start area. Kent had remained behind to finish some rigging work on the boat, and to do a final calibration on his autopilots, but this morning with a clear sky above he finally set off on Leg 3. “It feels great to be off,” Tim said as he raised his new mainsail and pointed the bow of his boat out to sea. “I have some fantastic new sails on board and now we will really be able to see how Everest Horizontal can perform.”

Positions at 0600GMT 16 December

Class 1

Boat Time Lat Lon AvgBsp AvgHeading DTF

1. Solidaires 36 59.550 S 22 40.360 E 9.37 kt 144 °T 6956.21 nm

2. Bobst Group / Armor Lux 38 55.520 S 19 47.300 E 10.85 kt 161 °T 7015.35 nm

3. Pindar 37 18.780 S 20 34.200 E 10.27 kt 122 °T 7032.19 nm

4. Tiscali 36 17.480 S 21 19.430 E 7.50 kt 126 °T 7033.56 nm

5. Hexagon 37 36.070 S 19 36.100 E 10.61 kt 140 °T 7062.82 nm

6. Ocean Planet 37 06.050 S 19 51.410 E 10.57 kt 111 °T 7067.93 nm

Class 2

Boat Time Lat Lon AvgBsp AvgHeading DTF

1. Spirit of Canada 36 51.180 S 19 43.380 E 5.88 kt 143 °T 7081.18 nm

2. Tommy Hilfiger 36 38.260 S 18 43.050 E 8.40 kt 144 °T 7129.06 nm

3. Bayer Ascensia 34 47.070 S 20 03.550 E 0.00 kt 0 °T 7134.63 nm

4. Spirit of yukoh 36 19.050 S 18 44.430 E 6.60 kt 130 °T 7138.35 nm

5. BTC Velocity 36 16.290 S 18 23.260 E 5.31 kt 129 °T 7154.24 nm

6. Everest Horizontal 34 27.420 S 18 39.600 E 2.91 kt 116 °T 7202.88 nm

Overall Points, Around Alone 2002-03

Class 1

Boat Name Total points Position overall

Bobst Group – Armor Lux 20, 1

Solidaires 18, 2

Pindar 15, 3

Hexagon 11, 4

Ocean Planet 11, 4

Tiscali 11, 4

Garnier 8, 7

Class 2

Boat Name Total points Position overall

Tommy Hilfiger

Freedom America 20, 1

Everest Horizontal 17, 2

Spirit of Canada 17, 2

Spirit of yukoh 13, 4

Bayer Ascencia 13, 4

BTC Velocity 10, 5