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  • A Call to AntarcticaOn March 10, 2009 at 13:43:19 French time, Skipper Rich Wilson and Great American III crossed the finish line at Les Sables d'Olonne. Race time: 121 days, 41 minutes and 19 seconds
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Ship Log Archive: March, 2009

  • Mar
    10

    The Finish!

    At 13:43:19 French local time, Skipper Rich Wilson and Great American III crossed the finish line at Les Sables d'Olonne. Total race time: 121 days,

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  • Mar
    10

    Day 121 - Hours away

    As of 10:00 French time, Skipper Rich Wilson and Great American III are approximately 32 miles from the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne. The skipper is currently estimated to cross the finish line be between 13:00 and 14:00 French time.

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  • Mar
    09

    Day 120 - Nearing the finish line

    As of 18:50 GMT, March 9, Rich Wilson and Great American III are approximately 160 miles direct from the finish line at Les Sables d'Olonne. With the wind out of the west, his distance as he "zig zags" toward his target is slightly greater than that. His arrival time is expected to be in the early afternoon (French time) March 9.

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  • Mar
    07

    Day 118 - Tacking, mathematically speaking

    It should be understood by all viewers of the Vendee Globe website, that because positions are taken from the boats four times per day, the course shown on the map might bear little or no resemblance to the course actually sailed by the boat. I haven't seen the website in a while, but I would guess that the route that is shown for Great American III shows basically a straight line from the second high that I went around. That is not what has happened.

    Since the second high, we have sailed an absolutely symmetric zig-zag course toward the finish, because the wind at the top of this high pressure system, which is moving precisely exactly at the same speed as we are, is precisely west to east, thus we can only sail 40 degrees on either side of that, and thus not head straight for Les Sables d'Olonne.

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  • Mar
    06

    Day 117 - We're close, but not finished

    1635 UTC, 45/05 n  20/54 w, 11 knots @ 125T, solent, 2 reefs in the mainsail, approximately heading for Cape Finisterre. High pressure system is rotating on its axis and we should get a bit of a header to bring us closer to course, but it hasn't happened yet. Had a dicey gybe in the very early morning dark with two reefs in the mainsail. Too much wind to do that; should have gone to 3 reefs before gybing. When you get both backstays on, with the main trimmed hard in the middle, the pilot has a very hard task, and the boat rounded up and wouldn't steer off to do the gybe.

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  • Mar
    05

    Day 116 - Zig-zagging home

    Our downwind zigzag continues with the wind directly behind us on the route to France, so we must gybe back and forth, increasing the distance by nearly half to actually get there. Went to solent and two reefs in the main today, averaging 11 knots. May reduce sail through the night to be conservative. Got a bit of sleep this afternoon at the chart table, and trying to keep up the nutrition and fluid intake. Should have half moon light, although cloudy, for half of tonight. 

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  • Mar
    04

    Day 115 - Things are looking up

    1151 UTC, 46/37N  32/31W, 11.3kts, 115T, staysail, 3 reefs in main, wind 25 knots west. When we rounded the high and then gybed north, we ended up due north of the center of the high (where we are now), which then started to move east at nearly exactly our speed. To the east of us the wind is northwest, so 100 miles ahead of our position we would be on port gybe. Or if we were 100 miles behind where we are, the wind is southwest, putting us on starboard gybe.

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  • Mar
    03

    Day 114 - Strong winds coming!

     

    1052 UTC, 44/09n  37/15w, solent, 3 reefs, broad reaching, 040T @ 9.5 knots. Yesterday was difficult. No wind in the 1042 millibar (mb) high in the morning. Turned off pilot. Let boat drift in circles. Tried to sleep, couldn't. Then a bit of wind to let us sail and wrap around high, but still less than 5 knots of wind to push us into the afternoon and evening. Finally gybed in evening to go toward stronger winds away from high. 

    In the late morning the pilot alarm sounded.

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  • Mar
    01

    Day 112 - Weather situation, North Atlantic

    March 1, 2009 - We came across the equator into the northeast trade winds, which are the southeastern quadrant of a high pressure system sitting variously in the mid-Atlantic. All the boats ahead followed generally the same route to the NNW until getting to the high, to wrap around the clockwise-rotating high and get favorable winds from behind to sail toward France. 

    Most of the boats turned to the east in more-or-less the same place, Roxy being earlier, and Safran having to go further north to wrap around.

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