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7 March 2003, 10:43 am
More Gear Failure
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Spirit of Canada © Brian Hancock

Around Alone - Leg 4
Tauranga (NZL) - San Salvador (BRA),

Canadian skipper Derek Hatfield has informed the Race HQ that a problem had developed with the canting keel mechanism on board his Open 40 Spirit of Canada.

Derek required no assistance at the time and has since sent a full explanation of the events and options ahead of him:

"The outer seal of the ram has failed and allowed all fluid to escape from the system. I have locked the keel off on the centerline and am sailing normally under reduced sail area. The keel is an important part of the performance of the boat so as a result I will be sailing much slower than normal.

Currently, the Spirit of Canada Shore Manager is enroute to Toronto to pick up replacement parts and then will deliver them to Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands. I am currrently 200 miles from Cape Horn and once around, will head directly to Port Stanley to repair the ram, probably arriving there in about five days time. It will probably take a day or so to do the repair as the ram needs to be removed from the boat. Once repaired, I will depart for Salvador as soon as possible. This leg definitely has been troublesome for us but we are determined to finish the leg and continue in Leg Five, hopefully fully fit and a lot more competitive."

The Around Alone Race HQ are keeping a close watch on Derek's progress and Port Stanley will be readying itself to receive its third skipper into their harbour. Derek has already made one pit-stop of 13 hours to Napier, NZ, due to a faulty battery. We hope this latest set-back for this extremely competent and competitive skipper will not be too troublesome or delay him for too long.

Graham Dalton's Open 60 Hexagon has received a tow from the Argentinian Coast Guard. He is expected to arrive in Puerto Madryn, Argentina on Friday 7th March.

Good news from Port Stanley's second guest, Bruce Schwab, is that at 2140GMT on 5 March Ocean Planet had left the Falklands and was heading North again. Bruce Schwab reporting back to HQ said, "Howdy and ahoy from Ocean Planet! I am happy to say we are fixed up and on our way north to Brazil. We were towed out of the harbor yesterday and took off complete with a dolphin escort. However, I'm unhappy to say that we are beating our brains out in 35kt headwinds at the moment. Yuck! The wind should back tomorrow and giving us a tight reach and it will be much better, can't wait.

"Our unscheduled stopover in Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands was an amazing experience. The Islands themselves are starkly beautiful, but the real experience was the resourceful, fun, and friendly people there. Erich and I would have had a much tougher time if not for several folks giving us their time, tools, food, hot bathtubs, and lodging. A big thanks to all of my new friends there, it was hard to leave!

"Also a big thanks to Erich Chase of Chase Boats, who dropped several projects and valuable time with his new daughter to come help. Erich was a big part of the team when we launch Ocean Planet in the spring of 2001, and it was good to see him again." Fair winds Bruce!

Class 1 positions at 0600 GMT

Place Yacht DTF DTL
1 Solidaires 645
2 Bobst Group-Armor Lux 683.9 38.9
3 Tiscali 953.7 308.7
4 Pindar 1070.5 425.5
5 Hexagon 2263.7 1618.7
6 Ocean Planet 2306.6 1661.6

Class 2 positions at 0600 GMT

Place Yacht DTF DTL
1 Tommy Hilfiger Freedom America 1252.7
2 Everest Horizontal 2183.2 930.5
3 Spirit of yukoh 2320.9 1068.1
4 BTC Velocity 2886.7 1633.9
5 Spirit of Canada 3005.3 1752.6
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