Skipper Paul Cayard and Crew, On EF Language, Win Leg 3 of the Whitbread Round-The-World Race, Regain First Place Overall with 35-Point Lead
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA DECEMBER 22, 1997 Paul Cayard, the American skipper of EF Language and his crew scored another victory in the prestigious Whitbread Round-the-World Race. The 2,250-mile Leg 3 from Fremantle to Sydney, Australia was tightly contested with the first six boats finishing within 25 minutes of each other.
EF Language finished the race in first place after 9 days, 9 hours and 9 minutes, crossing the line at 0139 local time. Swedish Match finished second, and Chessie Racing, with AmericaOne sailing team member John Kostecki sailing the leg as tactician came in third, six minutes behind EF Language.
Cayard, one of the world's best match-racing skippers, was in his element on this leg, as he put EF Language out in front at the race start off Fremantle. The lead changed several times during the leg, as a high pressure system split the fleet into two groups, one sailing north, and the other south.
The weather was a key factor on this leg, with changing forecasts testing most navigators’ patience. The standings continued to fluctuate and by Day 7 Cayard accurately predicted, "Looks like it will be one hell of a race from here to the barn.” A hundred miles out of Sydney, EF Language pulled into first place again and continued to stretch their lead to the finish.
Although it is a European entry, EF Language has six Americans on board, the most of any Whitbread team. In addition to Cayard are Mark Rudiger of Sausalito, Calif., Kimo Worthington of Walnut Creek, Calif., Josh Belsky of Rye, New York, Steve Erickson of Seattle, Washington, and Curt Oetking of Corpus Christi, Texas.
The Leg 3 win (worth 105 points) brought the team's total points to 302, placing them back in 1st place overall. They are ahead of Innovation Kvaerner, which is in 2nd place overall with 267 points. Leg 4 1,270 miles from Sydney to Auckland, NZ begins on January 4, 1998.
AmericaOne is the St. Francis Yacht Clubs challenger for the 2000 America’s Cup. Cayard is both skipper and CEO of AmericaOne.
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