Skipper Paul Cayard and EF Language Finish 4th in Leg 4, Remain 1st Overall; AmericaOne’s Tactician Kostecki Finishes 3rd on Chessie Racing
AUCKLAND, New Zealand January 9, 1998 In yet another of the closest races in Whitbread Round-the-World Race history, the top four boats finished within 24 minutes of each other. Skipper Paul Cayard on EF Language chased AmericaOne teammate John Kostecki, onboard Chessie Racing, to a close finish in Auckland harbor. Chessie Racing crossed the line at 13:58 local Auckland time to take third place, with EF Language following, 11-1/2 minutes behind in fourth. EF Language completed the 1,270 mile Leg 4 in just under five days at sea. The team remains in 1st place overall with a total of 372 points, a substantial lead over Merit Cup, who is in 2nd place overall with 333 points.
Cayard and the crew on EF Language were first over the starting line in Sydney on January 4th and led the nine-boat fleet for the first day and night. Thereafter the fleet spread out and at one point were separated by 50 miles.
As Cayard said shortly after the start, “I think this leg will be won and lost in the last 150 miles coming down the east coast of New Zealand.” Indeed, once the lead boat rounded the most northern point of New Zealand, the fleet compressed and the front four boats were only a few miles from each other after racing for 1,000 miles. Like the last leg, this shorter distance lent itself to extremely competitive racing as the lead changed often, until finally Merit Cup was able to hang on to a close finish. A crowd of thousands lined the shores while hundreds of spectator boats greeted the Whitbread racers as they entered Auckland harbor.
Leg 5 6,670 nautical miles from Auckland, New Zealand to San Sebastiao, Brazil begins on February 1st. Due to prior commitments, Kostecki will not be sailing onboard Chessie Racing on Leg 5, but will return for Leg 8.
AmericaOne is the St. Francis Yacht Club’s challenger for the 2000 America’s Cup. Paul Cayard is both skipper and CEO of AmericaOne; John Kostecki is the tactician.
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