Cayard and Crew of EF Language Arrive In U.S. in 1st Place Overall of Whitbread Round the World Race; Finish 2nd in Tight Racing of Leg 6
FT. LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA March 29, 1998 The 4,750 mile Leg 6, from São Sebastião, Brazil, to Ft. Lauderdale, was one of the fastest and closely contested of the Whitbread Round the World Race legs to date. And none fought harder than Paul Cayard and the crew of EF Language. The American skipper and his crew crossed the finish at 10:13AM local time taking a 2nd place for Leg 6 and maintaining 1st place overall in the race.
After winning the start in São Sebastião, during the first night at sea EF Language was hit by a 37 knot puff, and coupled with a steep wave, they buried the bow three feet under water, rounded up and lost several sails over the side. They quickly recovered, and retreived all of the sails, but found themselves in an unfamiliar position at the back of the pack. But in what has become typical EF Language fashion, they fought their way back against the competition.
From then on Cayard and navigator Mark Rudiger, did a demanding and efficient job of sailing through the weather systems they encountered frequent thunderstorms and line squalls and postioned themselves well through the Doldrums (a windless area around the Equator); the EF Language crew was kept extremely busy with the constant sail changes required. By Day 10, EF Language had steadily worked their way into the lead.
As Cayard commented, "we are in a zone of constant thunder squalls, which can sometimes be spotted on the radar when well developed. They are to be avoided at all costs. Getting caught in one means losing about 10 miles on the fleet...on the average we deal with about 10 of these a day."
With air and water temperatures in the 80s, the hot and humid conditions on board the race boats made life uncomfortable for all of the crews, many developing severe skin rashes. But fortunately the breeze was consistently stronger than usual and made for a faster than average speed for the leg, with the fleet arriving in Florida four days earlier than expected.
EF Language's finishes to date for Legs 1–6 have been: 1,5,1,4,1,2. Its 2nd-place, Leg 6 finish, worth 101 points, brings the team’s' total to 608 points providing a substantial lead in the fleet of nine boats. [View Whitbread Scoreboard] The EF crew is ahead of Swedish Match, who stands 2nd overall, by 115 points. Leg 7 870 nautical miles from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to Baltimore, Maryland will begin on April 19th.
While the multi-talented Cayard continues to prove his skills in the offshore sailing arena, he is concurrently fielding a San Francisco-based America's Cup challenge, AmericaOne. This syndicate is the St. Francis Yacht Club's challenger for the 2000 America's Cup. Cayard is both skipper and CEO of AmericaOne. John Kostecki, AmericaOne tactician, is also competing in the Whitbread Race as co-helmsman/tactician on Chessie Racing, which is in 4th place overall, pending Leg 6 finishes.
[Whitbread Leg 6 Photos]
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