Paul Cayard and EF Language Battle Neck and Neck Up the Chesapeake Bay Taking 3rd Place, 30 Seconds Behind Second Place Boat; Remains 1st Overall in Whitbread Round the World Race
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND APRIL 22, 1998 After racing for over 800 miles from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to Baltimore, Maryland, Paul Cayard and the crew on EF Language came in 3rd place in Leg 7 of the prestigious Whitbread Round the World Race only 30 seconds behind 2nd place finisher. In one of the Race's shorter legs, almost a jaunt by Whitbread standards, the racing was tightly contested with frequent position changes during the three days. Cayard remarks, "This was a risky leg and a lot of things could have happened, but I am pleased we escaped unscathed. And with our closest rival still 104 points behind it was a good way to end the leg."
The nine-boat fleet crossed the start line at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday and by night they were in the Gulf Stream, which provided a 3-5 knot northerly "ride" up the East coast. However, once a passing low pressure system brought in 20+knot northeasterly winds, the opposing wind and current produced short, steep seas and the crews and boats had to endure an uncomfortable and rough upwind ride. Navigator Mark Rudiger commented, "The boats and crew are taking as much or more pounding right now then any part of the race so far.... It seems like I have been in the air more than on my bunk when trying to sleep. In spite of all its' other hazards, the Chesapeake will be welcome after this."
Paul Cayard, skipper of EF Language elected to protect their 115 point overall race lead from the start by staying close to Swedish Match, the 2nd place boat overall. In doing so, Brunel Sunergy, the Leg 7 winner, was able to take a gamble and sail east, a move that paid off and put Brunel Synergy in the lead late on the first night a lead she never relinquished. EF Language and Swedish Match stayed within several miles of each other the entire race, switching leads several times. Upon entering the Chesapeake Bay early this morning, EF Language passed Swedish Match and led most of the day until she was overtaken several hours before the finish. A crowd of 2,000 people and several hundred spectator boats enjoyed the finish at historic Fort McHenry, on Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
EF Language's finishes for Legs 1 - 7 have been: 1,5,1,4,1,2,3. Their 3rd place Leg 7 finish, worth 81 points, brings the teams' total to 689 points maintaining a substantial lead over the fleet. They are ahead of the 2nd place boat by 104 points. Leg 8 3,390 nautical miles from Annapolis, Maryland, to La Rochelle, France will begin on May 3rd.
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; the boat finished in 7th place on Leg 7 and is in 5th place overall.
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