Volume I, Number 4
 

CONTENTS | COVER STORY | AT THE HELM | MANAGEMENT | SAIL TEAM | DESIGN PROGRAM
WHITBREAD | FOUNDERS' CLUB | PROFILE | CUP NEWS | CALENDAR | WEB SIGHTINGS

Cover Story
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Cayard, EFL Win Leg 1
of Whitbread Race

Whitbread start Skipper Paul Cayard led EF Language to a first-place finish in the 7,350-mile Leg 1 of the Whitbread Round the World Race for the Volvo Trophy, taking the early lead in the nine-leg, 32,000-mile ocean marathon. The race began Sept. 21 at Cowes, England, and Leg 1 finished at Cape Town, South Africa. Leg 2, Cape Town to Fremantle, Australia, began Nov. 8. The race will finish at Southampton, England, in late May, 1998.
British yachting journalist Bob Fisher set the scene at the start: "The spectator boats had cut the green water with broad swathes of white and the 20-knot southeasterly breeze was strong enough to whip up a few white caps. With masthead asymmetric spinnakers set, the boats were topping 15 to 16 knots at times.

"It was not surprising that at the island end of the line were two of the world's best short-course racing skippers, Paul Cayard in EF Language and Chris Dickson with Toshiba. Cayard just beat Dickson to the punch and led away, the most windward of all the boats. The 300-square-meter yellow spinnaker of EF Language was filling as she crossed the line. A smile broke out on Cayard's face for the first time in a week."

The 12-man EF Language crew spent a grueling 29 days at sea, at times pummeled mercilessly by huge waves that swept the deck of the 65-foot boat. "I'd say we have four trucks, a hook and ladder, three choppers, and one Hughes seaplane pumping water at us," Cayard wrote in his Oct. 18 daily report. However, the "fire hose" treatment was not all bad news. It also meant the Swedish boat was rocketing along, at times reaching speeds of 30-plus knots.

EF Language led the race for four of the first five days before bowing to Norway's Innovation Kvaerner for the ensuing two weeks. Cayard regained the lead on Day 21, widening the gap over the second-place boat to 160 miles at the finish.

Cayard and crew crossed the line at Cape Town at 0730 local time, Oct. 21. After a month of freeze-dried provisions, Cayard said he was looking forward to a three-egg omelet and a pound of bacon once he was ashore.

full story


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