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Whitbread Press Conference — Feb. 25, 1998
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Skipper Paul Cayard Speaks With the Press After Winning Leg 5

leg 5 finish This is a compilation of questions from journalists and Paul Cayard's responses. It is broken into the following categories:

  • Top
  • Race - Leg 5
  • Looking Ahead
  • Life Aboard
  • AmericaOne
  • Race Summary

    The leg was quite satisfying, mostly because it was the second opportunity in the Southern Ocean. One of the overriding questions before we started the Whitbread was whether or not we could learn to sail the boat in the very extreme conditions of this race. There really are only are two legs that have those conditions — Leg 2 and Leg 5 — and having failed on 2, this was our last shot, at least in these four years, to show the we could learn how to handle the boat in the Southern Ocean.

    So, really, the 140-mile lead we had at Cape Horn, to me, was the biggest part of leg, and certainly the most satisfying part. In a way, I regret that we got such a huge separation at the end, because it took away some of the focus from the good job that the team had done in the Southern Ocean. It became almost a bit of a farce, just becaue of the meteorological situation after the Horn.

    It was a very satisfying experience; it was an incredible experience. There were some nights down there in the Southern Ocean that I will never forget. So, on a personal level, it's fulfilling the secondary advantage of doing a race like this, which is a personal achievement story.

    Now, we're in pretty good stead. We have a bit of a lead, and no matter how this [leg] works out, we're going to have close to a 100-point lead, and we have four legs left. More than the lead, what's quite valuable to us is the fact that the boat seems to be a good all-round boat. And the crew is amalgimating really well and getting along well, so we have some strength going into the remaining four legs.

    Q. After all the hype about Leg 5, was it the toughest leg for you?

    A. For us, it wasn't as tough as Leg 2, but that's just because we got our act together. I think if you ask Chessie Racing how it was out there, I think they might say it was wild and crazy. I know that Grant Dalton [skipper of Merit Cup] wrote in an e-mail that he thought it was borderline and he ordered the crew to take the spinnaker down one day when they were sailing alongside Chessie and Chessie was flying out of the water. We had all those conditions and we felt this time we that we were under control.

    It really is incredible how important it is to get into the rhythm, to not break the gear, and have the crew operating at full strength. If you start breaking gear, and taking guys out of the watch system, you really burn the remaining guys on the watch, and you start burning the skipper and navigator more, because they have to spend more time on deck to cover and this snowball of fatigue starts rolling on you, and then you just make more mistakes, and the more mistakes you make the prone you are to make more mistakes, and it's a vicious circle that we got caught up in on Leg 2. We didn't at all have that problem on this leg, so it seemed like smooth sailing.

    Q. Were the conditions as difficult as the Leg 2 conditions?

    A. It wasn't as cold. On Leg 2, we had snow for three days and we had a water temperature of 3°C. This leg, the coldest the water got was 48°F., so it was a little warmer; we only had snow once. But we had 45 knots of wind several times, 48 knots peak. We never saw that much wind on Leg 2.

    Q. What about your weather routing, did you follow the same plan as before? It seemed as though you took something like a flyer there at the beginning, when you decided to hit a little bit more south, southwest, avoiding the east.

    A. Early on, the issue was to deal with the high-pressure system that was centered just east of the Chatham Islands. We were kind of slow in the beginning; Silk Cut and Chessie kind of sailed away from us. I don't know if we brought too much food or too much diesel; I don't know what the story was. But we weren't going very fast, and they got three or four miles ahead, maybe Chessie was 20 miles ahead, and those guys tried to cut the corner on the high-pressure system by heading a little more southeast.

    [Navigator] Mark Rudiger did a good job there, saying we needed to stay away from the center of the high. We were going quite a bit off course, because the great circle course was something like 110 [degrees] and we were sailing, at times, at 180. But in the end, there were a few a days there when we made the big catch-up, and we caught up to the leaders.

    It might look like a flyer, but it was all relative to the proximity to the high. We did it on the first leg, too. We just stayed pretty far away from the center of the high. This time we did it about right. On Leg 1, we stayed too far away from the Azores High, and Merit Cup and Innovation Kvaerner got away from us there.

    Q. Could you describe the rounding of Cape Horn? We've heard so much about how terrible the conditions can be there.

    A. Actually, rounding Cape Horn itself wasn't very difficult or extreme. The day we went by, it was blowing about 20 knots, which is pretty mild. It was downwind with the spinnaker up. It was quite a nice morning; it was 6 a.m. local time when we went by.

    So, it was more of an emotional moment, or a psychological moment, that the Southern Ocean part of the race was over. And it was an intermediary finish line, you might say, being that the Southern Ocean leg was such a big challenge for us.

    We took note of the lead we had there and taked about things in general. Some of the guys remembered that many people have lost their lives going around that piece of rock. Then, we pretty much got focused on the remaining 2,000 miles, certainly not knowing what was to be our good fortune quite soon thereafter. [We] kind of refocused ourselves, said, "OK, that part's behind us, now we have to get this thing to the finish line."

    So, like I said, it wasn't a huge tempest or storm when we went by, but it was certainly a significant moment in the whole race and in Leg 5.

    Q. What is the difference in the crew from the first time you were in the Southern Ocean to the second time? How did they change?

    A. Physically, we had one guy different. On the second leg, we took a journalist with us, who was a pretty experienced sailor, but he wasn't a helmsman. On this leg we had Curt Oetking back. Curt is from Texas, and a long-time buddy of mine from the America's Cup in '83. He's a great helmsman, so we were stronger, physically, as a team because we had Curt and his abilities at the helm.

    Psychologically, after the first big blow that we got, the crew realized that this was going to be a different leg than Leg 2. We were proactive in getting sail area off the boat before the big breeze would hit us, whereas in Leg 2 we were reactive, always scaling down once the breeze had hit us.

    It's really hard to send people forward to the foredeck to get the sail down and set another one when it's blowing very hard. It's much better to do that ahead of time and be all set when the breeze hits you. We had talked about this a lot. We had a good hard look at ourselves in the mirror after Leg 2. We had a crew meeting in Fremantle that wasn't pleasant, but I felt it necessary to really bring out what the weaknesses were, and what the mistakes were, and everybody thought about that quite a bit.

    We had a good crew meeting in New Zealand a couple nights before leaving on this leg. We talked about our strategy, and what we were going to do, and we started to execute that early on. I think we really had a lot of confidence, as those 10 days went — there were 10 days that were really windy and rough.

    So, it's a confidence game. At the end of the day, we found it qutie normal to be sailing downwind in 35 knots of wind with the storm chute up and the reefed main, and the boat trucking along at 25 knots with 10-foot waves shooting up on either side of the bow. It just became normal.

    Q. In general terms, do you think the harder portion of the race is finished?

    A. Certainly, the Southern Ocean is the big challenge and it's what sets an around-the-world race apart from any other type of sailing that a large part of the population does, whether it's a Transpac [to Hawa|] or a Bermuda race, or even a transatlantic race. The Southern Ocean is a very unique piece of water and it can be an unmanageable beast down there. Learning how to handle your boat in those conditions is a little trick in and of itself.

    Probably Leg 8, which is the transatlantic, second-to-last leg, will be the other challenging leg. You certainly can get some big breezes there going across the North Atlantic, but the systems are different up in the North Atlantic. Typically, you'll get a big breeze for 24 hours or 36 hours, but you don't get the continuous strong winds that you get in the Southern Ocean. Basically, we had it for eight days straight when we were down there.

    Q. Is there ever a stage of this race where you feel really comfortable?

    A. I think that is probably in Southampton [where the race finishes].

    Q. You mentioned the two nights in the Southern Ocean that you won't forget in a long time. Can you expand on that a little bit? What were the circumstances?

    A. One was the night that we saw an iceberg, about four in the afternoon, coming out of the fog. Most of the Southern Ocean sailing is in very dense fog like you get off Newport, Rhode Island, or that you can get in San Francisco. So, we were sailing along, you don't see much on the radar, if anything, and we couldn't see anything visually, and all of a sudden, about a couple of hundred meters to leeward, we saw a pretty big chunk of ice come out of the fog. That was a little bit intimidating. Then, about two hours later, we got a report on our Sat C that Lawrie Smith [skipper of Silk Cut] had hit an ice cube, and that kind of scary, and then his rig fell down.

    All this happened in the last few hours of the afternoon, and that night I was pretty concerned. I realized we were entering the ice zone, and all that we had talked about, and everything you hear about, and you watch the nice video tapes in your office and you see the beautiful icebergs. Well, that was all different now that we were riding along in our carbon-fiber shoe box at 25 knots, flopping down the waves with a radar that really was non-existant, and thick fog and pitch-black dark. It was a scary thought.

    I remember talking about it a bit with Curt. I said, "what do we do, put the jib on and take the spinnaker down, and turn left, head north?" He said, "well, we knew that there could be ice down here, and we all came down here to race, so we just have to take our chances."

    So, when you're right there, right in it, it's a pretty intimidating proposition. When you start thinking about how you have a nice wife and kids, and everything's nice in Kentfield [Cayard's home town], and the fireplace is going, and you wonder a little bit, is it really worth risking all that for a sailboat race? But the bottom line really is that that becomes one of the major attractions of the experience. It the reason why you will never forget the race.

    The second night that was really incredible was later on, probably two nights later. We had a perfectly clear sky. It was blowing about 35 knots, it was the night of the full moon, and the boat was blasting along about 25 knots. What was striking about it was that Curt and I were sitting on the back . . . . One thing we learned to do differently between Leg 2 and Leg 5 is we stacked all the weight in the boat aft. So, we had all the sails in the back, on deck, and we basically made like a giant sofa back there. The trimmers would even sit back there.

    I was holding the mainsheet and Curt was trimming the spinnaker, and we were all behind the helmsman. I was just chatting away with Curt about the 1983 America's Cup and when we were roommates, and just telling each other stories. It was a beaut full moon, and the ocean was lit up like Candlestick Park for a Monday football game. What I realized was that right then we were living the good ol' days. That was a moment that, when we are 60, we will think back and call it the good ol' days. Things don't get better than that.

    It was awesome, and it was also amazing how in control we were. We were able to sit there and chew the fat in the same conditions that in Leg 2 we were having a horror show. We were sitting back there chewing on a PowerBar and talking about the Candy Store in Newport.

    Q. When you've talked lately about why you;ve done well, you often talk about management and meeting, whereas the other teams don't necessarily have meetings as much as just talk amongst themselves. Is your style quite different from that of the other teams?

    A. I haven't participated in their teams that much, but my sense that there's a good possibility that our approach to the race is different. The race is going through quite an evolution that started last time with Chris Dickson and his approach. He has similar background to me, which is the dinghy racing and the developing of the boats and of sails, and pushing really hard there, pushing the boat really hard 24 hours a day, and I see maybe we're organized and working on the land also in a different way than the other teams.

    I would expect the race to evolve that way. I would expect that some people are going to get organized here in the next year or so and spend two or three years training for the next Whitbread. I certainly see a lot of potential speed available if soneone had a well-organized and well-funded program to be able to start soon.

    Q. It's interesting, because you're sort of paralleling what Dennis Conner did in the America's Cup 15 years ago, are you not?. (Note: This is a follow-up to the previous question.)

    A. Yes, it's similar. That's the evolution . . . I would say that's a similar parallel.

    Q. I have two questions about Chessie Racing. What was your take on them at the start, and what is your take on them now? The second question is, what's your opinion of the comments that have been coming from Toshiba, and particularly Grant Dalton [skipper of Merit Cup], regarding the stop that Chessie made?

    A. My opinion about Chessie is that Chessie is quite possibly the fastest boat out here. I see that every once in awhile when they're riding well on four wheels and everything is under control and they're going well. They're really quite fast, and my suspicion is they might be the fastest hull out there. Not that it's a huge difference than ourselves, but they are quick.

    I think the reasons for their up-and-down finishes is more managerial and leadership oriented. Just not having enough continuity in the skipper role, I think, has been one of their problems. In the future, I know [AmericaOne tactician] John Kostecki is going to sail with them. I think they're going to be a strong player in the second half.

    As far as what they did, as far as I can tell, it's allowed and perfectly legal in the rules to stop within one mile of the coast line and get outside assistance. Whether or not philosophically that should be allowed, that's a whole subject of discussion, and probably will get discussed a lot after the race is finished. But the rules as they are now allow for that, and they took advantage of that, just like Innovation Kvaerner did on Leg 3. I can't see anything wrong with that.

    As far as e-mails go, I haven't read any of them, but I have heard about them, and I've heard there's been a lot of rhetoric from the public. I'm sure [Toshiba and Merit Cup] are very frustrated. It's obvious that Toshiba and Merit Cup did a much better job than Chessie and BrunelSunergy in the Southern Ocean, which, as sailors, we kind of see as the focus of this leg. It's misleading, because from Cape Horn to up here is a long, long way. It's 2,000 miles. It's actually 2,000 miles of the trickiest meteorological conditions you can get.

    It's complicated, but there's a big high-pressure system off Chile that every once in a while lets a bubble go. The bubble slides east into the area between the Horn and the Falkland Islands, and sits there for awhile, and then it starts migrating north. If the timing for all that is bad for you, it can be really bad. And that's what happened to [Toshiba and Merit Cup].

    So, they're frustrated, and in that case, the e-mails that we do can be dangerous. You have to be careful not to bare all your emotions, certainly things you might regret having said when you get back to land and put it all into perspective.

    The following is a brief interchange between Carol Pogash, of the official Whitbread Web site, and Paul Cayard:

    Carol Pogash: Grant Dalton, in particular . . . he's never used the word "cheat," but he's said some pretty harsh things, and made a lot of very snide comments about, well, "we should have just pretended we had a problem and pulled in."

    Paul Cayard: What was the advantage of pulling in?

    Carol Pogash: The advantage, I guess, was that Chessie got see the other boats sailing into a hole, and when they finished their stop, they took the other route.

    Paul Cayard: How long was Chessie stopped?

    Carol Pogash: 55 minutes.

    Paul Cayard: 55 minutes is not what made the difference for them being able to see the other guys in the hole or not. It was the the fact that they were 300 miles behind in the Southern Ocean and [Toshiba and Merit Cup] were two days ahead of them and parked in the hole. And when [Chessie] came along two days later, they could see away around the hole with the wind stronger out to the east. So, it's because they stopped that Chessie could benefit from [Toshiba and Merit Cup] falling in a hole.

    What I would say is Chessie being allowed to stop allowed them to resume racing in a proper way, because they were able to fix their generator, and make water, and eat, and do all those things that would have, obviously, slowed them down had they not been able to stop.

    Carol Pogash: He was also complaining that BrunelSunergy was getting in the way of the serious players.

    Paul Cayard: I'm glad I didn't say that.

    Q. What about the boat? Has it gone through anything beyond just normal wear and tear? How has it been holding up?

    A. The boat seems to be holding up very well. We are doing a thorough check of it now. The rig came down yesterday and the boat just got hauled out a couple hours ago. We're doing a very thorough check of the laminate to make sure that the core is still well bonded to the skins.

    The boats take an incredible beating, even downwind. They basically leap off the waves and land in the trough in front, and the pounding and shaking and vibrating is unbelieveable. The [Whitbread design] rule is pretty well written, because these things seem to be taking the beating quite well. So far we haven't found anything.

    We'd like to change our rig in Ft. Lauderdale, because we think these rigs are getting quite a bit of stress — more than anybody thought prior to the race, more than the engineers of the mast thought. A few of our competitors have changed rigs now, so we feel we should take the same precautions.

    We have a few new sails. We actually have quite a few sail cards left, so we're reloading on the sail inventory here. I think we are in good shape. We need to take all the precautions we can at this point with our position.

    Q. How's the crew doing? Are they holding up as well as the boat?

    A. The crew is doing well. We have our little nicks, cuts and bruises here and there. I try not to write too much about it, because I know it upsets the families. We had one guy — Josh Belsky from Connecticut — who pierced his leg, and we had to put nine staples in him one night. It was a bit gory. It was a big chunk of flesh hanging wide open. It was not pleasant to look at, and we had to keep him down below for about four days.

    Another guy was up the rig in the middle of the night stropping off the spinnaker, and everything was fine, and he was just on his way down, and we bellied — we went launching off a wave and the boat slammed down on the wave in front of it, and his face got slammed into the mast and he lost a tooth. So, there are little nicks and bruises like that, but nothing major.

    Q.For the past two decades, Dennis Conner has been the most visible and most well-known skipper in the United States. With your success in the Whitbread, and as Conner's helmsman in the '95 Cup, do you feel that you and other skippers may be getting a more equitable share of attention?

    A. I don't know. I'll have to wait and see the USA Today article. You can decide that.

  • Top
  • Race - Leg 5
  • Looking Ahead
  • Life Aboard
  • AmericaOne
  • The Race Ahead

    Q. Can you talk about the next leg, some of the challenges you'll face?

    A. The heat is incredible here, especially when you're inside the boat. The last few days were very uncomfortable, partly, I guess, because we came from a cold climate, so our bodies were trying to get used to the humidity.

    It's very hot inside the boat; it's impossible to sleep during the day. Personally, I'm a little concerned, I'm stretched a little thin. I'll be going home tomorrow, and I won't be getting back here until the Tuesday before the start, because I'm working on my America's Cup. You need to climatize yourself when you're in conditions this extreme.

    So, I'm concerned that I'll be a little out of whack at the start next time. One of the challenges is staying hydrated, so that your brain works, and you can make the decisions you have to make.

    Getting up around the East Coast here shouldn't be as tricky as between the Horn and here. We're dealing more with the western edges of the Atlantic High, which is a pretty nice easterly, southeasterly breeze up ‘til about the Equator.

    About 4 degrees north latitude is when you run into the Doldrums again. The Doldrums this far west are generally not horribly difficult, but there will be a lot of squall activity, and you have to which out for not getting parked under a squall. Sometimes you have to take very drastic deviation courses. You can't be afraid to go way off course to go around a cloud.

    Up through the Caribbean and into Ft. Lauderdale it's a lot of reaching, and then dead running. I expect a boat like Merit Cup to do quite well on that leg.

    Q. The next leg coming up to Ft. Lauderdale is your last long leg. Will your strategy be different, more conservative maybe, now that you have a commanding lead?

    A. The short answer is that we're going to be prudent, and there may be times when we reduce sail a little sooner than we might otherwise have. But the other side of the coin is that this is not just a sailing strategy, but you can see it in football teams, or any other team, that we now we have a machine that's used to operating in a certain way, and in a way used to winning, and you have to be careful not to get too conservative. You just have to go about business as usual, and keep your confidence and keep your strength, and there probably will be select moments when I will have to make a decision about maybe being a little conservative, but I don't want to tone down the whole program.

    Q. What are your thoughts on getting up Chesapeake Bay?

    A. I'm pretty concerned about that. Actually, there are two things I'm focusing on. One is getting up and down that bay, and the other is the last leg to the finish — the west coast of France and the Solent. Both of those places represent some really tricky sailing with the currents.

    I have a little plan for doing some recon in Annapolis during the Ft. Lauderdale stopover, so that myself and [Mark] Rudiger and Stevie [Erickson] can get educated on what's going on up there. That's going to be a real tricky bit of sailing, and we need to take it real seriously. There are a lot of points that can be won or lost on Legs 7 and 8 dealing with the Chesapeake.

    Q. You mentioned that your team is aware of its strengths going into the final four legs. I was wondering if you could take a minute to point out some of those strengths.

    A. One, we learned how to handle the boat in a big breeze. We've learned a lot about sailing the Whitbread 60 now. I think our sail inventory is probably second to none here. The boat design seems to be a good all-round design. The extreme boats in the fleet are Swedish Match and Merit Cup, Swedish Match being the heavy-air king — at least upwind — and then Merit being a good light-air, downwind boat. We're closer to Swedish Match, but not that extreme.

    Our boat might quite possibly be the best-built boat. Richard Gillis and Tim Smythe did an awesome job. What that gives us is a stiff boat, and maybe the heaviest [keel] bulb, which is free righting moment. So, between the crew, the sails, the boat, and our own confidence, I think those characteristics are the ones that have won us three out of five legs. But more importantly, they are characteristics that we have going forward. And even if it was an even race right now, I would think our chances are good because of the tangible assets that we have — more than the lead that we have in points.

    Q. How about on the upcoming short legs. Do you see EF Language as having some strengths or advantages?

    A. Typically, you'd think that Cayard and Erickson and the boys know how to race close, and that did help us a lot passing Swedish Match going into Sydney [on Leg 3]. Both those legs [6 and 9] have conditions that we're going to have to get a handle on, especially the one from France to England.

    The west coast of France and the English Channel have huge tides. Right now, I'm setting up a program with Rudiger to work with a couple experts over there so we can know exactly what's going to go on that day and half, tide-wise. It makes a huge difference.

    The real problem with this whole race is that a 100-point lead may not be enough, because if you have a problem in the first few hours of Leg 9 — let's just say your mainsail tears and you have to take it down and repair it — for two hours you sail without a mainsail and you get 10 miles behind the pack. You may finish last on that leg. You don't have 4,000 miles to make up the 10 miles. And if you finish last on that leg, that could mean a difference of 90 or 100 points, so this race is wide open right to the end.

    Q. Are you more concerned about your starting and fleet positioning on the shorter legs?

    A. Sure, you have to really go for the lead early on the short legs because a one-mile lead could turn into a 10-mile lead. You can't risk letting a guy break away from the pack, especially if it's one of your closer pursuers.

    Q. The specter of Dickson in the last race when he blew up [dismasted] on the next leg, does that sharpen your focus?

    A. For sure. As you know, in sailing, anything can happen. I'm pretty concerned about the rig. We were talking about changing rigs here and putting our spare rig in, but the girls [on EF Education] broke their rig, and they took our rig in order to be able to continue on. So, we're getting a new rig in Ft. Lauderdale. Hopefully, we'll make it there.

    Q. Would a breakdown be a death blow or can you recover from it?

    A. If you have a one-leg lead, you can recover.

    Q. In the AC, everybody talks about how the boats are the key element. In the Whitbread, is it a lot more sailor dependent?

    A. There str a lot of things. Like in this last leg, it's handling the Southern Ocean that's usually determinent. That's the thing that's frustrating Dalton. He handled his boat better than Chessie and Brunel, and yet he may lose to them on this leg. But handling the boat well, keeping the crew from being fatigued over the long haul, that's important.

    Boat speed is a factor, for sure, but a huge part of it, too, is the navigation, the routing, understanding the weather, understanding what's going on and getting your boat in the right place. Also, understanding if you are in the wrong place, when you just have to bite the bullet and take a loss like we did on Leg 4. If you don't do that soon enough, then it's just like cancer; it just grows on you and you never get out of there.

    Q. Will it nice to be back in the United States, or does that matter at all?

    A. For me, I'd love to win one of the U.S. legs. I've now won three outside my country. The reception we got here in Sao Sebastiao was unbelievable — how enthusiastic these people were. We caught them in full carnival mood. They were doing the carnival right on the docks for us. So, I know the reception in Ft. Lauderdale and Annapolis is going to be big also, and as an American, it would be great to win one of those legs. So, yeah, I'm looking forward to it.

  • Top
  • Race - Leg 5
  • Looking Ahead
  • Life Aboard
  • AmericaOne
  • Life Aboard EF Language

    Q. How much food do you carry, what kind of meals do you eat, and how often do you eat?

    A. We take 0.7 of a kilo [1.5 lbs.] of freeze-dried food per person per day. What that boils down to is two hot meals — a lunch and a dinner — a cereal breakfast made with powdered milk, then we each get two snacks a day, like a PowerBar and a soup on the cold legs, and two PowerBars on these warmer legs.

    The freeze-dried food is a meal in one. You can have chile con carne, or you can even have [some things with] exotic names like Ahi With Tortalini. It sounds like you're in Milano ordering something good. It's not horrible, but the problem is, like anything, after two weeks it all tastes the same. One of the big problems with it is the consistency — it's very soft — so when you get to the land, you're really dying to chew on something.

    I wouldn't say we're starving. If we learned anything from Leg 1, it's that it's worth it to carry the extra weight in food and be a little happier.

    On this leg, we all lost about five to seven percent body weight. Managerially, I decided that I should stay awake all the time it was dark in the Southern Ocean, because that's when stuff happens — in the dark. So, I was up about eight hours a night straight, on deck, trying to keep everything under control. That's how you lose weight — if you don't sleep. On this leg I lost about seven kilos, which is about 15 pounds.

    Q. How many hours do you usually sleep?

    A. The crew is on four-hour shifts at night and two six-hour shifts during the day. Rudi and I sometimes stay up for eight hours a stretch during the day, but we try to sleep some every six hours. The way we do it most of the time is we sleep two three- to four-hour stints a day.

    Q. When you were on Leg 5, what did you miss most?

    A. Maybe the shower. On the other long legs we've always been able to take a shower — it was just so cold [on this leg] that we couldn't. We really smelled bad on this leg. The boat smelled like a kennel. It was amazing even to me. You'd go down below from on deck and it was just striking.

    Q. Do ever have any free time at all, time to read?

    A. On this leg, we ended up having quite a bit of free time at the end, and I took the opportunity to write a few articles, write a few letters to some friends, and actually study the weather for Leg 6. We made a very detailed work list before we hit the dock that we were able to fax ahead to our shore team, so they knew what we wanted to do and they could start getting organized for it.

    To me, the advantage of winning this leg by two days is that now I'm two days ahead on Leg 6. There is no vacation on the Whitbread. You take four days off because you physically need to take four days off. But to me, every day that there is between the legs is an opportunity to better your position for the next leg, so you shouldn't waste that opportunity.

  • Top
  • Race - Leg 5
  • Looking Ahead
  • Life Aboard
  • AmericaOne
  • AmericaOne

    Q. When you were in New Zealand and spoke with the media, did you get a lot of questions about AmericaOne?

    A. I got some questions about my eventual participation in the 2000 America's Cup. The New Zealand public remembers me in a pretty good way. I've raced against their teams in the last races that both teams participated in, in 1992 and 1995. I think they have a lot of respect for AmericaOne and our skills, and myself and Kostecki and Nelson. They're interested in our progress, and if we're coming down there.

    Q. How many core Cup crew members are sailing on the Whitbread with you?

    A. People who are contracted to AmericaOne are the sail designer, Robert Hook, who's designing our sails here on the Whitbread, and Roger Badham, the meteorologist. That's it. I haven't contracted any crew members other than John Kostecki, who is not sailing with me on EF Language. But guys like Steve Erickson, Josh Belsky, Curt Oetking, and Curtis Blewitt — they are all very likely candidates for the AmericaOne sailing team.

    Q. How many Americans are on board?

    A. We have six: myself, Mark Rudiger, Steve Erickson, Kimo Worthington, Curt Oetking and Josh Belsky.

    Q. How proud are you that you are leading and that you could be the first American to win the Whitbread?

    A. That would be a nice feather in my hat. On a personal level, no matter how it turns out, it has been a great experience. If I can also win the race, it would be one of the bigger successes in my career.

    The other nice thing about it is that it's a very different aspect of the sport, which I had never really dabbled in, other than the Bermuda Race. This is really serious offshore sailing. So, to be able to diversify myself and be able to bring skills into this different environment is very satisfying for me, and if it turns out that I can win, then that's extra good.

    Hopefully, we'll get more American interest in this event. It truly is a great race, and it would be nice to have more participation out of the U.S. next time.

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