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Paul Cayard Talks About His Participation in the Round the World Race

Paul Cayard at the helm On the eve of the Whitbread Round the World Race for the Volvo Trophy, AmericaOne skipper Paul Cayard expressed his thoughts about the race and what it means for him to compete in this grueling, 32,000-mile ocean marathon as skipper of EF Language.

The Whitbread represents an opportunity for me to broaden my professional horizons. It's not often that one has such an opportunity after being involved in something for more than 30 years.

Ocean racing is growing in popularity amongst the world's spectators and, therefore, the corporate world. The Whitbread Round the World Race for the Volvo Trophy — which will become the Volvo Round the World Race in 2001 — is the premier event in Ocean Racing.

I'm looking forward to both the competitive challenge of beating the best in this arena — even though I'm the "new kid on the block" — as well as the personal achievement of sailing around our planet. There will be some very difficult and uncomfortable times in the next nine months, but I think the personal satisfaction of the achievement will clearly outweigh those negatives.

With two days to go, Paul Cayard and his EF Language team are ready to begin the "Lap." Navigator Mark Rudiger is getting his "kit" together very well after being thrown into his position with one week's notice due to the resignation of Nick White. Preparing to navigate a boat in this race, in this fleet, on one week's notice, is a lot to ask of anyone, but Mark is doing a great job--calmly but steadily crossing work off of his very long list.

The fleet of 10 boats represents the most competitive Whitbread Round the World Race to date. Conner, Dickson and Cayard mixing it up with Dalton, Smith and Fields. Tt will interesting for all to see how the "Cup" racers do against the "Sea Dogs". The first leg is just one of nine, so all the cards wont have been played by the time we get to Cape Town, but some things will be clearer than today.

Also, at 38 years of age, I have grown into a rather comfortable lifestyle and I think it will be good for me to get very basic for nine months. I'll appreciate all that I have much more when I return. I'm hoping that in some way this race will be important to my children, who are 7 and 8, and that they will remember following me and my team's progress.

All in all, I am looking forward to the race. We have a great group of guys who have worked really hard for nine months to get ready. I'ss time to go. Racing around our planet will be one of the biggest achievements in my life.

Paul Cayard

Note: The Whitbread Race began Sunday, Sept. 21, at Cowes, England, and will finish at Southampton, England, sometime in May 1998. Paul's personal observations of the event will be posted regularly here on the AmericaOne Web site. Please return for exclusive, first-hand accounts of what's happening mid-ocean.

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