Day 4 - Dec. 16, 1997
The food is . . . being served at the regular times, but that hasn't really helped the taste or consistency.
38° 15'S, 127° 09'E
Miles to Sydney: 1,333
Place: 1st; distance ahead of 2nd-place boat: 1.6 miles
From: Paul Cayard, skipper EF Language
We have positioned ourselves in the middle of the fleet.
Kvaerner and Brunel are 70 miles southwest, while Toshiba, Silk Cut
and four others are 60 miles northeast. We climbed up and over
Swedish Match tonight and are now 1.5 miles straight in front of
I am waiting for the sked right now. I think we have done pretty
The wind is real fickle out here. It is probably due to the high,
which is trying to ridge in from the west, and we are very near the
ridge line. The wind is shifting 20 degrees and up and down 4
knots in speed. Still, my guess is that the further south the
It has been an easier 12 hours in the sense that we have stayed on
starboard tack the whole time. The boat is all cleaned up from
the war of the first few nights and people are getting some
quality sleep. The food is even being served at the regular
times, but that hasn't really helped the taste or consistency.
The sked just came in and we did do well. Back up to second
place, 3.5 behind Toshiba. The wind is gradually trying to go to
the southeast and the boats to the south are getting it first.
The question is, will the boats who invested in the south at a
price get paid back enough to make it worth while?
So far, we
have been paid back versus Silk Cut, Merit and that group we were
with yesterday. Will Kvaerner get enough to take over the lead? Are
there any cold fronts which could get far enough north to give
Kvaerner and Brunel that extra push? That is what we are trying to
find out in our weather research. If so, we may have to slide
down south with any more right wind we get.
Life on this leg has not been too tough. The air temp has been in
the 60s, so we are not very cold. No fire department training
yet, so we are not soaked. My sleeping bag has dried out from its
soaking of the first night. Basically, if you sleep in the wet
sleeping bag, you dry it out after a few nights. We are not too
1400 miles to go. It seems like we are almost there and yet it
seems like we just started. It is incredible how your perspective
changes after a 7700 mile leg and a 4700 mile leg.
I am personally looking forward to getting to Sydney and seeing my
family, whom I have not see since November 1. Hopefully that, if
nothing else, we push me to get us to Sydney fast.
38° 48'S, 123° 40'E
Miles to Sydney: 1,500
Place: 4th; distance behind
1st-place boat: 11.8 miles
From: Paul Cayard, skipper EF Language
It is getting tricky out here. We are sailing across the ridge extending out front of the next high center trying to get the
southeasterly flow on the east side, and then southerly going
southwesterly flow. The wind flicks back and forth. You dig into
the new breeze for 20 minutes sailing the header, you tack, it
holds, you think, "Right, we're there." Inevitably it heads you
back down into the old wind and you have to tack back again.
All that tacking makes it tough on sleeping. Imagine getting up
every hour tonight and going to the gym, lifting weights for 10
minutes, then trying to fall back to sleep knowing it is going to
happen to you again in about 50 minutes.
There have been a few lead changes on this leg and there will be a
few more. It will probably be that way right up the east coast of
We were ahead of Merit and Silk Cut this morning, but they opted to
stay on starboard and go north. We have tacked back to port and
headed southeast. So far we have seen two boats cross
us Toshiba and Swedish Match, we think. They were each about 5
miles ahead and to the south of us.
It is difficult to know where to invest because the weather
pattern can change from when you get a satellite picture or weather
fax. Subtle changes can make a big difference. In all the
information, you can paint your dream or rationalize why what you
are doing will be a winner. In the end, most boats will have
shattered dreams and one will be happy. That is the nature of
this kind of racing.