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Whitbread Log: Leg 3,
Fremantle to Sydney
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  Looks like it will be one hell of a race from here to the barn.
Day 8 - Dec. 20, 1997

Report #2

2258 GMT
39° 31'S, 145° 17'E

Miles to Sydney: 486

Place: 1st; distance ahead of 2nd-place boat: 10.6 miles

From: Paul Cayard, skipper EF Language

It is daybreak on Sunday and we can now see a few of our buddies.

Whitbread on
U.S. Television


Swedish Match, Silk Cut and Toshiba plus one other. Silk and Toshiba have come up from behind on us and are still closing down on us in more breeze. Seems like we are bumping into light air ahead and the fleet is compressing. Swedish Match is coming from the south.

Southeastern Australia Chart of SE Australian Coast
(Click on image.)
The wind direction is 250 now. There are forecasts calling for northerlies and northwesterlies with lots of wind. We haven't seen any all night.

We are reaching up, hoping to get the same wind as them before they roll us. Looks like it will be one hell of a race from here to the barn.

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  We may have to tack for [King Island] and if we do, we will pay big.
Report #1

1109 GMT
39° 37'S, 143° 52'E

Miles to Sydney: 552

Place: 1st; distance ahead of 2nd-place boat: 6.1 miles

From: Paul Cayard, skipper EF Language

Twenty-four hours ago, we though we were set up perfectly for our entry into Bass Straight and convergence with the fleet. Every weather map and satellite picture showed a high pressure cell to the north right on top of Toshiba, Silk and Chessie.

Our friend Jules [Innovation Kvaerner], to the south, was under control. The wind was supposed to go to the northwest in front of the cold front that was scheduled for mid-day Friday. We would gybe on the shift and have a nice sail up to the Straits leading the fleet.

Well, nothing could have been further from the forecasts. The wind never shifted to the northwest yesterday. This forced us and Kvaerner to stay to the south waiting. Finally the shift came early this morning, but it shifted all the way to the north — too much.

The high cell that was supposed to be a problem for Toshiba and company to the north just upped and got out of the way. We still have the lead but just now the wind has shifted to northeast . . . god knows why or what is driving it to do that. Now there is King Island, a 35 mile long piece of dirt right in our way — not in Silk Cut's way or in Kvaerner's way, but our way. We may have to tack for that thing and if we do, we will pay big.

Can I have a little cheese to go with my wine?

Needless to say, I am not in a good mood. This is one of the tougher aspects of sailboat racing.

Paul Cayard

Leg 3 positions at 1200 GMT today:
  1. EF Language (P. Cayard, skipper)
  2. Innovation Kvaerner
  3. Swedish Match
  4. Silk Cut
  5. Toshiba
  6. Merit Cup
  7. BrunelSunergy
  8. EF Education
  9. Chessie Racing (J. Kostecki, tactician)
* Aggregate points total, including points scored for the first and second legs and points for the third leg according to current positions.

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