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Whitbread Log: Leg 3,
Fremantle to Sydney
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  Our big picture is trying to get points on Verne and Silk, so we will try to stay in their neck of the woods if possible.
Day 9 - Dec. 21, 1997

1235 GMT
38° 03'S, 148° 30'E

Miles to Sydney: 311

Place: 2nd; distance behind 1st-place boat: 3.9 miles

From: Paul Cayard, skipper EF Language

What a day! We have gone from drifting this morning to blasting with 30 knots of wind to slatting tonight. Southeast Australia has it all in a day's sail!

This morning Verne [Innovation Kvaerner], Toshiba and Chessie were closing in on us. Eventually, a strong southwesterly breeze filled and the group made fast progress on the course for 12 hours. We gybed out before Jules [Kvaerner] and company and stretched to a 9-mile lead as the wind continued to go south and eventually southeast. The forecast, mind you, was for the wind to go west-northwest. But that is par for this leg.

Now, we are slatting as the southeasterly has totally gone and we wait for the night breeze.
Southeastern Australia Chart of SE Australian Coast
(Click on image.)
Probably we will slat again tomorrow morning in the transition between night breeze and sea breeze along the shore, and once again tomorrow night when trying to enter Sydney Harbor.

The atmosphere on board is good. After being disillusioned several times by erroneous weather reports this week, we have all got this attitude that no matter how screwed up the weather is, we are going to find a way to get the job done. We seem to have enough food, even though this leg is taking two days longer than predicted. There you have it, another blown forecast.

Our buddies on Swedish Match are pestering us by not sailing near all of us, but rather sailing a course away from the fleet. That is becoming a bit of a trait of theirs. Our big picture is trying to get points on Verne and Silk, so we will try to stay in their neck of the woods if possible.

Todays is the longest day of the year down here, so the shortest where most of you are. How is the Christmas shopping going? You haven't started yet, right? I never start this early either and this year is certainly no exception. How are the eggnog parties? I think the boys down here drink plenty of beer with their Christmas barbies, so we will have a little different Christmas if we get there in time.

Paul Cayard

Leg 3 positions at 1200 GMT today:
  1. Swedish Match
  2. EF Language (P. Cayard, skipper)
  3. Innovation Kvaerner
  4. Silk Cut
  5. Chessie Racing (J. Kostecki, tactician)
  6. Merit Cup
  7. Toshiba
  8. BrunelSunergy
  9. EF Education
* 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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