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Whitbread Log: Leg 4, Sydney to Auckland----------------------------- red rule ------------------------------
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Start Leg 4 EF Language Winning Leg 4 Start
Day 1 - Jan. 4, 1998

0543 GMT
33° 52'S, 151° 53'E

Miles to Auckland: 1233

Place: 1st; distance ahead of 2nd-place boat: 1.5 miles

From: Paul Cayard, skipper EF Language

It was a nice start for EF Language as we threaded the needle between Chessie to leeward and Silk Cut and Swedish Match to windward. All yachts used the now famous masthead reachers for the fast reach out Sydney Harbour.

One yacht was over early at the start, the first one this Whitbread, and it was Dennis Conner on his Toshiba for his first leg. DC had to go back to restart, which placed him last out the harbour.

EF Language poked her nose clean out in front of the pack and slowly stretched her lead to four lengths over Silk Cut at the first mark at South Head. The wind has lightened considerably since the fleet left the coast.

Our weather man, Roger Badham, aka "Clouds," has been coaching us all week. He expected us to be met with light winds shifting to the northeast for the first 36 hours. After, on Tuesday or Wednesday, we should be picked up by a southerly change, hopefully with some grunt in it, which should allow us to make some serious miles toward North Cape.

So far the wind has gone from 155 [degrees] to 120 and back to 135 currently. We have 9.5 knots of boat speed and are doing 9.75 of boat speed on a course of 75M [degrees magnetic].

Again, the start is one of the most exhilarating moments in these legs and winning another one set a good tone on board EFL as we begin this short sprint. We have now settled into our watch system, trying to make sure we can conserve our energy for the end. I think this leg will be won and lost in the last 150 miles coming down the east coast of New Zealand.

Sydney is truly one of the great cities of the world. I could live there. They will be excellent hosts in 2000. Goodbye, Sydney, and thanks for your hospitality.

Paul Cayard
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Leg 4 positions at 0600 GMT today:
  1. EF Language (P. Cayard, skipper)
  2. Silk Cut
  3. Toshiba
  4. Swedish Match
  5. Innovation Kvaerner
  6. Chessie Racing (J. Kostecki, tactician)
  7. Merit Cup
  8. EF Education
  9. BrunelSunergy
* Aggregate points total, including points scored for the first, second and third legs and points for the fourth leg according to current positions.

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