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Whitbread Log: Leg 4, Sydney to Auckland----------------------------- red rule ------------------------------
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EF Language EF Language Leading Leg 4
Day 2 - Jan. 5, 1998

0241 GMT
34° 22'S, 157° 30'E

Miles to Auckland: 951

Place: 1st; distance ahead of 2nd-place boat: 4 miles

From: Paul Cayard, skipper EF Language

We are making good headway currently, doing 12 knots at 85M with wind from 320 at 17 knots. We just don't know how long it will last, as the forecast does not instill a lot of confidence. Today, the forecasts are calling for a shift from the northwesterlies we have around to the southwest sometime in the next 36-48 hours. That is as precise as they get. So, you can imagine that makes it hard for us to decide what to do.

Right now we think we are enjoying more pressure to the north and may make some gains up here for a while. But when the shift comes, the boats to the south could quite well get more pressure than us and if that were to last for some time, their gain could be large.

So, we have to decide how long to stay north and when to try converge over the guys to the south, hopefully ahead. Our buddy Verne [Kvaerner] is up here with us, 6 miles back, so that is nice knowing exactly where he is.

We are not confident in the accuracy of the skeds. They may be off by a little bit in the positions of the yachts and in a race this close, depending on their position to gain insight to wind strength or direction may be erroneous. So, it is all very tricky.

For now, the best solution is to go on a course that is the fastest the boat can travel in these conditions and as close to the finish line as possible.

It is very hot on board. The water temp has been around 28C, so inside the boat is like a sauna. The sun is very strong during the day, so we are not doing our skin any favors either. It is beautiful Caribbean-like sailing. Lunch is coming right up. I don't know if that is good news or not. I guess since I missed the sawdust for breakfast, anything will be good for lunch.

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. Merit Cup
  5. Innovation Kvaerner
  6. Swedish Match
  7. Chessie Racing (J. Kostecki, tactician)
  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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