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Whitbread Log: Leg 4, Sydney to Auckland----------------------------- red rule ------------------------------
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EF Language EF Language in Leg 4
Day 4 - Jan. 7, 1998

1800 GMT
35° 16'S, 169° 30'E

Miles to Auckland: 365

Place: 5th; distance behind 1st-place boat: 43 miles

From: Paul Cayard, skipper EF Language

We have some leverage now! Looks like Verne [Kvaerner] and Brunel are still battling the low cell. They are 70 miles north of us now. Chessie is sailing a real smart race. Hopefully Silk is too far north too.

The high is ridging in from behind but the trough, with the boat-eating low on it, is moving northeast at only 5-10 knots, and we are doing 11 knots to the northeast. The trough is slanted southeast-northwest, so hopefully our southerly position will allow us to make the most easting as the fleet compresses. The wind on the north side of the trough is 50-70M, which is basically the course to North Cape.

This morning it seemed we were slipping back into the old wind, so we headed south again a bit more to keep in the wind to the south of the trough, which is more like 90-100M. The guys who are to the north of the trough are tacking still while we are fetching right on course. We need this to be the case for another 20 hours.

We are in a bit of a hole but being optimistic I would say we do have a chance of bailing our selves out here and salvaging a decent finish. It is just crazy how we went from the penthouse to the outhouse so quickly. I guess what matters is how we finish.

On board life is a little harder because we are slamming around a bit going upwind in 23 knots with a very confused sea. Imagine that 24 hours ago the wind was blowing 25 knots from 250, now 23 knots from 100, and in between it went through the north. Nothing that extreme though, no fire hose to report. The water temp is 75F so the Caribbean Cruise continues.

I did not sleep much in the last 24 hours as my anxiety built with our demise. There is no way for me to drop it from my mind. I hope we continue to make gains so I can sleep well again.

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