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Whitbread Log: Leg 4, Sydney to Auckland----------------------------- red rule ------------------------------
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  Friday we went for our 'dress rehear-
sal' sail. . . . Unfortunately the forecasted winds are not those that we practiced in.
Pre-Race - Jan. 2, 1998

0452 GMT
Sydney, Australia

From: Paul Cayard, skipper EF Language

Happy New Year to all! We start Leg 4 in about 24 hours and all the final preparations are just about complete.

With a big effort by our shore team over Christmas, EF Language was the first boat back sailing after the usual work period by all boats. On Monday, December 29, we checked our new sails that had to be measured in on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday, we raced the Sun Cup, which is a Match Race put on by Sun Microsystems. It was a hotly contested race on Sydney Harbour between EF Language and the girls of EF Education. The girls won the start and led the first part of the windward leg. The boys just managed to get into the lead at the windward mark and from there to the finish it was neck and neck. The boys managed to regain the lead just before the finish to win by 28 seconds. It was a classically beautiful day on the Harbour and a great day was had by all.

Wednesday, New Year's Eve, was the day to load all the sails and equipment, Thursday was a day off for the crew. Friday we went for our "dress rehearsal" sail. We do this before each leg. My friend Iain Murray came out with us and we did the first three miles of Leg 4 three times. Iain grew up sailing skiffs on Sydney Harbour and was a great help in educating us on the local winds and currents. Unfortunately the forecasted winds are not those that we practiced in on Friday.

Last night was the prize giving, which was especially nice for us, being our second win in three legs. The prize givings are augmented by video and music from the preceding leg. I went home with my kids at 2200 and left my wife to party a bit longer. She ended up with some professionals and is not feeling too well today.

Today, Saturday, we had our daily weather brief (1.5 hours) and an EFL crew meeting. Afterwards, I had a few media tasks, a re-read of all the rules and regulations, and a little nap in the afternoon.

The forecast for Leg 4 is light and variable winds for the first 36 hours, primarily from the southeast, as a trough of low pressure has moved into the area and might stagnate over us. Longer term, a cold front should move in over us late on Monday and bring winds up to 30 knots from the south-southwest.

This should make for a slightly faster than average trip across the Tasman Sea — possible arrival, Friday afternoon.

On the last leg I wrote to you that Roy Heiner of BrunelSunergy had erroneously sent a mail addressed to his shore manager, EF Language. I told you in a Daily Report that we had a little fun with Roy by responding to him as if we were Simon. Roy confided to me that for three days they believed our reply had actually come from "Simon". I have gotten Roy's blessing to share the two messages with you. You may find them amusing.

I hope you are getting ready for an exciting week. It will be fast and tight. Stay tuned.

Paul Cayard
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