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Whitbread Log: Leg 5, Auckland to São Sebastião
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  I read the finishing instructions today for the first time. . . . Sounds kind of fun — "finish through an imaginary line bearing 130°M off the flag pole on the veranda of a Hotel on Punto do Araca."
Day 21 - Feb. 21, 1998

0545 GMT
36° 03'S, 051° 41'W

Miles to São Sebastião: 803

Place: 1st; distance ahead of 2nd-place boat: 539 miles

From: Paul Cayard, Skipper, EF Language

I took that shower today! 20 days — no shower. That is a record. I feel so much better. The water temperature was up to 74°F, so it was even a luke-warm shower. Used the dish soap, lots of it. Stevie will be mad at me when he finds out. But I don't care; I feel good and that is important for all of us, believe me.

The wind has filled in as per the grib, southwest 15 knots, and we are now making 11 knots at the finish in São Sebastião. Looks like the wind should back all the way around to the east over the next few days, with our fastest day being Monday, reaching on starboard tack in 20 knots of wind — junior league firehose . . . "garden hose".

We got our first visitor today, a sort of fly. The thing must have gotten blown out here by a "pompero" or something. We are 200 miles offshore — a long way for a bug. He is sitting on the light right next to me, keeping me company while I write this letter.

Speaking of the grib, Brunel has got herself a lane down there. Looks to me like her gains will continue for a couple more scheds at least. That group is still dealing with a high-pressure cell and Brunel is on the outside of the wheel where there is more pressure. The only way for the others to get out there would be to gybe, and that is too costly with the angles they have now.

I read the finishing instructions today for the first time. That is a sign that we are getting there. Sounds kind of fun — "finish through an imaginary line bearing 130°M off the flag pole on the veranda of a Hotel on Punto do Araca." I guess we will know it when we see it. There is actually a lat/lon description for the hotel. Nice show for the guests.

We have a genoa staysail that we are going to retire after this leg that looks like it has a bad case of road rash. We figued out that the thing has been up for about 10,000 miles, some of that in 30+ knots. That is some serious mileage!! It is made of 3DL — like most of our sails — and has held up real well to the beating that this race doles out. Still, the thing is hurting, and I want to send it back to Minden, Nevada, as a specimen for analysis at the 3DL Institute of Technology. The thing is a war hero.

Anyway, I am getting a little punchy, so I think I will shake Rudi out of our bunk and get a little rack time myself.

Paul Cayard
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Leg 5 positions at 0600 GMT today:
      BoatPoints*Position
Overall
  1. EF Language (P. Cayard, skipper)
  2. BrunelSunergy
  3. Swedish Match
  4. Innovation Kvaerner
  5. Merit Cup
  6. Chessie Racing
  7. Toshiba
  8. Silk Cut
  9. EF Education
507
215
418
398
411
359
351
297
126
1
8
2
4
3
5
6
7
9
* Aggregate points total, including points scored for the first, second, third and fourth legs and points for the fifth leg according to current positions.


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