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Whitbread Log: Leg 5, Auckland to São Sebastião----------------------------- red rule ------------------------------
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EF Language   EF Language near Auckland in Leg 4
Pre-Race - Feb. 1, 1998

From: Paul Cayard, skipper EF Language

Two hours left to the start of Leg 5. A lot of emotions are flowing right now. There is the anxiety of not knowing exactly what awaits us down south — the icebergs, the 60-knot gales, and the mountainous waves. The long leg ahead will bring a lot of tough moments as well as the prospect of danger. Some of the biggest challenges most of us will face in our lives will be experienced in the next 25 days. Some of the best times of our lives as well.

The start will be hectic. 5000 spectator boats are expected. While we will be trying to keep our string of winning starts going, have to keep the big picture in mind — which is getting out of Auckland without any damage. The forecast for the next 3 days is light air. So, I have to get the crew into light air mentality. By Wednesday we should begin to feel the effects of the building northwesterly breeze as a cold front approaches.

The boat looks so full right now. There are 16 waterproof bags of food, not to mention the sails and spares. Everyone's clothes bag is stuffed.

Safety First
We have brought an extra piece of gear on this leg — life jackets — the kind you can wear comfortably. We have the ones mandated by the rule as well, but most tend not to wear those as they are water activated and tend to inflate constantly. While pushing to win, we will keep safety in mind.

Leg of Transition
On this leg we will be in transition a lot. First, we have the warm temperatures and light air of the next few days, then the strong winds and icy conditions for twelve days to the Horn. After that the temperature will get warmer at a fast rate, but the weather will be less and less stable. Offshore of Rio del La Plata, B.A., will be the trickiest.

So, it is truly a long leg and one requiring several rejuvenations of the mind.

As always, I will try to bring it to you in the most accurate way I can.

Standby for one heck of a leg.

Paul Cayard
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