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Whitbread Log: Leg 6
São Sebastião to Ft. Lauderdale

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  We got that famous negative snowball rolling last night and it will take us a day or two to completely dig our way out. We have to be extra careful in the meantime not to create more work.
Day 2 - March 15, 1998

1300 GMT
21° 23'S, 039° 52'W

Miles to Ft. Lauderdale: 4,238

Place: 7th; distance behind 1st-place boat: 17 miles

From: Paul Cayard, Skipper, EF Language

We are side by side with Merit Cup, running in 25 knots of wind. They are a little faster than us in this condition, so we just have to work extra hard and try to hang close.

We can see Silk Cut 5 miles away to the southwest and we know Kvaerner is ahead of us to the northeast about 7 miles. We are not sure about the others, so we are anxiously awaiting the sched. There is a chance there was more wind outside.

We are recovering from our troubles last night, ploughing into the back of a short, steep wave and getting four feet of water rolling down the deck and taking the sails and the life lines over the side. We got all the sails back and did not break the mast, so that was good.

It did cost us, though, as we were very cautious in inspecting the rig before rehoisting our spinnaker. Later, a shackle opened on the tack of the spinnaker and it flogged into the rig and tore badly. That was our 1.5-oz spinnaker, which we really should have up now. But since we don't, we are using our .75, which is a bit strained in 25 knots. Hopefully, Marco will have the 1.5 back into one piece in 12 hours. If the wind comes up any more, we will have to go with a spinnaker that is 30 sq. meters smaller and that will be slow.

Josh already fixed the stanchions and lifelines, robbing a bit from the port side and using some spare parts. So, that repair is over. But, basically, we got that famous negative snowball rolling last night and it will take us a day or two to completely dig our way out. We have to be extra careful in the meantime not to create more work.

This has been quite a fast trip up the coast so far. Forecast is for the wind to go to the south and then southeast. That would keep us clicking off the miles.

Paul Cayard
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Leg 6 positions at 0001 GMT today:
      BoatPoints*Position
Overall
  1. Chessie Racing
  2. Toshiba
  3. Innovation Kvaerner
  4. Swedish Match
  5. Silk Cut
  6. Merit Cup
  7. EF Language (P. Cayard, skipper)
  8. EF Education
  9. BrunelSunergy
514
400
461
481
350
466
551
159
237
2
6
5
3
7
4
1
9
8
* 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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