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Paul Cayard's Whitbread Log
Leg 6: São Sebastião to Ft. Lauderdale

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  As a Navigator, it is always a little un-nervy cutting reefs close to leeward in the dark with no room to bear off for squalls and or sail changes. But it is one sure way to gain miles.
Day 13 - March 26, 1998

1130 GMT
18° 15'N, 062° 38'W

Place: 2nd; distance behind of 1st-place boat: 2.6 miles

Miles to Ft. Lauderdale: 1,080

From: Mark Rudiger, Navigator, EF Language

The hounds are descending down on the Fox. And we don't like it. The last three skeds have had the fleet coming up from behind and favoring the outside, as Silk Cut has pulled abeam while we seemed to be "stuck" on the bad side of a line. On our approach to rounding Barbuda, we had banked on the winds lifting 10 degrees at the end, but were headed with pressure instead.

Paul has been up all night keeping the sail changes going through the squalls trying to hold a line, but finally we had to change down to a reaching headsail to lay the corner.

We cut the corner as close as possible, while Silk took a slightly wider turn keeping us even with them. As a Navigator, it is always a little un-nervy cutting reefs close to leeward in the dark with no room to bear off for squalls and or sail changes. But it is one sure way to gain miles.

Now, we're broad reaching with masthead kites, surfing between 16 and 21 knots. Everyone is all the way back, including trimmers. The forecast is for more of the same winds: NE to E, 20 to 25 knots. The remnants of the front ahead of us may still cause the winds to go more NE, which should help our cause.

We're now on course for "Sombrero" light, a mark of the course 100 miles from Barbuda, and then down past the "Virgin Islands" towards the "Turks and Caicos". I once made an unexpected stop there aboard Roy Disney's "Pyewacket" with a broken rudder while racing from Spain to Miami.(Probably better if I'm not driving while we sail past there this time.)

The good news is we're making good speed towards Florida and the forecast looks good. We just need to find our stride again and make sure these hound dogs loose the scent.

"Rudi"  

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Leg 6 positions at 1200 GMT today:
      BoatPoints*Position
Overall
      BoatPoints*Position
Overall
  1. Silk Cut
  2. EF Language (P. Cayard, skipper)
  3. Swedish Match
  4. Innovation Kvaerner
  5. Merit Cup
  6. Toshiba
  7. Chessie Racing (J. Kostecki, skipper)
  8. BrunelSunergy
  9. EF Education
399
609
493
449
477
354
443
248
148
6
1
2
4
3
7
5
8
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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