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

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  The #4 goes up and we're near broaching while getting the big reacher down. It sounds like a big sheet of aluminum luffing and it takes all of us on the bow to wrestle it to the deck with 17 knots of fire hose trying to pry you off with the sail.
Day 14 - March 27, 1998

Report #2

0208 GMT
22° 20'N, 069° 20'W

Place: 2nd; distance behind of 1st-place boat: 34.9 miles

Miles to Ft. Lauderdale: 632

From: Mark Rudiger, Navigator, EF Language

As Paul says: "We cleared the dugout this morning". Meaning all hands on deck for full fire alarm. We had been running along with the big masthead 1.5 oz. high of course and the recent sked showed Silk having gained and sailed lower. So, we knew something was up ahead.

I had just analyzed an infrared sat image and it showed we had passed through the trough line with little wind change and were in a clearing ahead of another cloud system. The weather prognosis had the trough dissipated and fax pictures showed it benign. The grib weather models didn't really show it at all . . .

That's when it happened.

First, a little header and we set up to peel to the masthead reacher. We had it up, but still in the sock and more header. The clouds to weather looked a little ominous, but not much different than what we had been through already. We agreed maybe more puff header coming, so the call went forward to drop the reaching kite back down and go with the big reaching headsail.

We got that one tee'd up and, as it was going up, more puff header. We just got the masthead kite down in time (the one that Marco has already done two major rebuilds on during this trip) when the first major gust hit. By now Stevie Wonder is driving off at 17 knots, 30 degrees below course, and Curtis is up on the bow cleaning up, and already knows there is another sail change coming.

By now, reinforcements are on deck and the spray coming back so hard it's all you can do to hang on and see what your doing. More puff header   we're way over powered.

"Get the #3 jib tee'd up".

More puff header.

"Scratch that, get the #4 tee'd up"

The #4 goes up and we're near broaching while getting the big reacher down. It sounds like a big sheet of aluminum luffing and it takes all of us on the bow to wrestle it to the deck with 17 knots of fire hose trying to pry you off with the sail.

Then comes the first reef. Then we get the poor little genoa staysail down, which has been valiantly hanging in there loose-luffed until we get the big guys under control. The wind is blowing the water off the waves now, and mixed with the rain it stings pretty hard.

We're finally pretty happy for awhile and are reeling off miles at the mark, watching the lightning show. But these things go through pretty fast, so now we're in the process of going through the whole show in reverse. There are going to be some tired, wet puppies after this one is over, and it will be an interesting sked. to see how all the various boats dealt with this squall line from hell.

I'll be at my computer along with the rest of you to find out how Paul Cayard and his merry globe-trotters fare on "From here to Eternity", (which is a little how this race is feeling lately).

"Rudi"  

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Leg 6 positions at 1800 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. Chessie Racing (J. Kostecki, skipper)
  7. Toshiba
  8. BrunelSunergy
  9. EF Education
399
609
493
449
477
454
343
248
148
6
1
2
5
3
4
7
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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