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Paul Cayard's Whitbread Log
Leg 7: Ft. Lauderdale to Baltimore

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  We are still on our full-race watch system and will be until the finish. With competition so tight and more tacking and close navigating coming up, we will need all our resources at a moment's notice.
Day 3 - April 21, 1998

Report #2

1324 GMT
34° 34'N, 075° 30'W

Place: 3rd; distance behind 1st-place boat: 16.5 miles

Miles to Baltimore: 290

From: Mark Rudiger, Navigator, EF Language

The Gulf Scream Springs Eternal
(So far, it has taken me five minutes to write this much.)

The boats and crew are taking as much or more pounding right now then any part of the race so far. With up to 20 knots of wind against a 3 to 4 knot river, the waves are incredibly steep and short. It seems like I have been in the air more than on my bunk when trying to sleep. Some of the drop offs are so violent it sounds like breaking glass in a car accident.

Basically, after some nail biting yesterday waiting for the route to the "River" to pay off, we have been slowly gaining on the other group other than Swedish Match, which is slightly faster upwind in these pounding conditions and, of course, Brunel, who sailed the perfect but risky route.

Right now we're coming up on Cape Lookout and are 80 miles from Hatteras, where we will have to negotiate when to leave the stream and make our approach to lower Chesapeake Bay. The strategy here will be critical as there is adverse current after exiting.

We are still on our full-race watch system and will be until the finish. With competition so tight and more tacking and close navigating coming up, we will need all our resources at a moment's notice.

Usually, we're the ones hoping for upwind stability sailing, but now we're thinking some light air running to the finish would be good for us against Swedish. As long as it doesn't let Kvaerner or Silk catch up. We just tacked with Swedish, since we were starting to fall out of the stream, and it looks like we did it on a good shift, so it should be gainer on rest of fleet.

Will try our best to keep you all posted more often now.

"Rudi"

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Leg 7 positions at 1800 GMT today:
      BoatPoints*Position
Overall
      BoatPoints*Position
Overall
  1. BrunelSunergy
  2. Swedish Match
  3. EF Language (P. Cayard, skipper)
  4. Innovation Kvaerner
  5. Silk Cut
  6. Chessie Racing (J. Kostecki, skipper)
  7. Merit Cup
  8. EF Education
  9. Toshiba
353
585
689
519
459
504
528
168
373
8
2
1
4
6
5
3
9
7
* 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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