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Paul Cayard's Whitbread Log
Leg 8: Baltimore to La Rochelle

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  Right now, Match, Brunel, Toshiba, Merit and EF Language are going north, while Silk, Verne, EF Education and Chessie try to take advantage of the Stream. For sure, time will tell, but we canít afford for the answer to be where Swedish Match is and not be there, too.
Day 4 - May 6, 1998

Report #1

0849 GMT
38° 2'N, 065° 35'W

Place: 6th; distance behind Swedish Match (1st): 8.1 miles

Miles to La Rochelle: 2,744

From: Paul Cayard, Skipper, EF Language

Some tricky sailing out here. Yesterday afternoon we built up a 9-mile lead on Swedish Match, and that put them out of sight and radar range. About half way through a sked, a squall came through and the wind increased to 25 knots. Smartly, Swedish Match bore off and increased speed significantly while we, unaware of the move, continued on the path heading for the favorable current of the Gulf Stream. Much of the fleet did the same, just not as much as Match.

When we got the sched that showed this, I had to make a decision: Do we continue on with the Gulf Stream or fall in behind Swedish? I decided to fall in behind Swedish to minimize my losses and try to get close to them again.

Basically, the wind forecasts want us to go far to the north to avoid the high-pressure stationed southeast of Newfoundland. The grib file says the more north the better. None of these wind forecasts know about the Gulf Stream current and there is not one software program that integrates all these factors into one.

With so many variables, it seems to me that we should stay in the same area as Match.

So, right now, Match, Brunel, Toshiba, Merit and EF Language are going north, while Silk, Verne, EF Education and Chessie try to take advantage of the Stream. For sure, time will tell, but we canít afford for the answer to be where Swedish Match is and not be there, too.

Life on board has been pretty good. We put a 2' tear into a genoa on a change. We took it below to sew it and, sure enough ,the sewing machine did not work. To make an afternoon long story short, Mark Christensen hand sewed the sail and there still is no sewing machine.

I am real tired right now, so I'll sign off.

Paul Cayard

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Leg 8 positions at 0600 GMT today:
      BoatPoints*Position
Overall
      BoatPoints*Position
Overall
  1. Swedish Match
  2. BrunelSunergy
  3. Merit Cup
  4. Toshiba
  5. Innovation Kvaerner
  6. EF Language (P. Cayard, skipper)
  7. Silk Cut
  8. EF Education
  9. Chessie Racing (J. Kostecki, skipper)
700
454
616
440
585
744
503
211
516
2
7
3
8
4
1
6
9
5
* Aggregate points total, including points scored for the earlier legs and points for the current leg according to present positions.


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