Paul Cayard's Whitbread Log
Leg 8: Baltimore to La Rochelle
Day 4 - May 6, 1998
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
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
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
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
I am real tired right now, so I'll sign off.