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John Kostecki's Whitbread Log
Leg 8: Baltimore to La Rochelle

----------------------------- red rule ------------------------------

  I saw it coming out of the corner of my eye. It was like getting hit by a baseball while you are standing at bat. But the baseball is slimey and smells like fish! Oh well, I got slimed!
Day 6 - May 8, 1998

0127 GMT
43° 16'N, 055° 27'W

Place: 9th; distance behind 1st-place boat: 92 miles

Miles to La Rochelle: 2,291

From: John Kostecki, Skipper, Chessie Racing

It has been a long frustrating day today on Chessie. We sat in a local hole with Silk Cut and lost 25 miles to the rest of the fleet. We are back in the breeze now, but we have to make up a lot of distance for what we lost earlier today.

Sailing on the Tube

On the brighter side, again we had a great start and led the fleet while exiting the Chesapeake Bay. This was our goal, since we felt the first boat to the Gulf Stream would benefit from the current push.

We played the Gulf Stream extremely well, which I was very happy with, since we did not play it well on Leg 7. Unfortunately, by playing the Gulf Stream, we maintained a more Southerly route compared with our competitors, which so far has not paid off due to less wind. It looks as if all of us will be going through a high-pressure system, which should compress the fleet the next 24 hours.

Although at the moment we are not doing very well compared with our competitors, on Chessie we are still upbeat and determined to make a comeback! In general, we have had excellent weather, reaching with good wind most of the way. It has also been warmer than we expected so far. This is due to the warm water temperatures from the Gulf Stream.

The other night, I was steering, and while making a sail change I got hit in the face by a flying fish! When we make sail changes at night, we put on a light on the bow of the boat so the crew can see better. The flying fish jump for the light, but do not realize we are traveling at over 10 knots of boat speed. They end up flying through the air in the back part of the boat. I saw it coming out of the corner of my eye. It was like getting hit by a baseball while you are standing at bat. But the baseball is slimey and smells like fish! Oh well, I got slimed!

One other highlight on this leg, I was seeing a couple of sharks. Before we entered the Gulf Stream we saw two sharks, one around 14 feet and the other 18 feet in length. Big sharks! It seemed they were feeding on something. I am glad it wasn't me!

John Kostecki


Leg 8 positions at 1200 GMT today:
      BoatPoints*Position
Overall
      BoatPoints*Position
Overall
  1. Merit Cup
  2. Toshiba
  3. Innovation Kvaerner
  4. EF Education
  5. BrunelSunergy
  6. EF Language (P. Cayard, skipper)
  7. Swedish Match
  8. Silk Cut
  9. Chessie Racing (J. Kostecki, skipper)
642
464
608
255
419
744
629
492
516
2
7
4
9
8
1
3
6
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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