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Whitbread Log: Leg 1 to Cape Town
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Day 30 - October 20, 1997

09:23 GMT - 34° 53'S, 015° 20'E

Miles to Cape Town: 205

Place: 1st; distance ahead of 2nd-place boat: 137 miles

From: Paul Cayard, skipper EF Language

Closing in on the Cape — 205 miles to go.

We are slowing down as we approach re-entry to the real world. The wind is lightening and we feel as though we are hardly moving at 13 knots of boat speed.

The discussion on deck is directed toward whose ETA bet is more correct and why. Everyone has been giving Rudy (Mark Rudiger) some crap for having us go so far south yesterday. Comments like: "Are we just going straight to Fremantle?" and "Are we doing a Jules Verne attempt?"

But Rudy created his own stigma today when he woke up waiting for the 0600 sked and said, "I have a bad feeling about this one." For those of us who had been on deck, we were kind of surprised because it was the first time in three days that we had sailed the whole sked right on course for the finish. Sure enough, the sked came in and it was a gain for EF Language of 18 miles on Merit Cup [which recaptured second place] and Innovation Kvaerner, and more on everyone else. So, now we just hope Rudy feels bad all the time.

I can't figure out what I am going to eat first [after reaching Cape Town]. I think some fresh fruit would be the best, then maybe something really bad, like a giant cheeseburger and fries, or, if it is morning, a three-egg omelette with a pound of bacon. Whatever, it is, I am sure we will make pigs of ourselves on it.

Actually, it is probably not nice to talk about food that way, when some of our friends might be running a little low. With half the fleet over 1,000 miles out, they must be rationing a bit. What about the gas bottles for cooking or even warming up water? We all went pretty light so I am sure the situation is not pretty out there.

Daily grib just came in, so I have to unzip it, extract it, convert it, save it, massage it, and study it. Got a lot to do. Got to go.

Paul Cayard
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