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Whitbread Log: Leg 1 to Cape Town
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Day 31 - October 21, 1997

01:47 GMT - 33° 56'S, 017° 27'E

Miles to Cape Town: 45

Place: 1st; distance ahead of 2nd-place boat: 156 miles

From: Paul Cayard, skipper EF Language

Just finished our slowest sked in a long time, if not the leg — 45 miles in 6 hours. Very light as we approach the shore in the night. Moving along better with 10 knots of speed at the finish line, 45 miles away.


Whitbread on
U.S. Television

 

As this will be my last daily report for three weeks, I thought I would share some of my thoughts and perspectives on this Whitbread.

For me, participating in this Whitbread was both something I could not do and something I had to do. I could not do it because, strictly speaking, I did not have the time. With an America's Cup project already occupying 110 percent of my time, I had no time left to do the Whitbread. However, the Whitbread is one of two premier events in our sport and as one of the lead athletes in our sport, I felt this is where I should be, out on the race course doing what I do. In the end, I, along with the Board of Directors of AmericaOne, decided that Paul Cayard should be racing.

The result of this first leg is all that much more satisfying to me because in some way it justifies our decision of one year ago.

To the Board of Directors of AmericaOne, the sponsors, and all the supporters, thanks for sharing this vision. I am not alone here on EF Language. Rather, I am with a core of people from AmericaOne. I am convinced that we can do the same good job in New Zealand in 1999-2000.

This Whitbread has shaped up to be the regatta I envisioned it would be. The race is an amazing experience for those on board and the Internet has proven to be a great tool for conveying that experience, particularly well suited to this race. Also, the ability for us to get images off the boat and to you, through on-board communications, helps paint the picture. The boats are very even in speed, not so well demonstrated by this leg, but will be on future legs. The points scoring system will keep things close right up to that last leg. All in all, a great race, which I believe will double in participation for the next edition.

Last spring and summer, we invested a lot of ourselves, and our time, in things other than preparing the EF Language male team to race. We made a deal that allowed Silk Cut to share our training boats, which was difficult to manage at times, but probably helped us get up to speed much quicker.

We have a two-boat program in which both boats race. This is much more complicated than the America's Cup two-boat programs in which only one team races and its only that team's needs that have to be addressed by the support team and management team. But the two-boat program definitely helped us execute a quality sail development program, which is a big asset. So, this first leg was really one of an amalgamation of crew of EF Language and, from start to finish, it could not have gone better.

Now, we must look forward to the long job ahead. Eight more legs, all physically very demanding, with competition that has more experience than we have in this domain. We have the yellow jersey for now, but it will not be easy to hold onto. You can be sure that we realize this and will be extremely focused in our efforts.

Thanks for following us for the past 30 days. I hope I was able to convey to you some of the experiences on board and in my head, and that that might have made the race that much more enjoyable for you.

Paul Cayard
Previous Day


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