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Cayard, EF Language Win First Leg

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa (Oct. 21, 1997) — Paul Cayard, skipper of the Swedish boat EF Language, won the first leg of the Whitbread Round the World Race for the Volvo Trophy today, completing the 7,350 leg after a grueling 31 days at sea.

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EF Language crossed the finish line at 0555 GMT in rain and fog, having made slow progress during the final six hours. This was in stark contrast to the preceding week, during which EF averaged close to 20 knots and the crew endured the "fire hose" treatment as wave after wave of green sea water swept across the deck, pummeling all in its path.

As the winner of the leg, EF Language scored 125 points, the maximum possible.

The second and third place boats, Merit Cup and Innovation Kvaerner, are expected to finish this evening. Fourth-place Silk Cut is expected to finish on Wednesday.

Leg 2 to Fremantle, Australia, is scheduled to begin Nov. 8, and is expected to take roughly two weeks to complete.

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