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Cayard in Second Place Overall

FREMANTLE, Western Australia (Nov. 25, 1997) — Paul Cayard and EF Language finished the second leg of the Whitbread Round the World Race for the Volvo Trophy today, placing the Swedish entry in second place overall and within 10 points of race leader Innovation Kvaerner of Norway.

  We are just a bunch of hyped-up buoy racers who don't know when to down shift.

EF Language crossed the finish line at 0741 GMT (1531 local), after 16 days, 20 hours and 6 minutes at sea.

At first becalmed, then later beset with one disaster after another in the gale-force winds of the Southern Ocean, EF Language finished Leg 2 in fifth place. With a first-place finish in Leg 1, the yellow-and-red boat has a total of 197 points. Kvaerner has 207 points, a combination of third- and second-place finishes in the first two legs of the nine-leg race.

"It was a leg that went from one extreme to the other. We took some risks and suffered some damage, but the bottom line is that we are all OK, and the important ingredients of our campaign are intact and still very strong," said Cayard, skipper of EF Language.

"Our fifth place puts us in second place overall, which is fine. There are seven legs to go and I know that the regatta is still to be won and lost within those remaining points," he added.

During the 4,600-mile Leg 2 from Cape Town, South Africa, Cayard and crew saw a full range of conditions. Becalmed off the Cape of Good Hope, they quickly faded from second to last place, then recovered to move as high as third place. But the notorious wide-open stretches of the southern latitudes exacted their toll. EF Language suffered multiple broaches, or spinouts, including what Cayard described as the "mother of all broaches."

Spinnakers were shredded, both spinnaker poles were broken, battens in the mainsail had to be replaced, and the headfoil blew out. The time lost dropped the rookie crew to fifth.

"My analysis of our difficulties on this leg boils down to: We are just a bunch of hyped-up buoy racers who don't know when to down shift," Cayard said.

"Until five days ago, my life has been measured in inches and seconds," he added. "It is now a matter of hundreds of miles and hours. Racing in the Southern Ocean is not the time to sail the boat as if we were in Christchurch Bay. I didn't appreciate that and I pushed the guys too hard. I accept the responsibility for breaking too much and having to sail without a spinnaker in downwind conditions for 20 hours. That cost us a place."

The toll on the crew members was almost as bad. Curtis Blewett was caught at the masthead, 85 feet off the deck, during one of the broaches. "Curtis was up the rig while it was shaking violently. I thought he was going to die," Cayard said.

With the heater broken, being cold became a fact of life. Kimo Worthington suffered from frostbite.

The third leg of the 32,000-mile ocean marathon begins Saturday, Dec. 13. The nine-boat fleet will sail from Fremantle to Sydney. AmericaOne tactician John Kostecki will join the fleet as co-skipper of the American boat Chessie Racing.


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