Whitbread Race: Leg 4, Sydney to Auckland
Cayard 4th But Still First
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Jan. 8, 1998) It was a frustrating leg for
Paul Cayard and EF Language. They began the 1,270-nautical-mile Leg 4 of the Whitbread Round the World Race for the Volvo Trophy in first place, only to drop to eighth at the mid-point. (Click on photo to view larger image.)
EF Language near Auckland
However, fortune smiled briefly on the Swedish entry, allowing Cayard & Co. to claw their way back from a 69-mile deficit into second place, a mere 1.7 miles behind Merit Cup as the fleet beat its way southward along the North Island's east coast. But they couldn't hold on. A wind shift caught them east of leader Merit Cup and the trailing boats, Toshiba and Chessie Racing, pushing EF Language back to fourth.
Nonetheless, the silver lining in the fourth-place finish is that by beating Swedish Match and Innovation Kvaerner, Team EF actually increased its overall lead to 39 points. (Click on photo to view larger image.)
Crew celebrates in Auckland
By virtue of its first-place finish in this leg, Merit Cup which had a predominantly Kiwi crew takes over second place overall, pushing Innovation Kvaerner from second to fourth. Swedish Match, fifth in Leg 4, remains in third place overall.
Meanwhile, Chessie Racing, with AmericaOne tactician John Kostecki on board, had another good leg. The third-place finish kept it within five points of fifth-place Toshiba and moved it to within 13 points Innovation Kvaerner. (See the Leg 4 Leader Board.)
Leg 5 of this nine-leg race, Auckland to San Sebastiao, Brazil [via Cape Horn], begins on Feb. 1. (Jan. 31, in the U.S.) and is expected to be completed about three and a half weeks later, around Feb. 24.
Cayard will be featured in a live online forum conducted by CompuServe on Thursday, Jan. 22, at 11 a.m. PST. To log in and take part, point your browser to the official Whitbread site and follow the links to the conference center.
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