Whitbread Race: Leg 5, Auckland to São Sebastião
Leg 5 Starts Sunday; Sailors Face Most Treacherous Challenge Yet
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (Jan. 29, 1998) Race leader Paul Cayard and EF Language return to racing on Sunday, Feb. 1, with the start of Leg 5 of the 1997-98 Whitbread Round The World Race for the Volvo Trophy.
EF Language near Auckland
The 6,670-nautical-mile passage to São Sebastião, Brazil, sets off from Auckland at 1400 local time (1700 Pacific time on Sat., Jan. 31). This is figured to be the most treacherous of the nine legs, taking the competitors far south into the potentially iceberg-laden "Screaming Sixties" near Antarctica before turning north to round the notorious Cape Horn at 57 degrees south.
Leg 5 carries with it the maximum number of points 135 for the winner so those at the back of the fleet are looking to gain some ground on EF Language, the overall leader with 372 points. There are currently 114 points separating the EF Language and the seventh-place boat, Silk Cut, which is favored this leg because the British boat excells off the wind.
Cayard would like to lengthen his lead, but he said he plans to sail more conservatively this leg than he did in Leg 2.
He courted disaster in that first dip into the fabled Southern Ocean Cape Town, South Africa to Fremantle, Australia but managed to piece the broken bits back together and finish a respectable fifth place. A mid-ocean broach and breaking the spinnaker pole multiple times were expensive but valuable lessons.
During Leg 5 he will put his new-found wisdom to work. "I will throttle back and sail more conservatively," he told some 600 Bay Area sailing and adventure enthusiasts at his Super Bowl of Sailing presentation in San Francisco last week. "I've learned that it's better to go 90 percent of full speed 100 percent of the time than to go 100 percent of full speed and get knocked down and lose an hour and a half, or break a sail or spinnaker pole.
"My learning curve is a lot steeper than most people's," he added. "We
have talked a lot about what happened on the second leg and we feel ready
What may be considered an advantage for EF Language is the stability of its crew. There are no changes for this leg.
- Paul Cayard (USA) - Skipper (AmericaOne skipper and CEO)
- Mark Rudiger (USA) - Navigator
- Josh Belsky (USA)
- Curtis Blewett (CAN)
- Mark Christensen (NZ)
- Justin Clougher (AUS)
- Marco Constant (NED)
- Steve Erickson (USA)
- Klas Nylof (SWE)
- Curt Oetking (USA)
- Magnus Olsson (SWE)
- Kimo Worthington (USA) (AmericaOne Sailing Operations Manager)
Kostecki on Leave
AmericaOne tactician John Kostecki, who sailed aboard the U.S. entry Chessie Racing in Legs 3 and 4, is not sailing this leg of the Whitbread due to other commitments.
He is currently competing in the Soling Class in the Olympic Classes Regatta in Miami, Florida, and will also race in the SORC, which begins Feb. 25. He will rejoin Chessie Racing for Legs 6-9.
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