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Whitbread Race: Leg 6
São Sebastião to Ft. Lauderdale
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AmericaOne Teammates Face Off With Restart Saturday

EF Language      Leg 5 start in Auckland.
SÃO SEBASTIÃO, Brazil (March 12, 1998) — AmericaOne teammates Paul Cayard and John Kostecki are set to face off again on Saturday, March 14, with the start of Leg 6 of the 1997-98 Whitbread Round The World Race for the Volvo Trophy. The race restart begins at 1800 GMT (10 a.m. Pacific Time).

Cayard, the skipper and CEO of AmericaOne, continues as skipper of the Swedish boat EF Language, which has a 96-point lead in the nine-leg race. Kostecki, the AmericaOne tactician, is rejoining the American boat Chessie Racing as skipper for the remaining four legs of the 32,000-nautical-mile ocean marathon.

Despite his commanding lead, Cayard has no plans to sail overly conservative on the 4,750-nautical-mile passage to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

"There is really no big difference being in the lead at this stage," Cayard said. "We are still in the mood to try to win legs. But if there are certain situations where equipment is at risk, we might tone down a little bit."

Out to Win
Kostecki says he, too, is out to win. "We are not focused on beating EF Language — we are focused on doing the best for Chessie Racing," he said. "We hope to improve the sailing of the boat, tactics and strategy, and to improve on our results. Obviously, things have been going well with three places on the podium so far.

He previously sailed aboard Chessie on Legs 3 and 4, and was credited with boosting the 60-footer's performance to two third-place finishes. Chessie currently is in fourth place overall, just five points behind third-place Swedish Match and 12 points behind second-place Merit Cup.

"The race is not over by any means," Kostecki added. "There have been a lot of weird things happening in the previous legs. Boats have won legs and then finished down the pack on others. There have been breakdowns. A lot can still happen."

Tricky Sailing
Leg 6 is generally a warm leg and the competitors will experience the full range of racing conditions, from high winds to no winds. The course follows the Brazilian coast, with its variable conditions, then the fluky winds in the Doldrums, followed by the constancy of the trade winds.

The boats pass the Windward and Leeward Islands in the Caribbean, then through the Bahamas before crossing the Gulf Stream to the finish at Ft. Lauderdale. The estimated date of arrival is April 2.

"I think the start will be very tricky," Cayard said. "The first night there might be a very light wind. Getting round Capo Frio 200 miles to the east will be tricky. We will just have to take it easy and not get too frustrated."

Whitbread Log
Follow Cayard's progress with his daily reports from EF Language posted here at the AmericaOne Web site.

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