Whitbread Race: Leg 6
São Sebastião to Ft. Lauderdale
EF Language Fourth as Kvaerner Grabs Early Lead
SÃO SEBASTIÃO, Brazil (March 14, 1998) The start of Leg 6 of the nine-leg Whitbread Round The World Race was done in Brazilian style. An estimated 1,000 spectator boats jammed the starting area and turned it into an on-the-water carnival as they wished the fleet farewell on its 4,750-nautical-mile passage to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
On-the-water carnival at the Leg 6 start EF Language is in the upper right.
As the gun fired at 1800GMT (1500 local), EF Language, skippered by AmericaOne's Paul Cayard, led the fleet across the line at the committee boat end, with Toshiba and BrunelSunergy hot on its heels. In the middle of the channel were Merit Cup, Innovation Kvaerner and Swedish Match. Chessie Racing, with AmericaOne's John Kostecki at the helm, EF Education and Silk Cut opted for the island shore.
EF Language, Toshiba and BrunelSunergy immediately became entangled with the exuberant and unrestrained spectator fleet as the light west-northwesterly breeze slowly dropped away.
Merit Cup was first to hoist a spinnaker, but it was Innovation Kvaerner, with American Ed Baird at the helm, that rounded the first
turning mark 7.7 miles south of the start line 10 boat
lengths ahead of Swedish Match. In third position was Toshiba, followed by BrunelSunergy, EF Language, Chessie Racing, EF Education and Silk Cut.
EF Language then moved ahead of Toshiba and into a virtual tie for third with Swedish Match one hour into the race. BrunelSunergy also passed Toshiba to take over second place behind Kvaerner. Chessie was sixth.
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