Whitbread update

October 17, 1997

Status: Day 26, Leg 1


Boat, Nautical miles to finish

1. EF Language, 1,336.5

2. Merit Cup, 1,445.7

3. Innovation Kvaerner, 1,460.0

4. Silk Cut, 1,716.3

5. Chessie Racing, 1,920.9

6. Toshiba, 2,074.9

7. America's Challenge, 2,078.6

8. Swedish Match, 2,184.6

9. EF Education, 2,330.9

10. BrunelSunergy, 2,421.5

(as of 6: 07 p.m. GMT)

Boat beat: The breeze finally kicked in, at least for the front of the fleet, and the leaders are off and racing. With 30 knots of wind and 15-foot waves the "real" race has begun. "We hooked into this low-pressure system yesterday and are getting the best ride of anyone out of it," EF Language's Paul Cayard said. " I have been thinking about how to describe this to my friends and family. No words can do the experience. The shuddering, not shaking, the violent jerking of the boat throws the people out of their bunks. On deck you can't tell if this thing is a boat or a submarine. The decks are completely awash, sometimes up to one meter. When we change headsails and the boys go forward, you wonder how they can make headway for the force of the water. Several times people simply get washed away until their safety harness fetches up."

Weather: The lead boats will see six hours of nice winds.

Note: Information compiled from the Whitbread Round the World Race Web at www.whitbread.org

Pub Date: 10/17/97

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