Innovation Kvaerner installed as new favorite

December 10, 1997|By Bruce Stannard

Leading British bookmaker William Hill has installed the Norwegian boat, Innovation Kvaerner, as the 13-8 favorite for Leg 3 of the Whitbread Round the World Race set to start off Fremantle, Australia, on Saturday.

Hill has the Baltimore boat, Chessie Racing, listed as a rank outsider at 16-1, third from last in the nine-boat fleet.

The second favorite is Sweden's EF Language at 11-4, followed by Britain's Silk Cut at 4-1, Monaco's Merit Cup at 5-1, the United States' Toshiba at 6-1 and Swedish Match at 8-1.

After Chessie comes the Netherlands' BrunelSunergy at 200-1 and Sweden's EF Education, the all-woman boat, at 500-1.

How anyone, let alone a bookmaker in London, can determine odds on a boat race such as the Whitbread in which the vagaries of wind and weather play such an important part, is beyond the ken of most seasoned yacht racing observers.

Throughout Leg 3, which is expected to take 10 sailing days to reach Sydney, Australia, mid-latitudes and land influence will create a constant mixing of warm- and cold-air masses so that often weather predictions will defy expectations. With 2,250 nautical miles ahead of the fleet, anything can happen.

Pub Date: 12/10/97

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