Whitbread update

December 19, 1997

Status: Day 5, Leg 3

Standings:

Boat ............ Nautical miles to finish

1. EF Language .......... 903.9

ZTC 2. Silk Cut ............. 907.4

3. Toshiba .............. 910.3

4. Chessie Racing ....... 911.8

5. Swedish Match ........ 915.7

6. Merit Cup ............ 923.5

7. EF Education ......... 926.6

8. Innovation Kvaerner .. 941.5

9. BrunelSunergy ........ 948.8

(as of 18: 04: 16 GMT)

Boat beat: For the second time on this leg, a boat has experienced a serious mast problem. Yesterday, Swedish Match developed buckling around the mast step. An almost identical problem was reported earlier in the leg by Innovation Kvaerner. On Dec. 14, the boat reported that a hastily assembled repair kit was dropped by helicopter to the boat. The weakened mast was reinforced with the kit. The description given of Swedish Match's mast problem matches Innovation Kvaerner's problem. Large compression dents appeared on both sides of the mast, right above the step. Currently, wind and sea conditions are being kind to the wounded boat. But that may not last. After 24 hours, winds are expected to increase to 25 knots.

Weather: Winds likely to be fairly light for most of the fleet for the next 24 hours.

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

Pub Date: 12/19/97

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