It Has Been Clear Sailing for Cayard in Whitbread

Paul Cayard is back in San Francisco, in his own house, with his family, while some of his rivals in the Whitbread Round the World sailing race continue to struggle to finish the fifth and toughest leg, hungry, thirsty, embittered, broken and despondent about their lot in the premier ocean race.


“I don’t mind being lucky,” said Cayard, who drove his Swedish-sponsored EF Language through the fierce Southern Ocean and around Cape Horn before the wind shut down on his rivals, allowing him to stretch his lead at one point to 652 nautical miles on the 6,670-mile leg from New Zealand to Sao Sebastiao, Brazil.

“But we did get ourselves into a position to be lucky. The other guys were just not at full throttle.”


Cayard’s EF Language, with fellow Americans Mark Rudiger, Steve Erickson, Josh Belsky, Curt Oetking and Kimo Worthington among his crew of 11, has won three of the five legs and in the points table needs to average only a bit better than third place the rest of the way to triumph overall. More impressive, EFL leads by more than six days, although time no longer counts.

The crew arrived in Sao Sebastiao to a wild, mid-Carnival welcome, and won the leg by 508.7 miles over Brunel Sunergy of the Netherlands, which finished more than three days later Thursday night.

Baltimore’s Chessie followed 6 1/2 hours later.