Sailing: Dalton takes full advantage

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THE lead pair of Grant Dalton in Merit Cup and Paul Standbridge in Toshiba were stretching away from the chasing pack yesterday as both the temperature and the wind dropped on the eighth leg of the Whitbread race from Annapolis to La Rochelle, writes Stuart Alexander.

Over 90 miles covered the first-placed Dalton to last-placed John Kostecki in Chessie Racing. Dalton, who was doubly rewarded as the Atlantic was benign and, with the lighter winds, offered the conditions his boat is designed best to exploit.

Still enjoying a successful leg is the all-woman crew of EF Education, holding fourth position behind Knut Frostad's Innovation Kvaerner and relishing the opportunity of sighting an iceberg. Overall leader Paul Cayard was languishing 38 miles behind Merit in sixth place.