Sailing: Mini-skirt helps Geake's air flow

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The Independent Online
LAWRIE SMITH was still heading for an impressive win in the sixth leg of the Whitbread Round the World Race yesterday. With less than 500 miles to run to Fort Lauderdale, Smith's British boat, Silk Cup, had pushed her lead over Paul Cayard in EF Language up to 22 miles, and was romping away at more than 15 knots.

Major efforts were being made at the Port Everglades marina in Florida to have everything in place for a finish tomorrow afternoon, four days ahead of schedule.

Even so, there are one or two syndicates facing problems when they arrive from the previous stop-over in Brazil, because containers of equipment and repair workshops have yet to be delivered.

While Adrian Stead on Silk Cut was revelling in a "grey and blustery day" he was also reporting the need for a wash and brush-up when they dock. "Spotty everything has afflicted a few of the crew, mainly a heat and salt rash," Stead said. "Navigator Vincent Geake has resorted to wearing a mini-skirt arrangement to get some air around his plums! As a result he has earned the name 'Victoria'. A good sauna and some fresh water should do the trick."

However, the fast-running conditions were not to everyone's liking. Grant Dalton would prefer conditions to be lighter for fifth-placed Merit Cup. He was hoping that the presence of black clouds and sheets of rain could mean the wind was about to get tricky.

"If we are going to catch the boats in front, we are going to need the weather to get a little mixed up," Dalton said. "Even then we might not have as much runway as we need to overhaul the pace- setters."

WHITBREAD ROUND THE WORLD RACE: (sixth leg, 4,750 miles, Sao Sebastiao, Bra, to Fort Lauderdale, US): 1 Silk Cut (GB) L Smith 689.9 miles to finish; 2 EF Language (Swe) P Cayard 22.7 miles behind leader; 3 Swedish Match (Swe) G Krantz +48.7; 4 Innovation Kvaerner (Nor) K Frostad +58.8; 5 Merit Cup (Monaco) G Dalton +110.8; 6 Chessie Racing (US) J Kostecki +92.4; 7 Toshiba (US) P Standbridge +112.1; 8 Brunel Sunergy (Neth) R Heiner +175.8; 9 EF Education (Swe) C Guillou +216.5.

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