Sailing: Cayard steals ahead of Smith

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PAUL CAYARD threatened to score a remarkable fourth leg win out of six when he put EF Language into the lead in the Whitbread Round the World Race yesterday.

The American skipper of the Swedish boat held only a 1.2-mile advantage over Britain's Lawrie Smith in Silk Cut on day 10 of the 4,750-mile leg from Brazil to Florida. The two boats, averaging 16 knots as they reach towards the West Indies, have broken away from the chasing pack at what could be a crucial time.

Smith has taken a more northerly route away from the Brazilian coast, separating him from Cayard by 17 miles. This could give him a better angle to take advantage of some fast reaching in north-easterlies being generated by a strong high-pressure system.

Back in the hunt are Grant Dalton, lying fourth in Merit Cup and Gunnar Krantz, now fifth in Swedish Match. They had both gone further offshore to look for the fresher trade winds.

WHITBREAD ROUND THE WORLD RACE (sixth leg, 4,750 miles, Sao Sebastiao, Bra, to Fort Lauderdale, US): 1 EF Language (Swe) P Cayard +2,150.5 miles to finish; 2 Silk Cut (GB) L Smith 1.2 miles behind leader; 3 Innovation Kvaerner (Nor) K Frostad +19.4; 4 Merit Cup (Monaco) G Dalton +25.5; 5 Swedish Match (Swe) G Krantz +29.6; 6 Chessie Racing (US) J Kostecki +44.9; 7 Toshiba (US) P Standbridge +57; 8 Brunel Sunergy (Neth) R Heiner +70.6; 9 EF Education (Swe) C Guillou +109.5.