Sailing: Dalton loses touch while desperation sends rest of chasing pack heading for Antarctica

Whitbread round the world race
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The dice are being rolled and several yachts are taking the gamble of heading towards the ice of Antarctica in the search for a weather break that will restore respectability to their performance in the second leg of the Whitbread Round the World Race from Cape Town to Fremantle.

For the chasing five boats it is as easy to be fourth as it is to be last. The dream of reeling in any of the leading three yachts has all but evaporated at the half-way stage. The big gainer has been Paul Cayard in EF Language and the two big losers Hans Bouscholte in Brunel Sunergy and Grant Dalton in Merit Cup. Dalton has dropped to seventh and is the only one of the chasing six who yesterday morning did not pull a little back on the leaders. He was also the most northerly.

Making the fastest progress was Britain's Lawrie Smith in Silk Cut. He pulled back up to sixth from eighth overnight, but the measure of his task is that Gunnar Krantz in Swedish Match had a lead of 313 miles over the second-placed Knut Frostad in Innovation Kvaerner. Frostad has reported further wave damage, this time to the bow structure.

Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen, the Danish Olympian based in Britain, won the World Etchells Championship in Hong Kong, with a pair of Australians, Colin Beashel and Noel Drennan, second and third.

WHITBREAD ROUND THE WORLD RACE (second leg, 4,600 miles, Cape Town to Fremantle, Aus): Latest positions: 1 Swedish Match (Swe) G Krantz 2,291 miles to finish; 2 Innovation Kvaerner (Nor) K Frostad 313 miles behind; 3 Toshiba (US) P Standbridge 467; 4 EF Language (Swe) P Cayard 846; 5 Chessie Racing (US) M Fischer 867; 6 Silk Cut (GB) L Smith 885; 7 Merit Cup (Monaco) G Dalton 893; 8 EF Education (Swe) C Guillou 896; 9 Brunel Sunergy (Neth) H Bouscholte 918.

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