Sailing: Frostad not fazed by trouble and strife on the ocean wave

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The Independent Online
"I think," said Innovation Kvaerner's skipper, Knut Frostad, "there may still be some blood down the side." Safely tied up here in Fremantle with enough points from second place for the leg from Cape Town to give him the overall lead in the Whitbread Race, it was time for the Norwegian to breathe a sigh of relief.

A serious encounter with a whale on the starboard side of the boat meant that three ring frames in the bow were cracked and had to be repaired using an epoxy kit. It also mean that for 24 hours Frostad had to ease back, change course, and abandon a plan to go south of the Kerguelen Islands as repairs were completed and urgent radio telephone conversations took place with yacht designers.

The boat will take a week to repair. "We were not sure how much we could load up the boat," said the navigator Marcel van Triest, who said he would not, anyway, have taken the decision to break away from the pack in the way which had given the leg winner, Swedish Match, the break.

Lawrie Smith's Silk Cut should finish fourth today, but third overnight was his old crewman Paul Standbridge, now skipper of Dennis Conner's Toshiba. That yacht, with a time of 16 days 5 hr 27min 12sec, had the pulpit, most of the starboard stanchions and the stern quarter pushpit ripped out and crewman David Allen suffering from suspected cracked ribs. The boat, he said, had been given the horizontal test a few times.

WHITBREAD ROUND THE WORLD RACE (second leg, 4,600 miles, Cape Town to Fremantle): Latest positions: 1 Swedish Match (Swe) G Krantz finished; 2 Innovation Kvaerner (Nor) K Frostad 2 finished; 3 Toshiba (US) P Standbridge finished; 4 Silk Cut (GB) L Smith 102 miles to finish; 5 EF Language (Swe) P Cayard 153; 6 Chessie Racing (US) M Fischer 359; 7 Merit Cup (Monaco) G Dalton 607; 8 EF Education (Swe) C Guillou 720; 9 Brunel Sunergy (Neth) H Bouscholte 836.