Sailing: Krantz keeps up pressure

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The Independent Online
Auckland, the self-styled City of Sails, wanted to welcome one of its own, Grant Dalton, as the winner of the fourth leg of the Whitbread Round the World Race from Sydney - but Merit Cup was way out of touch with the leaders yesterday, with Gunnar Krantz ahead in Swedish Match by more than 100 miles as an oscillating wind spread the fleet across the Tasman Sea.

Dennis Conner has his work cut out to elbow Toshiba past Krantz, going for his second leg win. Current predictions are that while the run into Auckland is down the coast, the sailing could be upwind, and Krantz's boat looks good in that mode, according to Conner.

Piling on the miles last night was Paul Cayard's EF Language, which pulled back from eighth to fifth and was starting to breathe down the neck not just of Chessie Racing but Merit Cup, too.

Wondering what to do next was Lawrie Smith, out of touch and in sixth place. His purple yacht carries the image of a shark but is currently looking a little toothless. If he maintains this position he will drop to seventh overall, last of the truly competitive boats. Krantz is expected to cross the finish line at Orakei Wharf tonight.

WHITBREAD ROUND THE WORLD RACE (fourth leg, 1,270 miles, Sydney to Auckland). 1 Swedish Match (Swe) G Krantz 261 miles to finish; 2 Toshiba (US) D Conner 143.6 miles behind; 3 Merit Cup (Monaco) G Dalton 26.3; 4 Chessie Racing (US) G Collins 30.2; 5 EF Language (Swe) P Cayard 36.2; 6 Silk Cut (GB) L Smith 54.7; 7 Innovation Kvaerner (Nor) K Frostad 88.4; 8 Brunel Sunergy (Neth) R Heiner 94.6; 9 EF Education (Swe) C Guillou 120.2.