Sailing: Pressure on in Whitbread

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The Independent Online
Two full gales are predicted for the Whitbread fleet over the next 72 hours as they barrel their way through the Southern Ocean on the second leg from Cape Town to Fremantle, Western Australia.

Still way out in the lead is Gunnar Krantz in Swedish Match, 190 miles ahead of Innovation Kvaerner and another 100 in front of Toshiba. These three are well clear of a chasing group of five, any of whom could make big gains in terms of places.

EF Language skipper, Paul Cayard, says he is heading for 52 degrees south and investing in the future. "I am really enjoying this experience. It is the ultimate camping trip and the only time in my life I can get focused on just one thing," he said yesterday.

On third-placed Toshiba, the British skipper, Paul Standbridge, said: "The Southern Ocean we all know so well has arrived in full force, but we are worrying about a high pressure ridge that is moving in on us." Second-placed Knut Frostad on Norway's Innovation Kvaerner said that, while they had pulled back 40 miles on Swedish Match, damage, which was already affecting them, was something that all the boats would now have to be wary about.