Sailing: Smith clings to narrow lead

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The Independent Online
Lawrie Smith was again heading the Whitbread Race fleet as he attacked the last 400 miles to Cape Horn helped by stiff north-westerlies, writes Stuart Alexander. . He is expected to round overnight but was only three miles ahead of the leading maxi, Grant Dalton's New Zealand Endeavour, and sailing slightly slower. Smith has opened a 47-mile lead over his nearest rival 60, Javier de la Gandara's Galicia. The leaders are expected to finish the fourth leg in Punta del Este, Uruguay, on Thursday or Friday. The non-stop round the world challenger ENZA battled through huge seas and 56-knot winds to set a record for rounding the Horn of 48 days 2hr 32min. That is 5d 4hr 10min quicker than the old mark. ENZA's skipper Peter Blake, a veteran of five trips past Cape Horn, described conditions as 'the worst I've ever encountered' in those waters.

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