Sailing: Smith looks north for the wind

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The Independent Online
Lawrie Smith, pressing further north and moving faster, has thrown nearly all his Whitbread eggs into one tactical basket and yesterday pulled back to just a 12-mile deficit on the overall leader of the60-foot class in the Round the World Race, Ross Field's Yamaha, writes Stuart Alexander. His yacht, Intrum Justitia, was 50 miles further north and, on average, travelling two knots quicker than the leader, but lying 38 miles further west. Over the remaining 1,900 miles to the finish in Southampton, Smith has not merely to go ahead but also to wipe out a 10 1/2 hour lead which Yamaha accumulated in the previous leg. Smith is still the sixth W60 and Brooksfield saw Chris Dickson's Tokio and Dennis Conner's Winston move into joint second and cut the Italians' lead to 19 miles from 100. Also coming back into the hunt in the maxi class is Grant Dalton's New Zealand Endeavour, which has cut to 32 the 130-mile advantage established by Merit Cup.