Sailing: Smith put under pressure

Click to follow
OCEAN race turned to match race yesterday as the wind died on Lawrie Smith and Chris Dickson crept up to put the leaders in the two Whitbread 60s just 20 miles apart with 500 miles to go to the end of the second leg in the Round the World Race, writes Stuart Alexander from Fremantle.

Smith was in a similar predicament last time he came into Fremantle, in Rothmans in 1989. Then, he beat Pierre Fehlmann, in the maxi, Merit, by 28 seconds. This time Fehlmann, in the new Merit Cup, has his hands full with Grant Dalton in NZ Endeavour, while Smith is up against a shrewd match racer, Dickson has been world champion four times.

Smith has brought the golden touch to Intrum Justitia, replacing Roger Nilson as skipper just before the start of the second leg from Punta del Este and turning a lacklustre boat into a winner.

Setting out again yesterday from the Kerguelen Islands was Dolphin & Youth, after refitting her rudder at the and Antarctic ship maintenance base with the help of the French Navy. 'They fed us, helped us put the yacht back together and are sending us off with fresh food and plenty of diesel,' the skipper, Matt Humphries, said.