Sailing: Smith rides the wind: Whitbread Round the World Race

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The Independent Online
LAWRIE SMITH'S Intrum Justitia, setting a searing pace of 19.1 knots, made the biggest gain yesterday on the third leg of the Whitbread Round the World race from Fremantle to Auckland, writes Stuart Alexander.

That bounced him from fifth Whitbread 60 to third as he overtook Yamaha and Galicia, who were achieving wet and wild averages of 16.9 and 16.8 knots. Just three miles separated all three boats. Smith is now only 26 miles behind Chris Dickson in Tokio who, in turn, has closed the gap on the race leader Dennis Conner's Winston to 32 miles.

Grant Dalton's maxi, New Zealand Endeavour, is still third on the water and 33 miles ahead of his nearest maxi rival, La Poste.

In San Diego the eight confirmed challengers for the 1995 America's Cup refused to give South Africa an extra two months to find a dollars 250,000 ( pounds 173,000) deposit and rejected the Russian entry even though they had paid four days after the 1 January deadline.

WHITBREAD ROUND THE WORLD RACE (Third leg, Fremantle to Auckland) Positions with nautical miles to finish: 1 Winston (US) 1,472; 2 Tokio (Japan) 1,504; 3 *New Zealand Endeavour (NZ) 1,530; 4 Intrum Justitia (NZ) 1,532; 5 Yamaha (Japan) 1,533; 6 Galicia 93 Pescanova (Sp) 1,535; 7 *La Poste (Fr) 1,563; 8 Dolphin and Youth (GB) 1,577; 9 *Merit Cup (Swit) 1,594; 10 Brooksfield (It) 1,606; 11 Heineken (US) 1,654; 12 Hetman Sahaidachny (Ukr) 1,740; 13 *Uruguay Natural (Urug) 1,776; 14 Odessa (Ukr) 1,833 * Maxis