Sailing: Smith sees advantage melt away

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Lawrie Smith was riding fickle light breezes yesterday but holding off his rivals as they tried to catch him in the tense closing stages of the fourth leg of the Whitbread Race to Punta del Este, Uruguay, writes Staurt Alexander. His lead in the Whitbread 60 class in Intrum Justitia was holding steady at 35 miles over Chris Dickson's Tokio, who was scrapping for second with Ross Field's Yamaha. One mile ahead of Smith and losing ground, Grant Dalton's maxi New Zealand Endeavour was 27 miles ahead of his nearest rival, Pierre Fehlmann in Merit Cup. The two class winners, Smith and Dalton, were expected home in the early hours of the morning. Smith will be disappointed if he makes only a little dent in the overall lead of 17 hours 40 minutes held by Dickson, when at one stage he had been 100 miles ahead.