Smith delays signature for EF consortium

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The Independent Online
The Swedish EF Education challenge for the 1997/98 Whitbread Race were forced to delay introducing their preferred skipper, Britain's Lawrie Smith, in Southampton yesterday, writes Stuart Alexander.

The manager of the project, Johan Salen, said, however, that he expected contracts and all remaining issues to be settled within two weeks. The finance had been agreed, and "there are no make or break questions still needing to be solved," he said.

Smith will join a project funded by up to pounds 10m, already owning both Intrum and the Spanish yacht Galicia Pescanova, and planning to build two new yachts designed by Bruce Farr. One will be for an all-woman crew, at present headed by Mikaela von Koskull. The other would be Smith's with an international crew.