Leg 1 – Whitbread

I’d like to be able to say that I knew my first leg in the Whitbread would go this well when I decided to do it but honestly, I can not. It was a big surprise to many observers and a pleasant

surprise to me.

The idea of winning the Whitbread Round the World Race is something that I thought we had a chance of doing when I signed up with TEAM EF one year ago. However, I thought the road to the

winners circle would be slow and painful as my team and I,

largely novices at this type of sailing, struggled to catch up

with the Dalton’s, Smith’s and Dickson’s along with their very

talented crews.

I am taking EF Language’s win on the first leg with a grain of

salt as I don’t think much has really changed. I still believe

that the Whitbread experienced teams will prove their metal when

the going gets rough. The boats will get hard to handle, and

experience in making decisions concerning changing sails and how

to do it, will pay off. This should be coming up right now on the

second leg, which we are 24 hours into at the time of this

writing.

What winning the first leg did confirm, is that EF Language can

play this game and can win the Race. What remains to be seen is

the amount of our deficiency in “Whitbread” conditions and can we

learn fast enough to minimize those deficiencies, and come out on

top in the final tally next May.

As we forge south right now, 50-60 knots of wind await us at 45S.

Once we get down there, we should be in for 10 days of serious

sailing in one of the greatest places on this planet to practice

the sport and one in which few sailors actually have the privilege

of going to. The waves will be in the 10 meter range, the wind in

the 50’s, the temperature around 0, and the boat speed in the

30’s. The 24 hour record for a mono-hull will be destroyed by half

of the fleet.

For those of you who know me you may be saying, “This isn’t the

Paul Cayard I remember. I thought he was smarter than that!”

Well, I guess I may have talked myself into this but actually this

is really a unique experience, one I will never forget and as a

sailor one that completes my career. There are some sacrifices,

probably the largest made by my wife and children

Seahorse October 1997

One week before the start of my first Whitbread and I am looking forward to it more than I was a year ago when I signed up. The sailing I have done on the boats this last year has been nothing short of some of the best sailing I have ever done. The boats are quite possibly the best big boat in the world, fast as a maxi upwind and fast as a sled downwind—water ballast is a great thing!

I am the new kid on the block in this arena so it will be interesting for all to see how well I can adapt to the “offshore” game. Also, I would say that I did not spend as much time as I would have liked to in preparation for this race. My previous commitment to AmericaOne was known and accepted by the EF management at the time of my hiring. Having said all that, those who know me know that I don

Seahorse August 1997

It is funny how your perspective changes. In preparing for the upcoming Whitbread, I will participate in the Fastnet Race with my EF Team, the last race of the Admiral

Star back in the Olympics

A lot of controversy has surrounded the fact that the ISAF the voted the Star out sailing

Seahorse April 1997

A few weeks ago, I was reflecting on things and realized that my life had suddenly taken some strange twists. Last November I had signed up to do a race that I swore many times I would never do (Whitbread) and more recently I had taken up snowboarding to be with my son and found that I liked it more than skiing. What is scary is that I have no problem finding good reason to do both. So I asked my wife if she thought I was having a mid-life crisis. She asked me if I was going out with strange women and I said no. She said I was only in the early stages of the crisis. Feeling a bit relieved, I decide to go ahead and tell her that I was thinking of the possibility of doing the Jules Verne. She then told me I needed an evaluation. I realized I better not talk about the Jules Verne for a few more months.

In January, I went to the Team EF base in Villamoura, Portugal, where I spent three weeks getting indoctrinated to the world of the Whitbread, affectionately referred to by me as, The White Bread. Those who know me know that I can

What am I doing in the Whitbread?

I am doing exactly what got me to where I am; broadening my horizons. While growing up in sailing, I was the one who at 18 was crewing in the Star World Championship and the 505 World Championship within 6 months. I was sailing Lasers at the same time as 6 meters. I won the Star Worlds and the Maxi Worlds in the same year.

To me, taking a step back and looking at our sport, I see a whole other side of our sport that I don