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Silky Seas


Spring Break is almost over for the nine boats competing in the
Whitbread Round the World Race. After a three-week layover in
Fort Lauderdale (more high-tech tuning up than high-times tuning
out), the odyssey, which began last September in Southampton,
England, resumes on Sunday with an 870-mile, three-day sprint up
the East Coast to Baltimore.

That stretch, the seventh of the race's nine legs, should seem
like a breeze compared to the grueling 4,750-mile journey from
San Sebastiao, Brazil, to the coast of Florida. Silk Cut
(right), a British entry skippered by Lawrie Smith, braved a
series of bruising squalls--and stayed on the radar right
through the Bermuda Triangle--to win the leg in an elapsed time
of 15 days, 19 hours, 55 minutes and nine seconds, reaching port
20.7 miles ahead of Sweden's EF Language, the race's overall
leader. Nevertheless, Silk Cut can't win the race because it
withdrew from the fifth leg with a broken mast. The Whitbread is
expected to finish on May 24...back in Southampton.