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.