Today in Auckland, New Zealand, Nautor Challenge announced that Paul Cayard, skipper of the winning yacht EF Language in the last Whitbread race, will join the crew of Amer Sports One.
Cayard will replace American tactician Dee Smith, who has returned to the United States for an operation on his right shoulder. Had Cayard not been available, then Smith would have sailed leg four.
Amer Sports One skipper, Grant Dalton, said, "Dee has been doing a great job, but has had trouble with his shoulder for several months. It's painful and restricts his movement and, sooner or later, he would need surgery. The fact that Paul is available for leg four allows Dee to get it over with now.
"Dee left New Zealand on Sunday nigh and had the surgery on Tuesday. He will return to New Zealand, and the team, next weekend. The medical advice is that he will require five or six weeks of rehabilitation and is expected to be fit for leg five."
Cayard is no stranger to the Nautor Challenge team as Dalton explains, "Paul has been involved with the Nautor Challenge syndicate from its inception. We have conferred a number of times about various aspects of the campaign. He is also a board member of Nautor's Swan and honorary chairman of Nautor Challenge."
Dalton, second to Cayard in the 1997-98 Whitbread, said "I chased Paul around the world four years ago and I would rather have him sailing with me than against me.
"Paul will take over Dee's tactical role working with navigator Roger Nilson and he will also have a role on deck. Dee offered to have the operation after the race, doing it now will allow him to get stronger through to the finish.
Cayard is looking forward to the race. "Leg 4 is the best leg of the race. It has it all you start in pouring rain, sail through gales, 30 foot waves and ice, and finally finish in extreme heat. I am looking forward to sailing with Grant and his team and racing for Nautor Challenge"