Paul Cayard is replacing Dee Smith the VOR yacht Amer Sports One

Paul Cayard, skipper of the winning yacht EF Language in the last Whitbread race, will join the crew of Amer Sports One replacing American tactician Dee Smith, who has returned to the United States for an operation on his right shoulder.

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 night 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.”