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2 July 2001, 02:52 pm
Disappontment as wind fails to materialise
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World Record Attempt Postponed

A near windless winter in Sydney has forced Sean Langman to put his dream of setting a world record for a 24-hour run in a monohull yacht on hold until later in the year.

Instead he will now concentrate on campaigning the Open 60 Grundig Xena in an east coast tropical trifecta of races; the Sydney to Gold Coast race followed by the Joico Big Boat Series at Hayman then the Hahn Premium Race Week at Hamilton Island.

For almost two months Langman and his crew of seven have waited patiently in Sydney for a favourable weather pattern to develop. But the winter storms that normally come at this time of year have not eventuated. Instead Sydney has had its mildest winter in more than 40 years with day after day of clear blue skies, no wind and temperatures topping 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The meteorologist for the attempt, Roger 'Clouds' Badham, advised Langman today that it was highly unlikely suitable weather would appear for some time.

"We've got no option but to pull the pin on the campaign until after we complete the northern circuit of races," said Langman. "Hopefully we will get what we want when we return to Sydney in early Spring.

"The only thing that would change our new plan is a strong southerly blow during the Gold Coast Race. If we go up the coast at an average better than that needed to break the record then we'll sail through the finish line off Southport and keep going. Hayman would be our next stop.

"It's unlikely, but it's an option."

Grundig Xena, a Murray, Burns and Dovell Open 60 design that has been modified for the record attempt, is out to top 467.7 miles in 24-hours. That mark was set by Frenchman Bernard Stamm's Open 60 Armor-Lux-Fois Gras during a gale-lashed record breaking dash across the Atlantic earlier this year.

Practice runs and races along Australia's east coast during recent months have left no doubt that Grundig Xena has the potential to break the record and at the same time smash the 500-mile barrier.

Rob Mundle/News Editor
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