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7 May 2003, 04:47 pm
Spirit of Yukoh Approaches the Finish
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Around Alone
Newport, Rhode Island

At 11:00am local time Spirit of yukoh was 20 miles from the finish line. The wind has picked up this morning but it is very foggy and so Kojiro is sailing cautiously to the finish line. ETA is for 1pm local time.
Meanwhile out near his home country of Bermuda, Alan Paris on BTC Velocity is thinking about life after the race. He is a little too far away from land to see the lighthouse at St. Georges. Instead he will have to wait until he flies back there to take up an new job at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute. Alan found time to send a nice long update about life on board BTC Velocity and his own future.

"Hello all," he wrote. "I know I have been a little quiet lately on the news front, but not all of it relates to my broken rib or two, although that puts a little damper on your writing style while perched on my navigation station in a bouncy sea trying to find a position that is less uncomfortable than another, but enough about the damn ribs, I am going to pretend from now on that they are just fine !!

"The main reason for my lack of writing has been the realization that with 28,000 nm sailed so far in this race and now with less than 2,000 nm to go, the odyssey that is the Around Alone, is coming to an end. How does one feel about that, when a large focus of your life for 2 solid years, as well as those around you, has been influenced by this desire to achieve the ' Everest ' of goals for an offshore sailor. The answer to that question will be different for all of us.

"The professional sailors, such as Bernard and Emma will most probably take this in their stride as they continue to sail in the highest levels of our sport. Thierry will be retiring from professional sailing although I am sure will still be involved in the sailing world. Tim we know wants to continue on this new life path that he so enjoys no matter what obstacles come along and our good friend Derek, the indomitable Mountie, who although bringing up the rear due to life's unlucky roll of the dice will surely re appear with the likes of Emma and Bernard on a podium near you !!!

"How about me ?? Before the race started I was lucky enough to establish a working relationship with the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, a fantastic Museum and Educational Institution highlighting Bermuda's contribution to the world of underwater exploration and science. This relationship evolved from being the focus of an educational campaign in which 18 Bermudian schools have actively participated in following me around the world to eventually the offer of a job on my return.

"Lucky me !! The comfort of knowing that when the race was over I would not be searching for the ' right job ' to begin again, instead it found me. My new position will be that of Director of the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute. I could not have hoped for a better position, although not in the hotel industry, in which my previous 18 years experience lie, this is still very much in the hospitality industry as our market is in attracting the visitors who come to Bermuda by plane and cruise ship, the meetings and incentive market, as well as the ongoing relationship with the local resident community.

"I begin work on the 27th May, 10 days after prize giving. Although this will be a bit of a rush, I feel that it's important to get on with my new life ' after the Around Alone ' as soon as possible. Down time will lead to reflection and some of those thoughts are bound to be quite emotional as the Around Alone family, breaks up and we all go our separate ways, even though the bond that has been established during this race will remain forever."

Hang in there Alan - we look forward to seeing you and that yellow boat come sailing into Newport harbour very soon.
Brian Hancock
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