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15 May 2003, 12:53 pm
Around Australia Record Attempt Put On Hold
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Sailors with disABILITIES

David Pescud and his six crew members from Sailors with disAbilities sailed back into Sydney early this morning, unnoticed in the heavy rain and mist aboard their yacht KAZ, their attempt to break the Around Australia record on hold.
Just short of two days after exiting Sydney Harbour, PESCUD, the yacht's owner and skipper, decided it was prudent to return to Sydney when they encountered a rudder problem on KAZ, just north of Sugerloaf Point on the NSW coast, a repair at sea not viable.

"It wasn't dangerous, it just meant we would have had bail the boat a bit during our trip, which just takes a bit of the fun out of it. We also had a couple of other little problems with the boat, so we decided we would come home, fix the yacht, and head out again when our meteorologist, 'Clouds' (Roger BADHAM) tells us when the next best weather opportunity is."

Whilst the crew, which consists of PESCUD, a severe dyslexic, and six other disabled sailors, whose disabilities range from amputees to polio, deafness and spina bifida, were obviously disappointed at having to return home after all the hype of organising the trip, then finally leaving on Monday, they realise that it will only be a matter of a week or so before they can head out again.

KAZ returned to its home base, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, early this morning, all crew on board in good spirits. The yacht will be taken to River Quays today, where repairs will be undertaken.

PESCUD and crew originally set out on Monday to circumnavigate Australia non-stop and unassisted on the group's Lyons 54' yacht, KAZ. In doing so, the aim is to beat the Jeremy PEARCE/Kanga BIRTLES time of just under 44 days, set in 1999, to create a World Record - a first for a disabled crew.

An extremely experienced crew who have done a number of ocean miles together, including completing the disastrous 1998 Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race, in which they won the PHS class, Pescud's crew comprises Phil THOMPSON, Kim JAGGAR, Harald MIRLIEB, Allan GRUNDY, Albert LEE and Brett PEARCE.
Di Pearson
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