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25 May 2003, 08:05 pm
Sailors with disABILITIES Given Green Light for Record Attempt
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O3 Project
Sydney

David Pescud and his Sailors with disAbilities crew aboard their yacht KAZ, have been given the green light from weatherman Roger 'Clouds' Badham to have a go at the Around Australia record.
KAZ will leave Sydney this afternoon, with the right conditions predicted to take the crew around Australia in an anti-clockwise direction.

Badham said 'There is a nice big, fat, high developing down near Tasmania, which will mean that the crew will experience strong south-easterly winds all the way to Cape York, 15-20 knots, then strengthening on Tuesday or Wednesday to 25-35 knot winds, ideal record breaking conditions and a comfortable fast ride under spinnaker.'

Pescud and crew returned to Sydney one week ago to get KAZ ship-shape for their journey which will take over one month to complete.

Today they will leave the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, leaving around 100 boats competing in the Club's Winter Series in their wake as they make their way out of Sydney Heads in drizzling rain, an official from the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC), based in the UK, taking their official start time.

The KAZ crew consists of skipper and severe dyslexic, David Pescud, 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.

Pescud and crew plan 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.
Di Pearson
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