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27 January 2003, 10:30 am
News article - Style G 5737
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Alan Paris on BTC Velocity

Around Alone - Leg Three

At 10:00 local time Alan Paris was 30 miles from Cape Reinga on the northern tip of New Zealand. He is expected to round the cape at 13:00 local time and if the forecast holds, the ETA for BTC Velocity arriving in Tauranga is late in the day on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, in Tauranga, Thierry Dubois and Amnesty International highlighted the plight of children's rights around the world, and in an ongoing project Thierry painted his genoa with a design done as part of an Schools' Art Competition. School children at each of the Around Alone stopovers have been asked to design a logo or image on the human rights theme, with the winning design painted on the genoa. The sail already has artwork from France, England and South Africa, and today another painting was added. The artwork was jointly created by Lena Kenny and Larissa Mueller from Hastings in New Zealand. Their winning design is a symbolic image of children in the protective hug of adults.

Thierry Dubois has once again made it clear that he is not only an amazing sailor, but he is also a man with deep convictions and he continues to use his high media profile to draw attention to those less fortunate. For the last ten years Dubois has been sailing in partnership with Amnesty International and spends much of his free time during the stopovers talking at schools and spreading a message of toleration and human kindness. "Sailing in the Around Alone gives me the opportunity to speak out about some of the travesties taking place in the world, especially crimes against children," he said. "By having a media profile and the opportunity to reach thousands of people I am able to build a better world by protesting against violations of human rights."

At an outdoor concert held on Saturday evening Thierry elaborated on his reasons for sailing in partnership with Amnesty International. Before an audience of nearly 3,000 people, Dubois spoke in a quite, determined voice. "Looking around me at the world in which I live, the world of ocean racing, I realized one day that the widespread media interest in our sailing ships and in the races like the Around Alone makes it easy for me to transmit a message to a very wide audience. The message that human rights, however clearly they may be set out on paper, they are by no means applied all over the world." The crowd sat in silence listening to this ambassador for children's rights speak with a determination that left no one in doubt about his feelings. When Dubois finished his speech, the crowd erupted in applause, clearly impressed by the man and the message. Today, while painting the spinnaker and talking to the crowds that came to the race village to watch, Thierry's determination and strong convictions were evident. "This sail is a symbol that speaks for freedom. Freedom for everybody," he said. We salute you Thierry and join you in your quest for equality and an end to human suffering.

Brian Hancock/ISAF Secretariat
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