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23 June 2003, 08:51 am
KAZ Inches Her Way Home
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O3 Project - Round Australia Challenge
Round Australia

After an awfully quiet day at sea yesterday for the sailors with disABILITIES, KAZ popped up t 6am this morning AEST, 694 nautical miles west of her southern turning point, Tasmania's Maatsukyer Island, in her Around Australia circumnavigation.
The Lyons 54' sloop has 1341 nautical miles to go, having completed 5163 miles of her odyssey, and is as close as six days from her finish line off South Head in Sydney, which would see her break the current Around Australia monohull record of 43 days 19 hours 29 minutes 55seconds by eight days.

Still trapped in the high, with little breeze to power her towards her immediate goal, KAZ has been making slow progress, averaging 5 knots during the night - 1.2 knots short of the average Magna Data set when she created the record in 1999.

Owner/skipper of KAZ would be quietly saying a thankyou for the fact that KAZ performs just as well in light air as she does in the heavier winds.

Sailors with disABILITIES weatherman, Roger 'Clouds' Badham, did not make life easier, reporting last night, 'if you knew how close the South winds were ahead of you - you'd cry... soft,
but definitely better to point with!

The Aussie model still much better for the next few days, so I trust you've done preparation for breeze mid and late week. The US model is not so windy. Either way, a slow start tomorrow and then lots to do. Given tomorrow's breeze, I may have been a bit optimistic with 43/136 (latitude and longitude) on 24th. Only plan is to keep moving and don't worry about pointing well south (except if you drop to 44S). Breeze finally fills in and lifts later tomorrow.'

Still deep in the Southern Ocean, Bear (Phil Thompson) reported from KAZ, 'it's so cold, I can't believe we were in the tropics only one week ago - the wind stings, the rain stings, everything stings it is so cold out here.'

The KAZ crew took advantage of the lack of wind yesterday to celebrate their second birthday aboard - crewmember Harald Mirlieb's 49th birthday. The quietly spoken father of two boys will have a second celebration with his family on his return to Sydney.

With their return imminent, plans are underfoot to organise a greeting party for when KAZ and her crew arrive back in Sydney, "yes, we are encouraging all yachties in Sydney to come out on their boats and welcome KAZ and her crew home, then follow them back to the CYCA for a big welcome," said sailors with disABILITIES organiser, Melinda Lyons.
Di Pearson (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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