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9 June 2003, 10:35 am
Sailors with disABILITIES Set To Turn Left and Head Downhill Towards Half Way Mark
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O3 Project - Round Australia Challenge
Round Australia

At 09:00 yesterday morning, Sydney time, and 14 days into their Around Australia attempt, the Sailors with disABILITIES group aboard their 54' yacht KAZ had reached Melville and Bathurst Islands, 2320 nautical miles from Sydney.
KAZ reached the one-third mark in her 6500 nautical mile circumnavigation of Australia at 9pm AEST on Friday night, after just 12 days and seven hours since leaving her starting point on May 25, off South Head in Sydney.

Her one third mark, at 2180 miles was reached when she was north east of Darwin, sailing across the top of the Coburg Peninsula in the Arafura Sea. Continuing from that point, KAZ tracked towards Cape Van Dieman on Melville Island, 150 miles to the west, where she will turn south west towards Broome and the Indian Ocean and head for her half way mark at North West Cape off Western Australia.

Since turning west from Cape York last Tuesday night KAZ has had a fast passage across the 'top end' of Australia averaging almost 7 knots, well inside the 6.2 knots she needs to average to break the current record.

The seven Sailors with disABILITIES crew are well into their routine now - David Pescud, the owner/skipper of the group and Kim Jaggar, a School Principal and left arm amputee, the main helmsmen for the journey. Phil 'Bear' Thompson, another helmsman and left arm amputee, is in charge of food and its preparation, Brett Pearce, who has Spina Bifida, is in charge of communications, while Harald Mirlieb (deafness), Albert Lee (double leg amputee) and Alan Grundy (polio) make sure the boat keeps going. All are extremely competent sailors and are enjoying their journey immensely.

KAZ still has a Sydney finish line ETA of June 30th, well inside the 1999 Magna Data 44 day record, giving the group a leeway of eight days at this stage. They have been travelling under spinnaker in 15-20 knots of wind
Di Pearson
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