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19 June 2003, 01:22 pm
Weather to Slow Kaz Down
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03 Project - Round Australia Challenge

No matter what tactics are used, KAZ with her sailors with disABILITIES on board is going to encounter a high that will see them in a lull for up to 36 hours.
Roger 'Clouds' BADHAM, weatherman for the group, reported this morning, 'we are looking at the situation every six hours. There is a high with a big claw that will jump on KAZ, it is a tricky situation.

The guys are skating on thin ice a millimetre thick, at the moment they have managed to stay around one hour of the softness, and there is a 40% chance they will get caught, but we may not know until Saturday, that's the crunch day,'
he said.

'Even if they stay ahead of it until reaching Tasmania, it will get them in Bass Strait, one way or the other, they will encounter the high. They had a tiny front go through them an hour ago, and I have advised them to dive south today. They are currently at latitude 38, but by tonight they need to be at 40-42 latitude.

They are two-sail beam reaching at the moment, then they can free up tonight when they are further south and put their kite back up, then truck east, east east,'
he added.

Ironically, it is this same high that gave the 54' Lyons sloop her fast ride down the West coast that will come back and bite them between the Southern Ocean and Bass Strait.

The Southern Ocean is a cold and unpredictable place; not a place to be caught with no wind. Bass Strait would be the preferable place if you were forced to sit in a hole.

The large Coastal high has light and variable winds along the Great Australian Bight, which is why KAZ is avoiding the direct rhumbline track towards Maatsuyker Island at the southern tip of Tasmania.

During the night she has still been averaging 8 knots but the next 24 hours will be critical as she looks for a fast ride eastwards towards Tasmania.

At 08.50 this morning (local time), KAZ was 286 nautical miles south east of Cape Leeuwin, having covered 4,558 miles - only 1,946 to go to the finish line in Sydney.

Now just over two-thirds of the way around in her Around Australia bid, KAZ has been sailing 24 days, her current ETA 10 days away June 28th. She is still some seven and half days ahead of record pace, which is just as well, considering the present situation.

Di Pearson (As Amended by ISAF Secretariat)
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