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28 March 2003, 12:13 pm
Record in the Making?
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Tasaki Osaka Cup
Melbourne - Osaka

With two very experienced double-handed sailors Brian Petersen and John Bankart aboard Maverick II has picked up speed against the record since she left New South Wales waters.

She is now 128 nm south of Rossel Light on the eastern tip of the Louisiades and she is speeding towards New Ireland.

With only 3200 miles to Osaka, she is still behind record pace with an ETA of April 17th. However this reflects the 24 hours spent sheltering from the storm off the NSW coast and has coming down by 5 days in the last three days of trade wind sailing.

In 1995 Wild Thing completed the passage in 26 days, 20 hours 47 minutes and 6 seconds and in 1999 Sayernara took 30 days 3 hours 39 minutes 22 seconds.

If the conditions remain strong through the Solomon Sea, by the time Maverick II turns nor-nor west for Osaka she could be almost up to record pace.

Abeam of Littou Reef, Ryuzo Suzuki and Hiroshi Morimoto have been sailing their X-45 Lulu well above its expected performance. Lulu is 13 miles outside Kontrol, an excellent performance from the Danish built cruiser racer against the purpose built down wind flier.

Planatronics Duo Pro and Club Marine Wizard are only two miles apart, however X-Dream is slowly falling off the pack.

Team FGI is now separating from the chase group 165 nm NNE of Frederick Reef 40 miles ahead of Matrix, with Beyond Outrageous closer to the Australian coast but only 9 miles further back.

At the back of the fleet No Fearr is now approaching Cato Reef ahead of Naniwa.
Rob Kothe/
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