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31 March 2003, 11:25 am
Leader Hits Doldrums
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Tasaki Osaka Cup
Melbourne - Osaka

At first light on Sunday morning, off Bougainville, the race leader Maverick II was 200 miles ahead of second placed Kontrol.
Then she hit the millpond. Stalled in the Doldrums 300 miles south of the Equator, she has sailed 19 miles in the last 24 hours.

Her lead has shrunk to 56 miles and second placed Peter and Simon Blake aboard Kontrol are now 140 miles north of Laughlan Island.

Petersen and Bankart aboard Maverick II may soon see her sails, as she brings the breeze up to the leader.

The thundering herd is closing up. Kontrol is now only 46 miles ahead of Club Marine Wizard in 3rd place. Lulu is in 4th place, now only 123 miles behind Maverick II.

Planatronics Duo Pro and Team FGI are 4 miles back, sailing together.

X-Dream and Matrix have also rounded Laughlan Island and it seems no boat is planning to try the Northwest Passage between New Guinea and New Britain.

Certainly it seems the 2003 Melbourne to Osaka race is going to have its second restart, after the bulk of the fleet sheltered south of Gabo Island on the Victorian coast 10 days ago.
Rob Kothe/Sail-World.com
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