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9 April 2003, 12:09 pm
Leaders Less Than Four Days From Finish
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Tasaki Osaka Cup
Melbourne - Osaka

Brian Petersen, the Kiwi's skipper of Melbourne to Osaka leader Maverick II reports that his 14 metre Elliott race is now 411 miles north east of Saipan and is now less than 1000 miles from Osaka.

"We have less than a 1000 miles to the finish to go, seems just around the corner but is still an Auckland - Fiji Race distance wise.

We have had near perfect conditions today. Light ENE breeze of about 10 knots, smooth seas, full main and eased #1 Genoa with the autopilot doing most of the steering. The last two days have been breezier and with the same apparent wind angle, much wetter and bumpier. So we feel we have deserved a day like today.

Looking ahead the weather fax tells us that the wind should move to the east more, and then eventually around to the south as a high pressure system moves over Japan. So hopefully as we get further north we can pop up a gennaker.

We are hoping to get into Osaka before the next low pressure system moves across. Late Sunday or Monday morning is the current ETA.

We sailed over a 10500 metre deep hole in the ocean floor, south of Guam on Monday, however I later found an even deeper hole of 10900 metres on the chart about 120 miles west of Guam, so have yet to sail in the deepest part of the world's ocean!

We are seeing more shipping now and several aircraft at night so must be getting closer to a busy part of the world. Very little sea-life out here, just the occasional bird and a few flying fish.

John cooked some pasta for lunch today. For starters we had Ryvita crackers (expiry date about June 2020!) topped with salmon in lemon juice and sun dried tomatoes and drizzled with a choice of honey mustard or Caesar salad dressing!

Pasta again for tea tonight, to use up the rest of the long-life milk before it goes off. Back to dog food again tomorrow night.

Tonight's sked will be interesting. We expect the boats behind will have narrowed the gap a bit, in view of the light conditions we are in.'"

Kontrol is now 190 miles north of Guam, but contrary to Brian's expectation she had not narrowed the gap, she is still 220 miles behind the leader. Team FGI is holding third just north of Guam, with Lulu further east in fourth place ahead of Club Marine Wizard.
Rob Kothe/
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