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1 April 2003, 11:29 am
Leaders Halfway
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Tasaki Osaka Cup
Melbourne - Osaka

After spending 40 hours lolling around the Solomon Sea to the south of New Island, race leader and Open racer class leader Maverick II has at last found a storm cell to power her northwards.
Overnight she will reach the half way point in this 5,000-mile race.

At midday today the Elliott 14 metre was 51 miles east of Lihir Island to the north of New Ireland with second placed Kontrol having slowed in the light conditions to west of Bougainville.

Club Marine Wizard Cruiser Class B leader was in third place overall ahead of Racer B leader Lulu with the Racer C leader, that sports boat on steroids Jon Sayer's 10.1 metre Team FGI likely to sail through them in the next 24 hours.

Plantronics Duo Pro, better known, as Turbo by her local Hobson's Bay Yacht Club was sixth, close to the Bougainville shore in company with X-Dream

These boats look to be trying to stay in breeze on the coast, to avoid the calm that brought the race leader to a halt on Sunday and Monday.

Matrix was eighth 123 miles north of Laughlan Island, while the Huey could throw a hat over the next group of four, TMQ Marine, Beyond Outrageous and Louise Cruiser C leader and Funnel Web 35 miles north of that same horse shaped Island.

Boots has rounded Rossell Island, having now been passed by the Japanese Antarctic rescue boat Shirase now steaming north to Rabaul with the now safe crew of the wrecked Mad max aboard. Salaku at noon was abeam Rossell.

Fine Tolerance was having later morning muffins and coffee, 121 miles south south west of Rossell.

The disappointed and temporarily defeated crew on No Fearr has turned back for Brisbane were 21 miles further south Tail-gunner Naniwa was 268 miles NE of Fredericks. They were 1511 miles from Melbourne and a thousand miles behind the leader.
Rob Kothe/
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