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5 April 2003, 11:40 pm
GPS Down
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Tasaki Osaka Cup
Melbourne - Osaka

Tracking towards the uninhabited West Fayu Atoll in Micronesia, race leader Maverick II has averaged 8 knots for the last 24 hours in steady trade winds.
Further south Kontrol continues to lead the following bunch but is losing contact with Maverick II now 173 miles closer to Osaka.

Jon Sayer, the winner with Rob Drury in the 1999 race aboard Sayerna continues to perform well and is third place with his Sumo 101 Team FGI. Lulu in 4th place 15 miles behind with Club marine Wizard south west only a mile further from the finish line.

There is a gap back to Matrix who crossed around the Equator 3pm this afternoon the is still 100 miles behind X-Dream, exactly as she was yesterday afternoon. South of them are Beyond Outrageous, TMQ Marine, Louise and Funnel Web Sibby Mcfayden reported by satellite phone this afternoon from Funnel Web

'Today we passed the last of the islands and we are on our way through open ocean to Japan. It feels like a major milestone and although we have lost some ground again last night, it feels at least we are on the home run.

I have taken a bearing of 335 degrees to take us on the most direct route to Japan given yesterday's location coming out of the Solomon Islands. We only have a couple of islands near Guam to avoid and a few reefs, this hopefully should not be a difficult task.

Earlier on in the day I was quite panic stricken when I discovered that all our three GPS' had had a nervous breakdown. I did not realize how much I had relied on the GPS until this happened.

No matter what I checked I was getting the wrong positioning based on the last reading only minutes before hand, and some one of them was frozen.

I reprogrammed them based on our current location but to no avail. I instantly marked out position on the chart, and Ivan got me to write down the date and distance and location.

I was at a loss as to what had gone wrong and C-map was completely inoperable without a fully functioning GPS.

We have come to the conclusion, that the US must have gone to war with Iraq or something of a similar nature, and they had shut down the satellites or re-programmed them.

We had no idea, I guess we were only speculating, but it seemed like a good explanation, why else would 3 GPS' go down all at the same time. It made me painfully aware as to how vulnerable we are to modern technology.

The GPS' came back about ½ hour later and I instantly plotted our new position and checked our location and course on C-Map. Interesting run of events.

We are approaching a major reef (Lyra Reef) and I had better be on the ball tonight. And tomorrow is another day. We have to continue to concentrate on making miles over the others.
Rob Kothe/
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