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8 April 2003, 04:35 pm
Showers Under the Stars
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Tasaki Osaka Cup
Melbourne - Osaka

Moonsoon rain provided an excellent chance for the Team FGI crew to freshen up after a sweaty passage to clear the equatorial doldrums as they maintained third place overall in the 5000 n/ml Melbourne to Osaka yacht race.

Team FGI the Sumo 101 and the smallest boat in the fleet has no shower facility on board and her crew welcomed the chance to strip off and have a bath and wash their sailing gear that reeked with body odor. At the time Team FGI was sailing in light North East winds and gave her position to be 130 n-ml west of Fayu Island faced with another 1634 n/mls before reaching the end to the physically gruelling race in Osaka.

However the spirits were high as Jon Sayer and his younger crew mate Joel Berg described how nice it was to feel human again during their daily radio report to Team FGI supporters in Brisbane.

Sayer took the opportunity to tell Joel's parents Noeleen and Geoff Berg that their youngest son had become an accomplished 'Chef' cooking up an Irish Stew and noodles thanks to the prepared recipe from a tin and a packet.
"Seriously it's really good grits". He said.

Least of all Joel Berg had no intention to become a perfectionist in the galley when he accepted the crew position to race with Sayer a dual Melbourne to Osaka race winner with Flying Fish and Sayernara.

He was on a mission to complete a valuable learning curve in his personal career and he was achieving that when Team FGI racing with conventional keel ballast continued to chase the larger water ballasted race leaders New Zealand's Maverick 11 and the Victorian sloop Kontrol.

On positions tracked before dawn this morning Maverick 11 was 1291 n/mls from the finish leading Kontrol by 221 n-mls while Team FGI held third place to lead her class on both line and handicap honours another 122 n/mls astern.

Based on present speed averages and the promise of ideal sailing weather ahead Sayer and Berg have high hopes to step onto the dock in Osaka and order their first cold beer in 32 days after they complete the course on April 17th.
Ian Grant/Sail-World.com
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