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TEAM ADVENTURE GETS BACK INTO THE FAST LANE IN THE RACE

by Keith Taylor on 29 Jan 2001
Back again in the Roaring Forties
the American catamaran Team Adventure was speeding eastward at 27 knots
tonight, south-southeast of the Cape of Good Hope.

Still in fourth place in The Race of The Millennium, Team Adventure had
gained 100 miles today on the Polish catamaran Warta Polpharma and was
sailing ten knots faster than her rival at the 11:00 PM GMT report. The two
boats were almost level on a north-south axis but Warta, which was further
south, enjoyed a 150-mile lead due to her shorter distance to the finish
line.

Both boats were riding the 18-knot reaching breezes of a southwesterly wind,
ahead of an area of high pressure, but their crews were closely monitoring
an advancing major low pressure area with storm force winds further south
and west.

Team Adventure, one of five mega-catamarans still competing in The Race,
returned to action from Cape Town, South Africa on Friday morning local
time, after four and a half days of round-the-clock repair work to her main
crossbeam. The team had delivered two crewmembers to hospital, hurt when the
boat was pounded by a giant wave. Two other crewmen elected to leave the
boat while it was in port.

Club Med, the race leader, was 3,700 miles ahead of Team Adventure tonight
and was crossing the Great Australian Bight, southwest of Tasmania. The
French boat was continuing to make small gains on the second-placed boat
Innovation Explorer, which was hanging on, 789 miles astern.

'We are now in 4th place - not the original game plan!' said skipper Cam
Lewis, in a satellite email message today. 'A new plan is in place, go fast,
go smart and steady.

'Just in from one of our agents ashore is the news that our white sistership
Innovation Explorer will be stopping in Wellington, New Zealand. Special
agents spread around the globe continue to update us on weather and the
conditions of our competitors. Now it is up to us to do our best to shorten
the lead.

'It is such a beautiful day. We have seen two whales, there are dolphins
playing in our wakes, flying fish and numerous sea birds are cavorting
across the waves. The sky is clear now. Earlier we were treated to some
spectacular clouds. Sometimes there is so much to see and absorb in the
natural beauty out here. There are constant changes in the sky. Last night I
lay on my back on the trampoline netting for a while and looked at amazement
at the number of stars, it was so dark and clear, just incredible.

'Fatigue from the break in schedule and the stopover is slowing waning. The
tough first night is behind us and now we plot a course to the east and
south. Some bad weather is chasing us and we must use caution to escape the
big winds close to the center of the overtaking low pressure system.'

Larry Rosenfeld, from Marblehead, MA, is Lewis' partner in the project and
the co-navigator of the big catamaran. He reported on the details of the
damage the boat suffered when it slammed into the peak of a wave, and the
repairs that were made.

'The repairs took longer than first anticipated,' Rosenfeld said. 'However,
the boat was restored to better than new. The damage was to the underside of
the main crossbeam on the starboard side of the mast.

'A wave hit the boat while we were sailing at about 30 knots. The impact
broke the inboard bulkhead inside the main beam (theoretical breaking
strength - 19 tons). The bulkhead buckled on a line right through the access
hatch.

'In addition there were stiffeners that had been added to reinforce the
skin, following on a similar problem experienced by Club Med last summer in
its transatlantic crossing. Three stiffeners were broken on each side of the
bulkhead and the outboard three stiffeners next to the hulls were also
separated from the skin.

'The skin was delaminated (core failure) in an area around the broken
bulkhead - probably caused by the weakened condition of the support
structures inside.

'Repairs were made to each of the six bulkheads to strengthen them and
prevent buckling. The stiffeners have been tied back into the back wall of
the beam (the strongest part of the beam) with sections of carbon tubing
(windsurfer masts) so they can act as further impact resistance, sharing the
load with the bulkheads, rather than stiffening the skin and putting more
load on each bulkhead.

'The outer skin was cut away in a section about six meters square and the
core was replaced with high density foam and a new outer skin laminated.'

The Race started in Barcelona, Spain, on December 31. The first boat is
expected to finish in the French Mediterranean port of Marseilles in early
March.

Team Adventure is a partner in a pair of innovative web sites.
www.nationalgeographic.com/teamrace, the web site of the National Geographic
Society, is the educational partner in the collaborative venture. The
National Public Radio affiliates WBUR in Boston, MA, at www.WBUR.org, and
WRNI in Providence, RI, at www.wrni.org, are the exclusive radio media
partners.

Monster.com, the leading global online careers site and the flagship brand
of TMP Worldwide (NASDAQ: 'TMPW'; ASX: 'TMP'), has signed a Sponsor Level
Partnership - becoming the first major sponsor of the team.

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