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Team Adventure 500 miles south of West Australia

by Keith Taylor on 6 Feb 2001
Team Adventure was sailing
slowly eastwards today, about 500 miles south west of Western Australia's
Cape Leeuwin and trapped by light winds remaining from the southerly storm
that powered her forward for the last four days

The 110-foot American catamaran, third in the Race of the Millennium, had
only covered 307 miles in the previous 24 hours at the 2300 GMT position
report. Over 4,500 miles ahead, the race leader Club Med was sailing at high
speed, southeast of New Zealand, followed by Innovation Explorer 620 miles
astern in second place.

While the low she rode dissipates and begins to reform, Team Adventure's
sailors have won a brief respite from the recent stormy conditions.

'We have seen a lot of water since leaving Cherbourg back in December, but
this latest storm was the biggest natural action of the elements we have
experienced,' skipper Cam Lewis wrote today. 'I am happy to have such a
great strong boat and competent crew.'

'Dawn in the south was not pretty again for the second day. So many tones of
gray would be hard to find on an Awlgrip paint chart. The whites and aqua
blues were startling in their contrast, as 30 to 50-foot waves, breakers
atop, streaked northward leaving foaming tails and aerated waters in vibrant
aqua blue colors behind.

'Three reefs in the main, storm jib up and down, boat speed kept down to 15
knots or so, with surfs to 30. Eye openers these, no room for error on the
wheel. Point her down, carve the turn and pump out before the options close
with the wall of water coming on.

'This is happening every minute of so, walls of water breaking meters above
my head just outboard of the steering station. Waves careening into the
hulls from all angles exploding into smoke. Thanks to our cockpit wall, we
are escaping the full force. Helmets with full visors are a must for
driving.

'The relentless sound of smashing water and plastic never ceases, a
cacophony of noises, the roar of wind d in the rigging, the waves competing,
decibels on top of the chart.

'It takes at least an hour to stop flinching when a greenie comes in at head
height and tries to whip your head back. Bend into it, stand feet planted,
two hands on the wheel. Take it. Look back, see what's coming. A lion is
loose behind and ready to pounce. Make a move, spin the wheel. Which way?
Laugh at it and wait for the next one. Smack, smack, pit, pit. The water
hits the brain in bathtub-size chunks. Luckily it only hits the drivers from
the shoulders up or they would be flattened.

'Have you ever wiped out water skiing at speed? Did ya bounce? Water is damn
hard. Cold too. It's part of the job. Being a Catboy is not for the meek, no
smokers here.'

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.

For more information on Team Adventure, go to http://www.TeamAdventure.org
or visit the race site at http://www.therace.org. Additionally, individuals
wishing to donate to the Team Adventure Education Foundation or corporations
looking for sponsorship opportunities should contact Lydia Langston at
Lydia@TeamAdventure.org.

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