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Team Adventure slows as she approaches Wellington NZ

by Keith Taylor on 13 Feb 2001
The American catamaran Team
Adventure has been slowed by light winds in the Tasman Sea about 700 miles
from here where an international team is assembling and making preparations
to repair her main crossbeam. The beam was first damaged in the Southern
Ocean and was repaired in Cape Town, South Africa during a four and a half
day stopover there.

The 110-foot catamaran was originally expected here on tonight, Tuesday,
local time, but is not forecast to arrive until late on Wednesday, or
possibly later. Today Skipper Cam Lewis, from Lincolnville, ME, reported
that last night the boat and her crew of ten were enduring 'drifting
conditions' on a warm and clear night with a nice moon. The boat was
northwest of Milford Sound at the southwest corner of New Zealand's South
Island.

'It would have been nice to start off the week with some fantastic news like
recording big mileage, spotting whales, having dolphins playing in our wakes
and seeing albatross by the hundreds, but it is not to be,' said Lewis. 'We
have just had more than three days of hard sailing with big winds and waves,
and have discovered that the outer carbon skin on the repaired main beam
fairing has started to peel off and delaminate.

'This is terrible news, especially because we had great confidence in the
repair. Luckily the internal structure that was repaired in Cape Town is
still perfect. However we discovered the skin peeling, and some small areas
are bad enough that we can see the core coming through.

'What does this mean for Team Adventure? It means that we will continue our
adventure with a side tour of the Wellington waterfront, and stop for a
second time to get outside assistance. Because we have already stopped once,
the rules of The Race of The Millennium require that we stay in port for a
minimum of 60 hours.

'Right now we are sailing in light winds with no hope for a big change in
the next 36 hours. The leaders are sailing away from us very fast and the
two boats behind us are also moving well. The plan here is to push on to
Wellington.

'We will start immediately on the repair. My friend Eric Goetz from Bristol,
Rhode Island, and Goetz Custom Boats, has made a great offer and has sent
two of his top men from the USA to Wellington to do the repair work.

'This new damage comes as a big blow, both personally and for the team. We
launched this cat on November 13 last year, left from Cherbourg, France on
December 8 and started the race from Barcelona on December 31. Our time-line
has been in race mode now for months and I am proud of all the efforts from
so many people that have helped us get this far. There are so many options
that have been discussed about what is best to do with our program. Quitting
the course is not one of them. Once we realized the severity of the
delamination we had a talk, and to the man we decided that finishing is our
best option.

'This is not the race we wanted. We all are serious racers and enjoyed the
thrills of the battles with our competitors from the day of the start until
we had to detour to Cape Town. To sail to the finish with the same
enthusiasm and intensity as when we started will not be possible. However we
will continue to learn about the boat, to fine-tune the systems, sails and
weather routing, and to continue to test products from our sponsors and
suppliers.

'There is still a chance for a go at the 24-hour speed record. It will
require special conditions and we will look for them. We will push on down
the road as soon as we have the boat repaired.

'Ever since the start of this project there have been some immediate goals.
The Race was only the first. It was an interesting idea and a catalyst to
get us off the ground. It provided us a platform where we could focus some
good media attention and attract the public's attention to a really cool
event, showcasing some of the most incredible sailing machines ever imagined
and built. Our education program remains at the heart of the project and
every day I get news from kids, parents and teachers all asking questions
and wanting to be involved.

'Now, with The Race half completed, a victory is virtually impossible.
Instead it is time to focus on the bright future for the boat and Team
Adventure. Attempting the Transatlantic record this spring and summer is
number one on our list. After that we will look at an around Ireland Record
and some other shorter records in Europe.

'We will continue to search for corporate sponsors and suppliers to partner
with, and will plan to continue providing excellent value to all involved.
We will continue to look for private support and keep on with fun education
projects. We also plan on having some fun sailing days and short offshore
passages with as many of our supporters as possible.

'I will also be building a bigger network of crew because many of this
current team will be off on new challenges or returning to jobs and
families. I will use the transatlantic delivery back from the Med to start
this process and already have many individuals interested in sailing on the
boat for future events.

'As I said at the top, this new turn of events is not great news. Life is
not always filled with back-to-back sunny days. We will get out from under
the little black cloud and look forward to the Pacific, Cape Horn and
beyond.'

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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