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The Race Team Adventure has 500 miles more Southern Ocean to go

by Keith Taylor on 28 Feb 2001
After sailing through monster
waves, with winds reaching hurricane-force intensity, the 110-foot American
catamaran Team Adventure was today just 500 miles from Cape Horn.

Skipper Cam Lewis, of Lincolnville, ME, reported moderating conditions and
said he expected to pass close by the famous, southern cape in daylight
hours tomorrow. Team Adventure is a distant third in The Race of the
Millennium non-stop around the world.

'We have transitioned from hurricane-force winds over 65-knots waves bigger
than your house and hail pinging off the deck to mellow seas and the
Southern Cross shining bright overhead,' Lewis said today.

'We are now sailing in more normal conditions on a good pace to the Cabo dos
Hornos on the Isla Hornos, the Chilean Island at the tip of South America we
all call Cape Horn, now lying 500 miles southeast of our present position.
Passing the Horn will take us to our furthest southern position. With any
luck we will pass in close, on a northwest wind in daylight.

'The past few days have been a wild ride wide through the vast South
Pacific, isolated by thousands of miles of big blue water from any kind of
shelter. We have been dealt the full brunt of a reasonable size low-pressure
system, pretty much normal sailing conditions for this part of the planet.
Liquid Himalayas wrapping themselves unheeded around the icepack promoted on
their journey by endless low pressure systems giving us surfing conditions
right out of the epic Endless Summer film.

'Some waves were so large even I would not point the bows down them and
would turn, bail out at he last second as the front 50 feet of the bows hung
in the air ready for the plunge. Turning, safely into the wind, my
self-preservation instinct kicking in. Thank god for that! You can surf most
of them most of the time, but sometimes down here there are such big waves
it is just too scary.

'The other morning at dawn o'thirty with three reefs tucked in the main and
still flying the staysail in 48 knots of wind I felt relatively safe. Lionel
Lemonchois asked me for my hot drink order. I had no sooner said 'hot
chocolate' than my foul weather gear pressed hard on my back and the rigging
shrieked.

'I bore off down a wave with some pace and watched the sea erupt in white
foam. The anemometer peaked at 67 knots. Cancel the hot chocolate and smoke
the staysail halyard!! Get it down!

'We hit 38 knots boat speed dead down wind. Safe, but a little hairy, with
some flashbacks from my last experience down here where we saw 82 knots of
wind. Welcome back. If you want to pass the Horn, play the game!

'Finally 24 hours later we started hoisting some sails this morning, first
storm jib in 50 knots, then staysail in 35 and finally mule up and main to
one reef when the wind settled in around 25 this afternoon. The seas have
gone from large, fast moving 30-plus-footers to a mellow rolling 10 to 15
feet. Those were very impressive conditions and, with due respect, some
waves that I would rather not see again.

'This cat is one fine seaworthy boat and I could not imagine being more
comfortable or confident in any other boat in the toughest conditions we
saw.'

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.

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