Preparing for the next BlastOff
Update: February 00

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BJ Caldwell writes...

Just a month after the notice and with eighteen months to the start of the much anticipated 'One-Design Nonstop Solo Around the World Race', we have three contestants.

That includes me, Mushy Mcintosh and Liz Wardley. Mushy was at one point the youngest person to ever do the Sydney to Hobart Race, he's done seven - most of them aboard the S&S 34 "Boomaroo", he is 22 years old and is preparing his boat for the event.

Liz Wardley is of course the prodigy 20 year old sailor from PNG who most recently skippered her Elliot 36ft "Phillip's Foote" to class victory in PHS Division II of the 1999 Sydney to Hobart Race (see story in previous "Latest News"). She has many other victories to credit that include the Sydney to Lord Howe Island Race, she was 2nd place in the world aboard the Hobie 16 for 1998, she was the youngest skipper in the Sydney to Hobart, she had the youngest crew and she was the first female skipper to ever win!

Liz sailed her first Sydney to Hobart aboard the S&S 34 "Boomaroo" with Mushy. Naturally, she aspires to do battle with her two former crew-mates (I crewed with her in the 1999 Hobart win). Liz is selling "Phillip's Foote" and is currently looking for the right S&S 34 to use for the race.

As for me and my S&S 34 "Stray Bit", she is my partner and I long for the drag race across the Southern Ocean with my two mates! To think of the times I've already spent with Mushy and Liz, let alone the adventure we will undertake together is incredible - I can only shake my head. I can already hear the radio chats and the obstacles not unlike when I sparred with Korean Tony Kang on my last round the world - I will never forget the times!

Little did I know standing on Table Mountain in Cape Town smoking a cigar with Tony - in what was both of our halfway points - that our battle was only the begining of a much longer race into the future!

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