Preparing for the next BlastOff
Update: April 1999

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BJ Caldwell writes...

The year began with the dramatic rescue of French star single-hander - Isabelle Autissier by fellow Around Alone racer - Giovanni Soldini.

When notified of Isa's problem Gio said - "I go." Fortunately her capsized Finot 60's many watertight compartments kept her alive until she heard - what turned out to be Giovanni throwing a hammer onto her upturned hull.

Too bad she had to abandon her yacht - 'PRB'. But I know she will sail many more miles, perhaps not racing but cruising. I salute you Isa and look forward to sharing a secluded anchorage with you somewhere!

As for Gio's lead with 'Fila', I can think of no one more deserving of victory than this sailor. GO - Giovanni!

And later...the launch of the first purpose built maxi-multihull for The Race, Steve Fossett's 'PlayStation'. In the blink of an eye, Bruno Peyron's dream is becoming reality. My spin aboard 'Explorer' was like staring down the barrel of a gun - what is shaping up to be the 'ultimate ever ocean race'. I believe this will be a revolution for sailing - especially with the promise of 'live onboard imagery' telecast from the bottom of the world. Goodbye America's Cup :-)

As for me, I look forward to criss-crossing the Pacific this year for a delivery or two before establishing my base of operations in Los Angeles. This will better enable me to circumnavigate the world again. Many thank you's to all my supporters, I look forward to sharing emails with all of you from the deep south!

bj caldwell

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