Preparing for the next BlastOff
Update: May 2000

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BJ Caldwell writes...

With just a week to go before a date with my S&S 34 "Stray Bit", my faithful crew - Natasza Caban and I have been giving "Stray Bit" much devotion before our four-thousand mile sail to Honolulu.

We've mounted my Monitor windvane, reconditioned sails, installed the Kenwood SSB radio and covered the many common bases before such a departure. A big help is that Liz Wardley has given me her life-raft to borrow for the trip north. Aloha Lizzie, lets do the Hobart again soon!

Its confirmed, a fourth entrant in the race - this confidential challenge is now making preparations and should enhance our field of young and vastly talented sailors...

Then, a few weeks ago, calls from the President of the S&S 34 Association - Dick Newnham and triple circumnavigator - Jon Sanders in Perth. Notification of a new full-crewed 'One-Design Race' from Mauritius to Fremantle in April/May 2001. The 'Terra Australis 2001', the perfect compliment and pre-feeder to our longest ever race!

To all owners of SS34 Yachts,
The Western Australian Government, through Sport International WA, is interested in initiating a major yacht race: Durban - Mauritius - Fremantle. We are hopeful that the Mauritius - Fremantle leg will take place in April/May 2001 to coincide with the 200 year celebration of the French Government's Baudin Expedition, which left as a legacy many historical names in WA.

To help get this event up and running we have asked all the councils and shires touched by the Baudin Expedition if they are interested in sponsoring a yacht, by hiring a SS34 or liasing with an owner who is interested in participating in this race from Mauritius.

To this date the support from the Albany, Esperance, Rockingham, Mandurah, Shark Bay and Busselton Cities has been overwhelming and we believe Bunbury, Perth and the Pilbara and Kimberley Councils will also wish to be involved.

We expect the race will also be open to any other boats wishing to participate and we are particulary confident that, with the support of the French Government, overseas boats will also participate.

We believe we shall be able to help send the boats by deck cargo to Mauritius for those boats unable to devote the time to sail to Mauritius to begin the race.

We are also confident of significant support from Air Mauritius to help send the skippers and crew to Mauritius for those unable to sail there."
- Tom Hoad
Executive Director

Jon Sanders is pulling "Perie Banou" out of the Maratime Museum to take part himself. David Dicks is ready and has nominated his crew. Jesse Martin, Liz Wardley, Mushy McIntire, and eight other SS34 owners including myself are likely to be on the start. So there are ten entries with more coming on.

Naturally, the hope is a couple of these yachtsmen will use this new event as a pre-feeder to our 'One-Design Nonstop Solo Around the World Race' on Sept 28, 2001. Though, doing battle with Liz and Mushy should be plenty of competition to Fight Club! To get a taste of their backgrounds, have a look back at the previous "Latest News" articles - then confide that you can beat them, and join us!

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