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Pause to Remember remains in trouble

4th April 1997
ICEBERGS, growlers, a broken boom and ripped sails have combined to thwart the progress of intrepid skipper Tom O'Connor on the fifth leg of the BT Global challenge. In a report from on board Pause to Remember this week, O'Connor calculates he is 1,500 miles from the South African coast - and the completion of what is turning out to be his worst leg. Anticipating setting foot in Capetown sometime between April 12th and 15th it is now a case of damage limitation in the final days of this 6,300-mile leg. Pause to Remember was crossing tacks with the top four boats down the Australian coast and held her position for the first seven days after the Sydney start but in the flukey winds prevailing off Tasmania, O'Connor was unable to hold his position and lost places when they ran into a secondary low 400 nautical miles south-southwest of Tasmania, which, the Corkman says, stopped us dead in our tracks.
Thirty-five-knot nose winds made sailing difficult enough but when the crew received warnings of growlers (detached blocks of ice up to thousands of tons in size) tension on board increased. Deeper into the Southern Ocean, winds blew to 60 knots and a weary crew were confronted with a detached headboard and a badly torn mainsail. It was clear to all that, in the heavy swell conditions, the sail would have to be lowered and brought below deck to effect any sort of worthwhile repair. Despite working around the clock until the sail was ready to be reattached 24 hours later, the Pause crew were 150nms behind the rest of the fleet. Problems worsened when they suffered a broken boom 750 miles short of the leg way point. Faced with the prospect of having to drop out of the race and motor to the African coast, English crew member Graham Philip mustered a three-man team to repair the eight metre long, half-ton boom with nothing more than a blunt hacksaw, hand-drill and wrong sized drill bits. At noon yesterday, Pause to Remember was 500 miles behind race leader Group 4, in 13th place just ahead of Heath Insured. Back in Ireland and in a first for Wicklow and a major boost for Irish Enterprise sailing, Bray SC are celebrating their successful bid to host the 1998 Enterprise World Championships. The seven-race event is to be held from August 23rd-29th and will attract up to 100 boats from 17 countries. The Royal Cork Yacht Club is the venue for the Irish Sailing Association's a.g.m. tomorrow, the first since the introduction of the joint membership scheme. The planning conference will attempt to solve problems in communication between committees as well as the public perception of the 15A. The weekend hosts are also, recipients of the 15A president's award for their service to sailing, which is no doubt as a result of Ford Cork Week 96. Other presidential award winners are: International: Tom Roche; Youth: Laura Dillon, for the second year running; Offshore: John McWilliam; Cruising: Liam McGonagle for his organisation of last year's ICC rally. Interestingly, no award has been made for any of the 1996 Olympic team despite Aisling Bowman's fifth overall or Mark Lyttle's race win.
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