Premature end


Crewman Paul Larsen recounts how Raw Nerve's Round Australia attempt came to an abrupt halt
(21/7/02 23:30 AEST 27º38'S 156º45'E) by Paul Well ah, I guess that one goes down as a bit of a shocker. We'd all been waiting for that promised wind for quite some time and the stage was set for a great blast from Australia's eastern corner to her Northern tip - that is, until the incident. We'd been heading slightly east of north on our way up the NSW coast and had managed to get separated  from the coast by some two hundred miles. We had spent the last day and a half sailing upwind, sometimes in lumpy seas but there was always the promise of a SW front which would shoot us up the coast to the SE trades up the Queensland coast. We held the favoured starboard tack for most of the time as it gave us our best northing, strongest winds and the current seemed favourable out off the continental shelf. We could always head back in when the wind swung later. The wind had eased and the sea state flattened allowing the front to catch us which it eventually did mid-morning on the 21st. Down below I could feel the speed building even in the silence of the pod. Everyone was getting a bit more lively as the favourable conditions filled in. I had one eye on the laptop watching the numbers as I pulled on my foul weather gear in preparation for my watch. Stuart was on the helm when I came on decks and once again the water was flying out the back. He was loving it even commenting on how he didn't want to hand over the wheel. When I asked him how she was feeling he just took both hands off the wheel and held them high in order to show how

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