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Old 02-22-2005
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waltward is on a distinguished road
Bruce about to finish

Bruce Schwab is about to finish the Vendeeglobe. He will be the first American to finish this race. He will finish in ninth place, but in this race it does not matter that he will not win it. Just to finish is a phenomenal accomplishment. Just imagine any one of us reading this, racing a sixty footer, nonstop, unassisted, around the world. The six thousand miles of the Southeren Ocean by it''s self would be an accomplishment, but to do it under a race mode, alone, is mind boggling.

I think that most of us might like to sign up for the "Global Challenge". A seventy two foot boat with a professional skipper and seventeen crew, around the world with five stops, would be a doable adventure. Although I am am afraid that if we were to all sign up for the next one, Sir Chay Blyth would bounce some of us for being to old.

The Vendee Started out with twenty boats, seven have dropped out. Two of the boats are sailed by women, they look to finish eleventh and thirteenth.

If Bruce finishes on Thursday he will have been out 109 days, he might make it Wednesday night. He will have sailed at least 23,680 miles.

My hat is off to Bruce, and all of these sailors.

Walt Ward -- Northern Lower Michigan
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