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AARON McINTOSH TO ATTEMPT AUCKLAND-RUSSELL RECORD.

- BUT ON A WINDSURFERSydney Olympic bronze medallist Aaron McIntosh (Bucklands Beach) will attempt a record-breaking ride from Auckland to Russell this Friday (20 October) - on his windsurfer.McIntosh will be attempting to break the windsurf record set by Luke Wigglesworth in 1997 of 11 hours 45 minutes.Says McIntosh "This little project is something is something I've had on the back burner for a long time, but Olympic commitments have meant that I'm usually away at this time of year. With the Olympics now out of the way foranother four years, now is the ideal opportunity to put this one to rest!"Auckland restaurateur Dick Jones (Café Hoegaarden) has put up $2,000 prize money if McIntosh breaks the existing record. Should he beat this time McIntosh has already pledged his winnings to Yachting New Zealand's youthyachting and windsurfing programmes.With 120 nautical miles (264kms) to cover in his record-breaking attempt, conditions will need to be very much in the three time world champ's favour.Says McIntosh "for any attempt at the record the winds will have to be coming from the south-east to the south-west and between 15 and 25 knots. If we get anything less than that, it's going to be a very long day at the office!"With the expected finish in darkness, safety is of utmost importance. McIntosh's long-time sponsor Ross Munro of Line 7 has offered his 8.5m Protector inflatable to accompany McIntosh throughout his marathon sail. Munro has also offered to cover the expected 800 litres of fuel required for the overall trip.McIntosh will personally be carrying flares and a VHF device. Because of the length of time on the water, food, water and spare clothing will be part of McIntosh's game plan.Existing record-holder Luke Wigglesworth (St Heliers) will also be vying for the prize-purse. This will be the Auckland windsurfer's fourth Auckland- Russell attempt. He finished well outside his own record time in 1998 (13 hours, 30 mins) and had to pull out of last year's attempt having got becalmed 7km out of Russell.The fastest time ever recorded by a yacht for the distance is 7 hrs, 20 mins, 51 secs set by the Auckland catamaran Split Enz on finishing the 1996 Lindauer Coastal Classic.Continues McIntosh, "we'd love to break the catamaran record, but conditions would have to be absolutely perfect."MEDIA INFORMATIONExpected start time: Friday 20 October, 10am off Orakei Wharf Pre-race contact: Aaron McIntosh, 021 624 121Support boat (mid-race): Richard Bush / Andrew Mitchell 025 493 712

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