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DANIEL SLATER TAKES UP CHALLENGE ISSUED BY MCINTOSH

18-foot skiff makes it a drag race to beat Auckland-Russell recordAuckland: New Zealand Olympic 49er skipper Daniel Slater (Takapuna, Auckland) has taken up the challenge thrown down by Olympic bronze medal winning boardsailor Aaron McIntosh (Bucklands Beach) earlier today to break the Auckland- Russell race record.McIntosh issued a statement this morning stating his intention to sail from Auckland to Russell in the Bay of Islands within the record time of 11 hours, 45 minutes established by three-time race veteran Luke Wigglesworth St Heliers) on his windsurfer in 1997.However, instead of a windsurfer, Slater and his crew, including his 49er partner Nathan Handley, will be sailing a speedy 18 foot skiff on the 120 nautical mile journey from Auckland to Russell.By throwing his hat into the ring, Slater's has turned this race into a drag race between two of the fastest single-hulled classes. The two boardsailors, McIntosh and current record-holder Wigglesworth, and the three-man skiff will set off from Orakei Wharf at 10am (weather permitting).Auckland restaurateur Dick Jones has entered into the spirit of the race, and has upped the stakes by adding another $5,000 to the prize pool. The winner of the now three-boat race will win $5,000, with an additional $2,000 going to whoever can break the record.Like McIntosh, if he was to win the race Slater has pledged his winnings to Yachting New Zealand's youth yachting and boardsailing programmes.For more information:Aaron McIntosh mobile 021 624 121Daniel Slater mobile 021 628 837Dickie Jones day 0-9-358 1284

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