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Kathmandu Strides Out in Southern Traverse

Kathmandu Strides Out to the Finish of the 2004 Southern Traverse

November 19 2004: The finish of the 2004 Southern Traverse is looming and West Coast Team Kathmandu has a clear lead as it makes it way down the beach on the final 22km walk to Hokitika.

Kathmandu had paddled about halfway down the Taramakau River by curfew at 9.00pm and camped on the riverbank until 6.00am today when they were allowed back on the river.

"We had a good sleep. It was very nice," says captain Duncan Hamilton.

Team GoLite Timberland did not make the paddling section in time last night and had to wait until 6.00am to launch their boats and chase the leaders.

Overnight the Swedish team Lundhags Adventure became disoriented on the Alexander Range and was forced to call for help.

"They were in a creek bed and suffering from cold and exhaustion and an attack of the dreaded sleep monsters," says Race Director Geoff Hunt. "We picked them up by helicopter as a safety precaution."

The team led by Mikael Andersson was flown back to the transition area at Camp Cree where they were checked out by the Southern Traverse medical team. They have now returned to Hokitika to rest up.

Three other teams following the Swedish - Outward Bound, Mainly Tramping and Sierra International were on standby to go to their assistance if need be but were not required.

Outward Bound began paddling on the Taramakau since 6.46am putting it in third place on the main course. Mainly Tramping entered the river at 8.08am and Sierra International half an hour later.

While the teams on the main course are racing for the finish the adventure course teams are also coming in sight of the finish line.

Teams 4Xtreme from Holland and the Kiwi team Jamo Bus are on the beach walk to the finish and Team Suunto Japan is still paddling.

The finish for the main race is expected between 12.00 and 1.00pm on the beach in front of Southland Hotel in Hokitika.

For the latest information on the race, progress reports and hourly updates, visit www.southerntraverse.com. Also check out our web partner's site - www.sleepmonsters.com

Southern Traverse is a premier international sports event management company operating elite events around the world, including the World Championship Adventure Race, the AR World Series and the Southern Traverse.

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