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Third time lucky for Sealegs' record attempt

Tuesday 29th January 2008

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It was third time lucky for Sealegs this morning when it successfully completed the first crossing of Cook Strait by an amphibious vehicle.

After setting off from Arapawa Island in the Marlborough Sounds at 7.23am, Sealegs CEO David McKee Wright powered the 6.1m Sealegs RIB onto the beach at Owhiro Bay at Wellington in 47minutes and said it was a "faultless crossing."

Late last year heavy seas forced Sealegs to abandon its initial crossing plans while last Friday (January 25) McKee Wright was within 300m of the finish at Owhiro Bay when outboard failure further frustrated his record attempt.

"Even though we had larger swells to deal with out in Cook Strait this morning than on Wednesday, everything went like clockwork, and we managed speeds of up to 50knots," he says. "We've had a lot of messages of support from a number of New Zealanders and I'd like to thank all those people as well as the many who helped us on our crossing, especially Evinrude and the Wellington Coastguard".

"I'm pleased it is finally over and now we can think about our next big event."

Back in 2005, a Sealegs 5.6m RIB driven by company founder Maurice Bryham staked its place in the Guinness Book of Records when it shattered the English Channel record mark for an amphibious vehicle completing the 21 nautical miles from Dover to Calais in 43mins 12secs. This halved the previous record of 1hr 40mins 6secs set a year earlier by UK entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.

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