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Dr. Paris and the Kiwi Spirit Adventure

Kiwi Spirit Adventure
By The Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club
 
RCPYC member, Dr Stanley Paris, is embarking on a sailing experience of a lifetime.  At an age when some are thinking of putting their feet up and enjoying the bar, he is aiming to set new sailing records.  Dr Paris believes that maintaining one’s health by moderate and occasional extreme physical challenges is vitally important for good later years. And this is some challenge he has set himself.

He will depart St. Augustine, Florida, USA in November 2013 during the city’s 450th Anniversary and will endeavour to set a new circumnavigation record from St. Augustine non-stop, non-assisted and at age 76 the oldest to have circumnavigated around the world and back to St. Augustine, but by going at first north east to round Bermuda he will also challenge the record of the late Dodge Morgan. His estimate for the voyage is 120 days.

Born in New Zealand, Dr Paris is a dual citizen of the United States and an internationally recognized physical therapist and Founding President and Chancellor of the university of St. Augustine, with three campus sites nationwide, and has been an off and on athlete most of his life. Now 74, he most recently tried to swim the 23 mile wideEnglish Channelto add to his two previous successes as well as three relay crossings. He was the first to swim the Channel and complete the World Championship Ironman Triathlon in Kona Hawaii.  His sailing experience is quite extensive in that he has more than 60,000 miles including four crossings off the north Atlantic and three north to south Pacific crossings and one circumnavigation. “I have experiences all manner of weather from calms in the tropics and off Alaskato raging storms and hurricane force winds off Madagascar.” He has said “nothing more exhilarating than a good storm – it really gives an appreciation of life.”

Dr. Paris has been honoured for his success at helping move physical therapy to an autonomous profession and to have it specialize into areas of clinical practice. He himself has specialized in sports where he was twice the physical therapist the New Zealand Olympic Team and to manual and manipulative spinal care for physical therapy.  He has said that “Physical therapy is the profession that restores maintains and enhances the physical functioning. At this stage of my life I am into maintaining.”  In addition “While medicine and surgery may save lives no profession speaks to the quality of those lives better than does physical therapy.”
 
The yacht Kiwi Spirit

Kiwi Spirit is designed to be a fast ocean going cruise boat. Key specifications are:

 •Length overall 63’8” (19.4m)
 •Length water line 57’5” (17.5m)
 •Beam 17’9” (5.4m)
 •Keel 14’9” (4.5m)
 •Displacement 31,750 lbs (14400kg)
 •Height of Mast 88’
 •Accommodation 4 berths, 3 heads
 
Designed by New Zealander Owners Brief by Dr. Paris, the boat is being built by Lyman Morse in Maine, United States. “Being a physical therapist steeped in issues related to safety and ergonomics, I developed an owner’s brief that would define comfort, safety and ease of handling. A circumnavigation, above all, tests the boat as well as the skipper. At my age, it would be impossible to mount a successful challenge if the boat were not designed for speed, sea kindliness, safety and ease of handling. After all being in my 70’s is not like being in my 20’s. Now I like to enjoy a cocktail, and relax watching the boat go fast and easy.”

Technology aboard the Kiwi Spirit is cutting edge:

 •no hydrocarbons to propel or generate power – no gas, diesel, propane or butane
 •all electric with power from solar panels, wind generators and water hydro generators
 •keel that lifts to --- and lowers to =-----
 •four separate water ballast tanks to affect pitch and trim
 •lithium iron batteries to store power
 •retractable bowsprit that projects seven feet to increase sail plan
 •twin carbon helms
 •sophisticated navigation and electronics package
 
And all this and more to be handled by one person 24/7. Sleeping will be 45 minutes at the most at any one time.
 
The Voyage

Kiwi Spirit will depart St. Augustine in late November 2013 endeavouring to be the first boat to sail from that city and to successfully circumnavigate non-stop and solo. The route will take him around Bermuda where he will cross the start line set by Dodge Morgan on American Promise in 1986. A sharp right hand turn and then Kiwi Spirit will head south through the Caribbean, keep off the coast of South America and then swing left to go east well under South Africa in order to catch the strong wester lies in the deep south seas in what are ironically called the high latitudes. Then east under Australia and if he is sufficiently well ahead of the record he will steer Kiwi Spirit off the direct course and head for the fishing village of Bluff on the Southern tip of New Zealand. “I can’t stop, nor receive any assistance, not even a loaf of bread or a newspaper, that what non-assisted means.” It will be a media event and his home town newspaper The Otago Daily Times will be there.  “Just an hour or two and I will be off.  It will have been the first time I have seen land and I won’t see it again until I round the horn on the southern most tip of South America. Then I hang a left and it’s a race north to round Bermuda and see if I broke Morgan’s record and then to arrival inSt. Augustine. Before I depart I will predict a date and time.”

In answer to the question “Why am I doing this?” Dr Paris says, “This is the hardest question and I have asked it of myself many a time. I suspect because I know I can do it, I can afford the boat, have my wife’s permission and support, have a lifetime love of water and especially sailing the oceans, the challenge, the excitement of sailing at the edge, the utilisation of advanced electronics and technologies and yes to honour those who preceded me in setting and breaking these records.”

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