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Gales to hamper trans-Tasman kayaker

A New Zealand kayaker faces gale-force winds on the final stretch of his two-month attempt to be the first kayaker to make the trans-Tasman crossing solo.

 
 

Scott Donaldson, 43, has 165 nautical miles to go to reach the Taranaki coast after leaving Coffs Harbour in New South Wales on April 19.

After receiving emergency food, water and equipment drops, he’s making good progress and may reach New Plymouth as early as next Sunday, weather and sea conditions permitting.

But the adventurer faces a tough Monday, with a gale warning in the area, rough sea and swells, and northerly winds of up to 40 knots – about 75km/h in land speak, New Zealand’s MetService’s John Law says.

“It’s not very pleasant weather, it’s gale-force winds. It’s not looking great, at least for today,” he told NZ Newswire.

By the end of Tuesday, winds would ease off – but it still wouldn’t be very pleasant, Mr Law said.

John Funnell, the pilot who has made two drops of supplies to the adventurer, said Mr Donaldson was going very well.

Mr Funnell looks forward to congratulating Mr Donaldson, who he has never met, on dry land.

“I’d certainly like to meet him. I think a person who’s got the willpower and ability to do this endurance race for two months, continuously, on your own, must be a pretty unique sort of man,” he said.

This is Mr Donaldson’s second bid to cross the Tasman after technical difficulties forced him to turn back last year.

Australian adventurer Andrew McAuley died in February 2007 trying to be the first peron to make the crossing solo.

He was one day and 65km from completing the journey.

 
 

 
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