Tasman kayaker 'in very good form'

KATIE KENNY
Last updated 09:37 28/06/2014
Scott Donaldson

GIVEN UP: Scott Donaldson

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Despite wild weather slowing progress, kayaker Scott Donaldson is back on track with enough supplies to make it to New Zealand.

The kayaker progressed 22 nautical miles in the 24 hours since Thursday's supply drop. At that time he was found about 460 kilometres west of New Plymouth.

"The wind is southwesterly at the moment, that should ease off with a ridge approaching today, then we'll get some northerly flows coming in," MetService duty forecaster Frances Russell said.

"The northerly will strengthen ahead of the front, then turn westerly behind it."

The drop, moved forward to make the most of good weather, is expected to last the rest of Donaldson's journey.

It included a repair kit for his boat's broken rudder, along with food and water.

He now has food to last four weeks, and water for 10 days (54 litres) - which his Rotorua-based team believes is enough for him to complete his journey.

He was expecting to land at New Plymouth in eight to 10 days.

Donaldson is sailing from Coff's Harbour, New South Wales, to New Zealand on behalf of the Asthma Foundation to raise awareness for the need for physical activity.

Helicopter Services BOP chief pilot John Funnell, who has been dropping supplies to Donaldson from a fixed-wing plane, said despite foul weather, winds were now pushing the kayaker towards New Zealand.

"But he's in very good form. He wasn't saying 'pick me up and take me home'. He's very determined," Funnell said.

Donaldson left Coff's Harbour on April 19 and, apart from a brief stopover at Lord Howe Island, has been kayaking solo since.

He will be the first person to paddle solo across the Tasman.

His wife Sarah said the family were looking for sponsorship to offset costs. She has set up a bank account for assistance, with details on Donaldson's website.

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