Following Flinders to raise $500k

By IAN THOMSON

RICHARD Buxton is a man on a mission.

The Melbourne-based property developer is sailing 7,500 nautical miles around Australia to raise money for the brain disease, Alzheimer's.

He left Melbourne on May 6 on the first leg of a journey that will take two years to complete. At the end of it, he hopes to have raised $500,000 for the cause through the charitable organisation, the Epsilon Research Fund.

The adventurer and his assistant helmsman Daniel Carlton moored their 12-metre yacht 'Epsilon' in Yamba yesterday after a largely uneventful trip from Port Macquarie.

"The weather's been kind to us for most of the way," Mr Buxton said.

"We've had a great trip, with humpback whales breaching next to the yacht many times.

"It's quite a sight."

There's a special document on board the yacht. It's a copy of the first map of Australia, charted by Matthew Flinders in 1804.

As he pulls into each port along the epic journey, Mr Buxton has the map signed by local identities.

In Yamba yesterday he was waiting for the signature of arguably the town's most famous resident, round-the-world-sailor Kay Cottee.

At the end of the trip the chart and its signatures will be auctioned to help boost the appeal for medical research.

In 2003 Mr Buxton flew a light aircraft around coastal Australia, taking photographs for his book If Matthew Flinders Had Wings.

When finished, the book will be an international photographic reference and history record about the discovery of the Australian coastline and how it looks today ? 200 years on from the days of Matthew Flinders. Mr Buxton's latest journey is following the same route by yacht to provide a different perspective for the book.

When finished, proceeds from sales of the coffee-table book will be donated to the Epsilon Research Fund.



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