With KVH Handheld Digital Compass as an Aid, Scott Duncan and Pam Habek Complete Initial Leg of Historic Circumnavigation as First Legally Blind Sailors to Cross the Pacific Ocean Independently
MIDDLETOWN, RI – June 1, 2006 – Scott Duncan and Pamela Habek have set their sights on the dream of a lifetime. Both legally blind since birth, the two sailors continue to silence their skeptics as they demonstrate all the skill and courage required to circumnavigate the world. After sailing more than 9,000 nautical miles aboard the 32' Valiant sailboat Tournesol from San Francisco, California to Whangarei, New Zealand, the two remarkable mariners have successfully completed the first leg of their “Blind Circumnavigation,” an unprecedented achievement by anyone visually impaired. To help them navigate the historic journey and find their way straight into the record books, they count on a handheld DataScope® digital compass from KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI) to provide the accuracy and optic quality they need to help navigate the high seas and unfamiliar shores.
“We’re so excited about achieving this first milestone of our circumnavigation,” said Scott Duncan. “As Pam and I continue to realize our dream, the DataScope has become an invaluable tool for accurately pinpointing fixes on the chart, and also for sighting ranges when we anchor so that we can tell if we’re dragging. It allows us to accomplish so many vital tasks that sighted sailors take for granted.”
Scott and Pam took on this challenge to encourage everyone living with vision loss to feel capable of pursuing their dreams, no matter how out of reach those dreams may seem. The term “legal blindness” refers to clinically measured visual acuity of 20/200 in the better eye with the best correction, or a visual field of 20 degrees or less. Scott and Pam were both born visually impaired and have never known what normal vision is. To assist with vital navigation and piloting needs, Scott and Pam turned to the award-winning DataScope, the handheld digital compass of choice for sailors across the globe, no matter what their vision may be.
“I realized the value of my DataScope shortly before the trip began,” continued Duncan. “I was in an advanced sailing class, getting ready, when the instructor asked the group to plot a three-way fix on a chart. When the time came to share our positions, the other (sighted) students had fixes with large triangular areas with room for deviation. As for me, I had a pinpointed fix on the chart that was exactly accurate. It was great!”
The KVH DataScope is the world’s most accurate hand-held digital compass. It combines a 5x30 monocular, a digital compass, an electronic rangefinder, and a chronometer in one handheld unit, making it the most versatile navigational instrument available to sailors, boaters, hikers, hunters, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Internally gimbaled to help maintain 0.5° accuracy, the DataScope accurately computes the range and can store nine separate bearings to an object with just the push of a button. The information is superimposed on the scope’s field of view, in order for sailors like Scott and Pam to stay focused in the right direction.
“KVH is a proud supporter of Scott and Pam’s ‘Blind Circumnavigation,’ effort and we celebrate their courage and adventurous spirit as they continue to shatter people’s perceptions,” said Ian Palmer, KVH’s executive vice president of satellite sales. “World-class sailors have long relied on the DataScope’s accuracy and versatility. It’s encouraging to see that Scott and Pam are no different. We wish them safe sailing and look forward to them successfully completing their journey and achieving their dream.”
The inspirational journey and success of the “Blind Circumnavigation” continues to rest on the couple’s unwavering determination and skill. For more information about the next leg of Scott Duncan and Pam Habek’s voyage as well as their efforts to raise awareness for the visually impaired, please visit http://www.blindsailing.com.
For additional information about the KVH DataScope, visit http://www.kvh.com/digicomp.
About KVH Industries, Inc.
Middletown, RI-based KVH Industries, Inc., is a leading provider of in-motion satellite TV and communication systems, having designed, manufactured, and sold more than 100,000 mobile satellite antennas for applications on boats, RVs, trucks, buses, and automobiles. Winner of the prestigious General Motors Innovative Design Award, CES Innovation Award, 21 National Marine Electronics Association “Best Product” awards, and a finalist for the Automotive News PACE Award, KVH’s mission is to connect mobile customers with the same digital television entertainment, communications, and Internet services that they enjoy in their home and offices.
This release may contain certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include, for example, the functionality, characteristics, quality and performance of KVH’s products and technology; and customer preferences, requirements and expectations. The actual results could differ. Factors that may cause such differences include, among others, those discussed in KVH’s most recent Form 10-Q filed with the SEC. KVH assumes no obligation to update its forward-looking statements to reflect new information or developments.
KVH and DataScope are registered trademarks of KVH Industries, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies.