Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Worst in their wake, Team Australia speeds down Tasmanian East Coast

by Lisa Ratcliff on 23 Feb 2013
Sean Langman’s Team Australia’s attempt to break the pasage race record from Sydney to Hobart © Andrea Francolini Photography http://www.afrancolini.com/
Team Australia successfully crossed Bass Strait overnight and is now on its way down the Tasmanian East Coast. At 7am their Yellowbrick tracker had them doing 26 knots of boat speed off St. Helens with two thirds of their attempt and the worst conditions in their wake.

North-east winds 20-25 knots and a following sea is the perfect combination for Team Australia to successfully complete its record attempt on the 630 nautical mile Sydney to Hobart passage record set by Bob Oatley’s supermaxi Wild Oats XI less than two months ago.

'We are pretty wet and tired; it feels like we are drowning,' said the weary helmsman and navigator Josh Alexander via sat phone this morning.

'There is water everywhere and it keeps coming in as the hatches leaking. The food’s been good though.' He’s had opportunities to raid the larder given he hasn’t slept since they left their World Sailing Speed Record Council sanctioned start line at Sydney Heads just before 11am yesterday morning.

Amazingly Team Australia hasn’t broken any gear; 'the boat is in great shape' assures Alexander.

Based on weather routeing they anticipate reaching Tasman Light in 5-6 hours, around lunchtime or early afternoon, and the finish off Battery Point this afternoon. That would mean a course time of less than 30 hours. The current record is just over 42 hours.

'At this stage our ETA in Hobart is 3-4pm, depending on how we go around Tasman Light,' said Alexander this morning.

'We have to go upwind across Storm Bay and up the Derwent and that might slow us up a bit, but we will be in flat water. The sea really calmed down across the Strait and now it’s a pretty easy following sea, which is much more comfortable.'

Overnight with three reefs and a staysail up they were sitting on 30-35 knots for a good three hours and Josh was literally flying blind when he hit his top speed of 38 knots in the dark while in command of the tiller.

'We were holding on and sending it,' he said, the fervour waning in his voice as exhaustion creeps in.

'The boys are tired and wet but Sean [Langman] is happy with where we are going, we are on a good track to break the record,' Alexander added.

Skipper Sean Langman often refers to Tasmania as his 'spiritual home' and in 2005 he bought a business on the Huon River. He’s arrived in Hobart 23 times with the Sydney Hobart fleet on the biggest supermaxi, the smallest classic timber yacht and the famous oversized skiff, Xena, among others.

Now he’s looking at a very different arrival in Hobart; just seven crew on an imposing multihull setting the new benchmark for the famous stretch of water.

To follow Team Australia’s record attempt go to http://my.yb.tl/teamaustralia/

Pantaenius - Fixed Valuenavathome 660x82upffront 660x82

Related Articles

Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Frankly spectacular at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
GC32 catamaran Frank Racing has won the Racing Multihulls division of the Australian Yachting Championship “I can’t tell you the buzz you get out of sailing the GC32. I’ve spent years and years on the likes of TP52s and other keel boats eking out a tenth of a knot here and there, and with these things you just jump 10 knots, it’s a quantum leap!” So says Simon Hull, Kiwi skipper of the foiling GC32 catamaran Frank Racing which is presently leading the Racing Multihulls division of the Australian Yac
Posted on 28 Aug
Regatta finishes on a high at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
A fresh and cool SSE breeze under clear skies powered the record number of yachts in AHIRW’s 14 divisions 2016 Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - A fresh and cool SSE breeze under clear skies powered the record number of yachts in Audi Hamilton Island Race Week’s 14 divisions from the start line in Dent Passage northward yesterday, with most divisions charging off on the 15 nautical mile Molles Islands race.
Posted on 28 Aug
Audi Hamilton Island RW - Beau Geste takes title with a day to spare
The new format Australian Yachting Championship title concluded on the final windy day of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week The new format Australian Yachting Championship title concluded on the final windy day of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, Saturday August 27, and two winners from the 2015 series returned to glory after five days of racing in the Whitsunday islands playground.
Posted on 27 Aug
Championship momentum builds at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
Three windward/leewards for the two Rating Series divisions on the eastern course area started out in 10-12knot ESE wind Three windward/leewards for the two Rating Series divisions on the eastern course area started out in 10-12 knot ESE winds under overcast skies and as the day progressed the breeze turned SE and faded to 8-9kts.
Posted on 25 Aug
Reading Australia’s Rio 2016 Sailing Report Card
Pre-event, Australian Sailing officials predicted there would be between three and five medals at Rio 2016. Pre-event, Australian Sailing officials predicted there would be between three and five medals at Rio 2016. So Tom Burton's Gold in the Laser, and then Silver for the 470 Men’s sailors, Matt Belcher and Will Ryan, London 49er Gold Medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, and then lastly Nacra 17 first time campaigners, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, was a good result.
Posted on 21 Aug
Winners declared at Airlie Beach Race Week
To cap off the afternoon, the sun vanished, dark skies replaced it and rain appeared, then earth tremor hit Airlie Beach ABRW started with three unbeatable days of sailing under the sun and then conditions became testing for the remainder of the regatta, with even more dismastings, a boat aground and two crew were taken to hospital after being injured by booms in gusty south-easterly winds.
Posted on 18 Aug
Airlie Beach Race Week - Conditions take their toll
Overcast yes, but conditions looked more manageable than yesterday, with winds in 16-20 knot at Airlie Beach Race Week 2016 Airlie Beach Race Week - Overcast yes, but conditions looked more manageable than yesterday, with winds in the 16-20 knot range at the 27th Airlie Beach Race Week today, but low and behold, not everyone got off scot-free.
Posted on 17 Aug
Rio Olympics – Four Medal Races set for Sugarloaf
With very light airs forecast, the prospect of getting today's racing away on time at 1300hrs looks a bit touch and go. It's another warm day with 26 degrees Celsius set for race time. With very light airs forecast from somewhere in the south, the prospect of getting today's racing away on time at 1300 hours looks a bit touch and go.
Posted on 16 Aug
Saxton and Groves bid to end on Rio Olympics high
Saxton and Groves head into the Nacra 17 race refusing to rule out the chance of finishing their Olympics on the podium. Heading into the race, the Brits sit in eighth place overall, with 19 points separating them and Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank (AUT), currently in bronze medal position.
Posted on 16 Aug