Long Range weather positive for SOS Ocean Racing Record Attempt
by Ian Thomson on 16 Apr 2010
SOS Ocean Racing's World Record Attempt for sailing around Australia solo non-stop unassisted looks set to depart on May 1st if the long range weather forecast proves to be correct. At this stage the Maxsea Chopper long range weather forecast has a 15-20 knot SW for a start at 10am on the first switching to the SE and increasing to 20-25 by 10pm the same evening.
Weather as of 10am May 1st - SOS Ocean Racing Departure Julie Geldard http://www.vidpicpro.com
More importantly to Ian Thomson's attempt is that the weather across the top of Australia. Departing from his home town in Airlie Beach means he is just four days from reaching the Gulf of Carpentaria and hence the weather forecast will be fairly reliable when he leaves. Ian stated' I'm looking for 15-20 knots up the East Coast to get off to a flyer however across the top of Australia, it is important I don't get any road blocks. I need solid SE winds and hence why I have chosen this time of year. If the right weather comes I will have to push hard in the first week to get up there and take advantage of the good winds. Then of course there is the West coast which can prove interesting. I may have to go wide to avoid sailing on the nose which my boat is not all that good at. It is made as a downwind flyer.'
Ian's boat is a custom built Welbourn designed 12m. It is as close as you can come to an Open 40 without being an open 40. It is built strong and has a huge downwind sail area with the A2 being 180 sqm. But Ian hopes to never have to use it as it is only suitable in winds up to 10 knots.
SOS Ocean Racing is about raising awareness of the damage plastic bags do to our environment.
My mission is to raise awareness to make the every day Australian think before they use plastic bags, to reduce the usage if they can, if they can't, to reuse and eventually recycle them.
I will do this by setting a new world record for solo non-stop circumnavigation of Australia departing in the first week of May. I hope to go around in under 50 days.
I want to take the campaign globally and let the world know what we are doing to our marine life. We kill 100,000 Marine animals and over 1 million sea birds every year with plastic.
During the Australian circumnavigation attempt I will run a poll on my website www.sosoceanracing.com to gauge what Australians think. I will then take those results to the local, state and federal governments to get them to make changes.
It is mandatory that I get a result of banning non biodegradable bags. Ideally I would like the government to introduce a plastic bag tax or ban plastic bags entirely.
On the sailing front there are three options for after the Australian circumnavigation.
1/ Sail non-stop solo around the world to become the fastest Australian to do so (Under 180 days) On current boat.
2/ Sail in the Velux 5 Oceans Eco 60 class race. On an open 60 that I would need to purchase.
3/ Sail in Airlie Beach Race Week and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race on current boat.
What I do comes down to the funding from sponsors and supporters. However I need to keep this campaign on the water to make sure the message gets out there.
Long term goals include being on the start line of the 2012 Vendee Globe, the world's toughest ocean race as well as a campaign to clean up the ocean gyres of plastic. Both of these require significant funding but with the right support I can do this and make sure our world starts to look at plastic products for what they are……killers!!!!!!
For more information about the campaign please visit www.sosoceanracing.com
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