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Boat Books Australia

Save our Seas Ocean Racing - ready to depart

by SOS Media on 1 May 2010
Ian Thomson at the helm - SOS Ocean Racing Save Our Seas - Ocean Racing http://www.sosoceanracing.com/
Save Our Seas Ocean Racing is out to set a world record for sailing non-stop solo around Australia and will depart May 2nd from Airlie Beach in an endeavour to go around in under 50 days.

Set up by Ian Thomson, a commercial skipper in the Whitsundays, Ian wants to create a new bench mark for all future attempts by smashing the current record of 68d:8h:30m set by David Beard in 1990.

In the interview here you will hear Ian speak of why he is doing this circumnavigation to raise awareness of the damage plastic bags are doing to our environment. He tells a story of a turtle that had a plastic bag for a stomach and starved to death.

He became motivated to raise awareness and through his sailing skills and passion for the ocean he chose an around Australia record attempt o raise the awareness. However this is just the start of his campaign that he hopes to take to the world and eventually sail in the Vendee Globe, the world's toughest ocean race.

The boat is now prepared and apart from spending Saturday loading provisions, Ian will be ready to depart around 10am Sunday morning with a fleet of local boats and his work boats coming out to send him off.

The start line will be set between the Whitsunday Sailing Club flagstaff and a marker buoy out to sea and Ian will cross the line before heading up between Double Cone Island and Armit Island and going straight to Tiger Reef where he will exit the reef to get out into the ocean where there is no reef to hit

With a forecast of 20-25 knots for the first 5 days, Ian expects to get off to a flyer and be around Wednesday Island and into the Gulf of Carpenteria within this time frame before sailing across the top in a decreasing wind.

The winds off Broome at present are looking light but this can change quickly at this time of year.



For full details of the campaign here is the SOS Ocean Racing Mission Statement or visit www.sosoceanracing.com

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.

During the Australian circumnavigation attempt I will run a poll on my website 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!!!!!!
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