Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - GR

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/

InSunSport - NZWildwind 2016 660x82Barz Optics - Kids range

Related Articles

Shadow Catamaran Nationals go down to the last race at Gurnard
2016 Shadow Catamaran 2016 Nationals were held at friendly Gurnard Sailing Club on the Solent The 2016 Shadow Catamaran 2016 Nationals were held at friendly Gurnard Sailing Club on the Solent (the sunset side of Cowes) from 17th to 19th June. The Shadow X is a high performance single-handed catamaran with an asymmetric spinnaker.
Posted on 24 Jun
Volvo Round Ireland Race starts with eclectic mix of boats and crews
The Volvo Round Ireland Race started in 10 to 11 knots of southerly wind and a fair tide. The Volvo Round Ireland Race started in 10 to 11 knots of southerly wind and a fair tide. The first fleet away were the 55 monohulls consisting of a vast mixture of boats and crews. From one of the fastest offshore race boats in the world, George David’s Juan K designed Rambler 88 to Darryl Hughes’s Shepherd 43’ Classic, Maybird.
Posted on 18 Jun
Volvo Round Ireland Race – Multihulls and MOD70s are up for challenge
The 704 nautical mile race has a simple course; Leave Ireland and all its islands, excluding Rockall, to starboard. The 704 nautical mile race has a simple course; Leave Ireland and all its islands, excluding Rockall, to starboard. However in reality the race has a complexity of wind angles, tides and a real taste of ocean sailing along the hauntingly beautiful west coast of Ireland. The first official non-stop race around Ireland was held in 1980.
Posted on 17 Jun
Road to Rio – One Olympic venue to the next
Sailing World Cup touched down in Weymouth and Portland last week and it was one of the last official organised regattas The Sailing World Cup touched down in Weymouth and Portland last week and it was one of the last official organised regattas before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. It gave the future Olympians an opportunity to test themselves one last time against their Rio competitors, in a full race setting, before the summer showpiece.
Posted on 15 Jun
Tornado Worlds – Greek defenders retain the lead on Day 2
Sun, wind and rain on and off – these were the ingredients of the weather kitchen on Monday, the second race day. Sun, wind and rain on and off – these were the ingredients of the weather kitchen on Monday, the second race day of the championship of the Tornado class in Lindau.
Posted on 14 Jun
Tornado Worlds – Tough kick-off as the Greeks head for title defense
The Lake Constance claimed its tribute during the first two races at the world championship of the Tornado class Numerous capsizes and damages lead to significant numbers of retirements. Eleven competitors only out of 32 could finish the first race.
Posted on 13 Jun
Countdown to Tour de France a la Voile begins with one month to go
The Oman Airports by Oman Sail Diam 24 crew are upbeat about preparations for the 2016 Tour de France a la Voile The Oman Airports by Oman Sail Diam 24 crew are upbeat about preparations for the 2016 Tour de France a la Voile (TDFV) which kicks off in a month after some valuable racing at Normandy Sailing Week in France last week where they finished seventh in a field of 17 teams, many of whom will be heading to Dunkirk for the start of the TDFV on July 8.
Posted on 9 Jun
World Sailing invites bids for 2017 and 2018 Annual Conference
Annual Conference brings together more than 400 delegates over a seven-day period every first full week of November. World Sailing's Annual Conference brings together more than 400 delegates over a seven-day period every first full week of November. It is the central meeting point where the strategy of sailing is reviewed, discussed and celebrated.
Posted on 7 Jun
World Sailing completes final on-site review of the Rio 2016 Olympic
Briefings were provided over two days on key operational and service areas for the Olympic Games. Briefings were provided over two days on key operational and service areas for the Olympic Games, including venue construction, competition schedules, broadcasting, media operations, accommodation, transportation and ticketing.
Posted on 26 May
The World Championships just keep on coming
Last week was the finish of the Finn Worlds. Torch passed to the Laser Standard currently in Mexico having their Worlds. While the Olympic torch is being passed from person to person on its trip to Rio 2016, the Olympic and Paralympic classes are doing the same as the World Championships torch passes along on its tour around the world to Brazil.
Posted on 18 May