Solo sailor Bruce Arms, in his 14 metre catamaran Big Wave Rider, crossed the finish line at Mooloolaba on the 18th August 2011 at 9:41:06 am AEST setting a new round Australia record. The new time is subject to official ratification by World Speed Sailing Record Council (WSSRC).
'I was pushing BWR hard to beat that wind change and it was constant trimming to keep her on her feet, which meant no sleep,' said Arms.
'At the top of Cape Moreton lots of prawn trawlers appeared, about a dozen and with all their lights ablaze, you don’t know which way they are going and I had to do a bit of tacking to get around a couple which came very close. With the adverse current near Flinders Reef, prawn trawlers and also wind shifts it was a big struggle to get around and past Cape Moreton.'
Arms completed his solo, non-stop, and un-assisted sail around Australia in 38 days 21 hours 40 minutes and 42 seconds. This made Bruce the fastest solo sailor around Australia and the first to do so in a Multihull (Catamaran).
Bruce broke the existing Performance Certificate held by Ian Thomson in SOS Ocean Racing of 42 days five hours 33 minutes and 55 seconds, by three days seven hours 53 minutes and 13 seconds. 'It was so great to see the Glasshouse Mountains and the Sunshine Coast that it didn’t matter if I had to do a few more tacks to get to the finish line,' Arms said.
'Of course there was the usual rain shower just before the finish. It was big relief and a huge weight off my shoulders to finally cross that finish line, as I didn’t have to be on edge anymore and be constantly ready for anything. It was great to see all the boats out there to welcome me in. Just after I crossed the line a boat came over with my wife Suzanne and Jessica Watson it was great to get big hugs and kisses from them as I had been waiting a long time for that. Then I just sat down and let them take over BWR.'
The GPS datalogger (Black Box) which recorded every 300 metres travelled, stored the time in UTC, the position, course over the ground (COG) and speed over the ground (SOG) during the circumnavigation along with the signed WSSRC declaration have been returned by the Commissioner-of-Record to England for the ratification process. This is expected within the next few weeks.