Solo sailor to go for new fastest round Australia...convoy safely cross Somali waters...Congratulate the Polish adventure sailors...World ARC now annual...yacht feature Savvier Se 23...Spring commissioning tips...and much more...
Circumnavigations, cautions, rescues and Hooray for the Poles!
Bruce and Suzanne Arms aboard Big Wave Rider. Lindsay Wright
Heading this week's Australian cruising news is how well-known Mooloolaba-based yachtie, Bruce Arms, is scheduled for a solo odyssey circumnavigating Australia.
He will attempt a new solo sailing record, currently held by Ian Thomson, who sailed round our island-continent while raising awareness of the damage that plastic bags do to the environment.
Also read how Bruce's protege, Jessica Watson is still in the news, this time lending her now-famous face to assist Queensland's Season of Sailing.
It's good to know that there is a cruising division at the Port Stephens regatta, which has passed the 100 registration mark by the time registrations closed. You'll enjoy Lisa Ratcliff's amusing attempt to incorporate the names of all the participant boats in her account of the festivities to come.
The bulk of cruising boats sailing the world come from a narrow range of countries, with Australia batting way above its population base. France, Britain, Norway, North America, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands are also prime countries.
Solanus achievement - sailors celebrate their rounding of the Horn .. .
So it's fantastic to be able to congratulate the Polish crew on the yacht Solanus who have just negotiated both the North West Passage and rounded the Horn on their way to a circumnavigation of the Americas - and what a nice crusty old bunch of seasoned mariners they look too!
There are two news stories in this week's edition on how technology led to the rescue of sailors, both incidents occurring in the Atlantic, south and north. One crew's inmarsat tracker told their shore team that the yacht was behaving strangely and the other crew set off of a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) carried by one crew member. Sadly, both yachts were abandoned.
On this subject, rescue authorities spend much time these days reminding leisure sailors of the importance of carrying automatic distress beacons. While this is excellent and much needed, I hope that this never has the effect of lowering cruising sailors' standards of good seamanship in preparing meticulously for a voyage, or encouraging those without the necessary skills to venture across oceans.
Laura Dekker, the Dutch 15-year-old embarked on a circumnavigation, has been subjected to some flak this week for irritation she confesses to feeling about the media. We ask what you think.
It appears that the demise of the round-world Blue Water Rally, for whom the killing of four crew who had been part of their rally by pirates seems to have been the last straw, has thrown the baton to the World Cruising Club. They have just announced that their World ARC has so many entries it will in future be annual instead of biennial.
The Book of the Week, Batavia, from Boat Books, is one of the most horrifying and gripping of tales, and the Product of the Week is the unromantic, but vital, bilge-pump. Our yacht feature is the fabulous daysailer the Saffier Se 23, one of the European Yachts of the Year, and there's a salient reminder about the continued need for caution sailing on waters in South East Queensland after the floods.
Much more too, so browse down the headlines to see what catches your interest.
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