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A new Round Australia Record for SOS Ocean Racing

by Ian Thomson on 18 Jun 2010
Ian celebrates his achievement in style - SOS Ocean Racing Save Our Seas - Ocean Racing http://www.sosoceanracing.com/
SOS Ocean Racing, skippered by Ian Thomson from Airlie Beach, crossed the finish line off the Whitsunday Sailing club after 42d:5h:30m:2s to set the fastest solo circumnavigation of Australia. It has been a remarkable journey and has taken some 26d:2h:29m:58 seconds off the previous record.

Whilst Ian's record is not non stop and unassisted, it is still a great achievement and only two other boats in the world have been around Australia faster, the French 110ft Trimaran called Geronimo who holds the outright record and Kaz, sailed by Sailors with Disabilites who holds the monohull record. Both were crewed. There are several boats that have been around with two people or crew that have gone around in slower times as well which highlights Ian's achievement.

Immediately after the finish Ian was joined by his mum and friends on board SOS Ocean Racing and the celebrations began. Lots of boats from the local sailing fleet sailed past Ian to congratulate him and then the evening at the
Whitsunday Sailing Club saw Ian speak about his journey and tell stories of highlights and low lights.

The highlight Ian said was sailing home into the waters of the Whitsundays. 'It has been a lonely journey and I have realised that life is too short to spend massive amounts of time on your own'

When asked about the low points 'Definitely off Bunbury. Many would think it was when I pulled the pin on the non stop and unassisted record in Sydney but off Bunbury was a very hard time. I found myself questioning whether it would be more comfortable in a liferaft than the boat, until I eventually stuck my head outside and realised I liked the boat option better'

Ian spoke to the crowd at the Whitsunday Sailing club thanking them immensely for their support throughout the journey and then proceeded to talk about fixing our plastic problem.

Ian's campaign has not just been about sailing. It has been to raise awareness of the damage plastic bags do to our environment. Ian spoke of the need to reduce the number of plastic bags we use and also about any plastic saying we need to decrease the number of pieces of plastic in the ocean, there is believed to be 46,000 piece in every square mile he stated'

The Future

When asked about what is next Ian announced several plans. 'First of all I want to form the Save Our Seas Foundation Australia as a non profit organisation. The marine industry does not have a real charity it supports so the SOS Foundation would be great as it cleans up the oceans and waterways we all use daily. The foundation will work on the principle of the 3 A's. Awareness - I will continue to create awareness of the problem, Alternatives - I will promote the alternatives to plastic bags and plastic products and finally Action - we will help clean up the problem by creating days to clean up our oceans and beaches, support Clean Up Australia Day and other initiatives that do clean up. We will also teach our next generation of the issues plastics cause.'



He then went on to announce that in May 2011 he will go around again, but with a crew, to try and claim the monohull record from Kaz. 'I hope to gain access to a boat between 60 and 80 ft and put together a crew from the Whitsunday Sailing Club to go and have a crack at the monohull record. I know I could have got it this year had everything gone right but next year we will have another go and see what it will be like with crew.'

More details of Ian's plans will be launched here in the coming weeks so keep an eye out here for latest plans.

www.sosceanracing.com.au


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