Please select your home edition
Edition
Gul 2018 October - Code Zero AUST LEADERBOARD

Australian Solo sailor ahead of record as he rounds Tasmania

by Sail-World.com on 5 Jun 2010
Bottom of Tasmania Save Our Seas - Ocean Racing http://www.sosoceanracing.com/
Australian solo sailor Ian Thomson is edging towards Tasmania’s South East Cape and will soon be heading north again, with just 1592 nautical miles out of the total WSSRC 6542 nautical miles around the Australian coastline.

Thomson is aiming to break the 68 day record for sailing around Australia, non stop unassisted.


In the early hours of Day 32, the Airlie Beach sailor spoke to Sail-World, as he approached South East Cape, with just 25 percent of the course yet to sail.

‘It hasn’t been the Southern Ocean crossing that I had expected. Very anti-climactic because the ocean has not been what the Southern Ocean should be, or what I expected it to be should I say.

‘It is such a nice feeling to be on the Eastern sea board and I am now five nautical miles from the Southeast Cape.

'The glow of Hobart is just coming around the corner now.

‘I have already started climbing very, very slowly back to the north. Once I hit the Southeast Cape I start heading further north again, and that is going to be great to see the latitude numbers start climbing back from 44 toward the 20th lat. which is where I will end up back in Airlie Beach.

'Right now at the bottom of Tasmania, I probably have about 15 knots of breeze and it is from the northwest so that big island is just protecting everything so it is flat as a tack.

'Around Maatsuyker Island which is notorious for being incredibly rough, it was the same. I cruised through there within a nautical mile of it. I couldn’t get any photos because of course it is pretty black down here, but yeah it’s just the whole Southern Ocean has just been flat apart from Day 2 when I got to a 35 knots maximum. A lot slower than I expected, it is kind of a shame because I actually looking forward to seeing how fast this boat could go in the big open ocean swells.

'Maybe I will have a chance across Bass Strait to open her up even with the reef in her.

'I am limping quite severely now, in the last 24 hours I have blown out two kites, both kites that were suitable for winds between 10 and 25 knots.

'One of them last night, just after dark, I had a problem with the spinnaker sock coming down from the top of it, it only came half way down and when I went to pull it down it ended up trolling in the water and it got wrapped around my keel there, the prop. I still have a little bit hanging off the bottom there. That totally destroyed my favorite A3 spinnaker, which has done such a good job until now.

'Then this morning I put up the A5 spinnaker and put a nice big tear in, I might have enough sticky back to put it back together again. At this stage it looks like I am limping home, quite severely.

'I still have three reefs in my mainsail. At this stage I hoping that I can shake a reef out but I will probably wait until I get across Bass Strait to even attempt anything; just in case something goes severely wrong. You just never know.

'The boat us quick, even at the moment in 15 knots with the winds on the beam and slightly behind – I am still doing 7 knots. I am not really disturbed; I know that there is a big front coming through sometime tonight, so I am not too worried about it for the next couple of days – which will probably save me most of the way getting across Bass Strait.

'The boat is quick enough that I will set the record, its just a matter of getting home. It is probably not going to be as quick as I wanted it to be. At the end of the day I only have to beat 68 days, and making it is more important at the moment rather than smashing in an extra couple of days.

'I still have the furling headsail which is the new one made by Doyle in Brisbane. Its bullet proof, it is doing a wonderful job.

'I have a spare headsail, I have a Code 0 and I have an A2, so the Code 0 and then A2 are good up to about 10 knots, anything above that they are not that good. The A5 was good for shy work of about 10 knots up to about 25, and the A3 has been working out for up to about 20 knots so it was sad to lose the A3.

'That was probably one of the best spinnakers I ever had. I actually had to cut it free last night. Taking a knife to a spinnaker is never fun.

'I just downloaded the last weather forecast; which the low front will get me out of from under this high pressure system. It should take me up to the rest of the East Coast of Australia, which means I should have a fair bit of wind the rest of the way up.

'For the last eleven days I've had no Internet to get weather files and so I have been quite blind and so Duane Hand from Maxsea has been helping me in the last three days with a bit of weather. I gave him the polars for the boat, and he has just run what I would run, except for text messages and an occasional phone call.

'Basically at this stage, we have done really well, he has told me where I needed to be and that is what I have done.

'The other person I've talked to during the Southern Ocean run from Cape Leeuwin is my mum. My mum has been on the phone all the time. She is in Melbourne, and I think she should be going for her own world record for the person over 50 who has been on the Internet the most since I’ve left. It is pretty funny.

'From here on speed-wise, with a reduced sail inventory, it all comes down to angles, I will try and repair that A5 to give me something between that 10 and 20 knot range. I will just have to take it really, really easy with it. Apart from that I will just get there when I get there.

'The marine traffic is set to increase of course. In the Southern Ocean, my sleeping pattern has been great because I’ve been able to let it go, like for an hour at a time – I still do it every hour because you just never know what is going to happen.

'Anything that you expect out there are the big ships which I guess they will actually come up and send off one or more warning alarms. At the end of the day, now I am back into a range, I’ve had to turn my radar back on tonight, so that I can pick up the small ships, small private boats and all that.

'I’ve got a solar panel up on the coach top and I am not doing much at the moment, it’s been pretty cloudy down here, get up the coast maybe it will start kicking in. I have no excuse with diesel, I should be home somewhere between 10 and 12 days, I’m guessing. I have plenty of diesel to get me through that, at least 100 litres.

'What am I eating? The food situation, it has all been dry food, just add water and cook it up. The main thing is I’m getting low on milk. Because I don’t have refrigeration on board I use long life milk. Once I open it, I have to pretty much use it within a day down here. I think I have 6 litres of milk left. So I am going to run out of milk before I get half way up the coast. But then I have all rations and a few other things. The cereal, I can have that with water and juice. I am going to be looking forward to some nice fresh food when I get home, I can tell you that.

'I’ve been losing weight. I have started realizing how bony I have got around my hips in particular. When I am sleeping, I can actually feel the bones on the mattress, the truth. The last time I was down to this little weight was when I was wind-surfing every day, back in 2002.

'My auto pilot is doing a wonderful job. I nicknamed her Lisa after the girl who came to Gladstone with me when my original autopilot failed on the start line, and I had Lisa on board and she ended up coming all the way even though she had planned to get off before the start. She acted as my auto pilot in the race at Gladstone so I nicknamed my auto pilot Lisa.

'It is steering the majority of the time. It is a self-learning auto pilot; it has pretty much learned the boat. It is steering really, really well and on the dark nights, like tonight without the moon, it holds it course better than I do. You just can’t see out there, it is pitch black, so Lisa is steering our course better than I do. I actually enjoy sitting back and letting it do the job.

During the day I will always get on there especially when the spinnakers were up, just because I enjoy sailing a boat. You push it a bit harder when you are on it yourself, apart from that; it is doing a wonderful job.

'It is amazing how little wildlife I have seen, apart from the albatrosses. The albatrosses are such a spectacular creature, the wing span on the big ones are incredible. But it is the little fellows that really captured my attention because they are just darting around like little fighter planes, especially as I got close to the coast. The little baby ones were just cool, just chasing each other and yes, they are incredible creatures when they swim around. It took me about 5 days to actually see one sitting in the water, most of the time they are always just gliding around; apart from that, nothing in the water at all, absolutely nothing apart from the spinnaker.

'The East Coast current is probably running around at about 2 ½ to 3 knots just south of Sydney there. My plan at this stage is to just stick inside it and just run up the coast.

'I trust my steering and warning systems. It’s just one of those things where you just have to – I could go outside but at this stage, I’ve just got internet reception and I have to download the latest forecast and find out what I am going to do.

'I am just looking forward to heading north and for me now, the East Coast – I’ve sailed the whole East Coast. It’s a reverse Sydney to Hobart. Then Sydney to Southport, Brisbane to Keppel, then Keppel to Airlie Beach I will just do it in stages of races I’ve done.

'Right now I have sailed 75% of the Australian circumnavigation course, but there is no record for being fastest for that. I have to get back to Airlie Beach and so will need to nurse this tough little Welbourne 40 the rest of the way.'

SOS Ocean Racing is about raising awareness of what damage plastic bags does to the environment, in particular the marine environment. With over 100,000 marine animals and 1 million sea birds dying from plastic suffocation or entanglement every year, it is time to get rid of the 'Convenient' plastic bag and use other options.

For more details visit the campaign website at www.sosoceanracing.com

NCYC Sailfest 2019 - FooterRaymarine AUS 2018 Aug - Axiom - FooterSOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS728-X-90 Bottom

Related Articles

Oma – Named Peril - Forewarned is Forearmed!
Her trajectory is not clear, but is important to utilise the knowledge of the past, and prepare now Her name is Tropical Cyclone Oma. Her trajectory is not certain by any means, but is important to utilise the knowledge of the past, and prepare now, whilst there is still ample, usable time.
Posted today at 4:02 am
Entries open for Helly Hansen Women's Challenge
MYC invites all female sailors around Australia For the past 24 years Manly Yacht Club Women's Challenge has had a commitment to encourage, excite and support Women in sailing at every level of experience.
Posted today at 1:10 am
2019 Teakle Classic Adelaide to Port Lincoln Race
Slow going in traditional Lincoln Week long race It is one of the most picturesque days on the South Australian sailing calendar, however yesterday's Teakle Classic Lincoln Week Regatta 'long race' was slow going in light conditions for the four divisions.
Posted on 19 Feb
Royal Perth Yacht Club - Dinghy updates
The club's Open Day was a huge success The Royal Perth Yacht Club Open Day was a huge success not just for the number of people who visited but also the fantastic atmosphere that was generated.
Posted on 19 Feb
GGR 2018, SailGP's debut and the Caribbean 600
We modern humans live soft lives compared to the Golden Globe Race skippers We modern humans live soft lives compared to the skippers participating in the Golden Globe Race 2018.
Posted on 19 Feb
J/24s at the Festival of Sails
151st Geelong regatta boasted 300 entries across all the classes The longest continuous sporting event in Australia is the Australia Day Regatta in the Geelong Victoria. This year the 151st regatta boasted 300 entries from the Grand Prix TP52 Sydney to Hobart winners, to possibly the smallest boats, our J24's.
Posted on 19 Feb
RORC Caribbean 60 day 2
Multi70 Maserati and MOD70 Argo have been ripping up the race track Maserati, skippered by Giovanni Soldini led at Guadeloupe by 12 miles, but in terms of time, that is less than 30 minutes ahead of Jason Carroll's Argo. The two rocket ships are expected to finish the race around sundown today.
Posted on 19 Feb
Event No.12 joining Match Race Super League 2019
12 events worldwide in 10 countries on four continents The Match Race Super League is proud to announce that the AIRCALIN Match Race in Noumea (NCL) will be the sixth event of the 2019 season, making it to 12 events worldwide in 10 countries on four continents.
Posted on 19 Feb
Dart 18 Worlds day 3
Three days of excellent sailing so far "I'm in Paradise" said Nicola. This is no surprise as the sun shone all day with winds building to 17 knots of wind and she and her skipper Herve Le Maux had just had their best performance of the competition.
Posted on 19 Feb
Am Cup teams check out canting AC75 foil
a first hint of the real scale of the AC75 boats has been given to each challenger representative Less than a year since the Class Rule publication, a first hint of the real scale of the AC75 boats has been given to each challenger representative during a number of visits to Auckland to witness the one design foil cant system (FCS) in action.
Posted on 19 Feb