The Little Aussie Lap: Update
Sunday, May 29 2022, 21-year-old Gold Coaster, Xavier Doerr commenced The Little Aussie Lap, a Solo Non-Stop Unassisted Circumnavigation of Australia.
The goal was to beat the existing World Speed Sailing Record and set a new Guinness World Record as the fastest and smallest racing yacht to complete the circumnavigation.
Two days into the attempt, the 21-one-year old was hit by a ferocious weather system which hadn’t been forecast. The severe weather system battered Waterline and its skipper as they made their way north along the east coast of Queensland.
Despite Xavier’s willingness to continue, it was quickly becoming evident that the destructive gale force winds and treacherous conditions, which included 55 knot winds and waves over five metres had caused significant damage to the vessel.
Xavier battled to maintain control of his vessel for almost forty-eight hours in conditions that would test the resilience of even the most experienced offshore ocean racers, completing a series of running repairs, while slowly limping towards the coastline to further assess the damage in calmer waters.
More than twenty-four hours after the storm system had passed, Waterline continued to be battered by five metre waves, resulting in water swamping the batteries and the vessel’s complex and crucial electrical system, causing a blackout of all electronic systems on the boat.
After much deliberation and in the interest of his and safety, Xavier and his experienced team made the call to pause the attempt and head into shore.
With no autopilot system in operation, Xavier had to manually steer the yacht though rough waters back to the port of Gladstone.
During the next 72 hours, Xavier was unable to sleep as he had to steer his vessel through a waterway littered with cargo and container ships, sustaining himself on
two packets of Byron Bay M&M cookies, some Powerade and adrenaline.
While disappointed, the fiercely determined and experienced sailor does not regret the decisions made under duress, as they were the most appropriate in order to maximise safety for both Xavier and other surrounding vessels.
Xavier has already started plans for his next record attempt which will also include a double-handed Rolex Sydney to Hobart race.
Two years in the making, this campaign could not be possible without the incredible support of generous sponsors. Aramex, Waterline Dive Cleaning, Deepwater Collective, Zhik, RawCorp, Australian Framing Solutions, Evolution Sails, Rope Solutions Rigging, Ocean Crusaders, Mad Panda Media and his base, the Southport Yacht Club.
For more information and updates;
Peta-Jayne Habner | 0417 709 190 | email@example.com