‘Little Aussie Lap’ update: Sailor forced to retire

On Sunday Xavier Doerr departed Southport Yacht Club, Queensland on his ‘Little Aussie Lap’.

The 21-year-old had aimed to beat the World Speed Sailing and Guinness World Records as the fastest and smallest racing yacht to solo circumnavigate Australia without stopping.

As you can see from our live tracker, Waterline has been slowly limping toward the coastline for the past 24 hours. During this time Xavier has been completing running repairs and assessing the damage Waterline suffered during the destructive gale force winds and treacherous seas this week.

It is now evident his vessel has significant electrical damage as well as damage to the steering and sail.

After much consultation with his team and a host of experienced yachting campaigners, the difficult and heartbreaking decision has been made to retire from this campaign, for now.

While disappointing, Xavier has made this very measured decision with his safety in mind and experts have also deemed that the integrity of Waterline is now a genuine concern.

With limited battery power and communications on board, we request that you refrain from contacting Xavier as he steers Waterline towards the coastline.

It has been a very exhausting 48-plus hours for him, he is in high spirits this morning after a few nights of steering the boat through insane conditions with no AIS.

He is really hungry as he has only been able to eat two packets of Byron Bay Cookies in the last three days and has ordered a couple of burgers, calamari and Gatorade for when he hits the dock.

Once he has arrived back on dry land and gotten some rest, we will organise an opportunity to provide further detail on what has been a hectic experience, for our fiercely determined and experienced sailor.

Keep updated through Facebook, Instagram, and his tracker: www.thelittleaussielap.com/tracker

By Peta-Jayne Habner

M.O.S.S Australia
Race Yachts
West Systems
Jeanneau JY60
Race Yachts
Cyclops Marine