The Little Aussie Lap 2.0

I would like to take the the opportunity to express how hugely grateful I am to my sponsors for my first campaign; Aramex, Waterline, Deepwater Collective, Australian Framing Solutions, Rawcorp and Zhik, Supported by Southport Yacht Club, Evolution Sails, Ocean Crusaders and Rope Solutions. Without these amazing companies, organisations and the people behind them I would never have been able to make my attempt, and their support has been immense and was instrumental in getting to the start line. I would also like to take the opportunity to elaborate on what happened during my first attempt.
During my attempt whilst offshore of Fraser island, I was hit by an unforecasted 60 knot + storm at 0200 hours on a moonless night. After 24 hours in this storm, the boat was swamped by 7m waves in the early hours of the morning, resulting in a complete loss of the electrical systems, including the autopilot, chart plotter and AIS systems. Following this, I made the difficult call to abandon the attempt in favor of safe navigation. In order to deliver the boat back to shore safely, I hand steered the mini for over three days without sleep, in building wave state, against a 40 knot north westerly breeze upwind back into the port of Gladstone. It was too rough for me to even open my canned food with large waves crashing over the boat, so for this period I ate what I could grab within arms reach, which was two packets of cookies and 4 litres of water. Through this period, I battled vivid hallucinations during the nights and extreme physical exhaustion, finally bringing the boat back into Gladstone around midday.
Once in port, with the assistance of Aramex, coordination of Deepwater Collective and help from two amazing Gladstone locals Ray and Ben Hobbs, I was able to haul the boat out with a crane at the Gladstone yacht club and transport it back back on a trailer to the Gold Coast where I began fully assessing the damage to the boat and electrical systems. During the storm, the rig had shaken so violently in the strong, dense wind that I blew up my masthead wind gear, tore out my starboard runner, and snapped my spinnaker pole among other breakages. Despite the less than desirable conditions, the boat held together well considering I was sailing upwind into beam seas in conditions worse than most boats have ever experienced. This gives me great confidence in the integrity and structure of my little ocean racing machine going forward into my next attempt. Whilst I did take on a large amount of water, I have determined that different placement of a number of my key electrical components in the future will allow for total electronic failure to be avoided. I have also made alterations to my water ballast systems to prevent water intake in the event of such extreme conditions, and will be making other alterations as I continue to develop the boat.
Following my first attempt, I traveled to the solo-sailing meccas of Lorient and Les Sables d’Olonne in Western France to seek advice from the best, and research how to best rebuild and re-attempt. Whilst in France, I was extremely lucky to soak in information from a massively diverse range of solo-sailors, from those who sailed IMOCAs, Class 40s and Mini Transats all the way through to the hardcore Golden Globe Race sailors. I was fortunate to pick the brains of legends, adventurers and madmen alike – the people who have faced the world head on alone and won. I was met with overwhelming support, from people I had never met. I was surprised to find that many had already been following my journey from all corners of the globe, and was encouraged at every corner to continue with my campaign. Further to this, I spent a great deal of time around sailors in the Mini Transat circuit, studying the designs, setups and systems of dozens of minis. I spent two weeks sleeping on the floors of various minis and living out of a backpack to have the opportunity to immerse myself in the class and learn intricacies and tips I would have otherwise not had access to. I left France re-inspired, armed with the knowledge I needed, and hungry to get the campaign back on track.
I have been working day and night to prepare the boat for my second attempt, and I am now at the stage where I am back out on the water training, and will continue to do so until the date of my next attempt. My training schedule for the new year includes a large chunk of east and south coast offshore sailing, with a great deal of time to be spent in Hobart and Sydney, getting down and training in the Southern Ocean. At every opportunity, I have continued to sail, develop my boat, knowledge, skills and psyche to complete what is the hardest offshore challenge in Australia. I have spent my time extensively designing my new electronics system, upgrading my sailing systems, building relationships with sponsors and working towards my next attempt. Before I can resume long haul offshore training, I must undergo a full electronics refit. Currently I am operating with no working electronics, and will undergo an extensive refit over the next two months as I continue to train and secure funding.
From here on, I am launching into the relentless pursuit of a dream. It is for this reason that I am launching The Little Aussie Lap 2.0 and re-attempting the record in May 2023. Sponsors for this attempt will be announced shortly, and The Little Aussie Lap campaign is inviting those who wish to join the team to inquire via .In order to continue sailing and pursue this dream, I am reaching out to the wider community for support as I approach the challenge of once again getting to the start line of my own personal Mount Everest.
If you would like to donate in support of The Little Aussie Lap 2.0 as I prepare to make my second attempt at claiming the record, I have attached a donation link below. I am reaching out to the community for help in making my dream a reality. All donations are tax deductible, and any donations over $500 will come with the perk of having your name or business name as listed inside the boat, to sail along with me for the duration of my journey around Australia. Donations over $2000 will have either the donor or the business’s name displayed on the outside of the yacht’s cabin, and donations over $3000 will come with the addition of the option to include a message within the yacht’s cabin. Any funds collected will be used in their entirety to contribute towards the full electronics refit, purchase of a small soft liferaft, storage fees, insurance and record attempt entry fees.…/help-xavier-circumnavigate…

Thank you for joining me on this journey as I work to achieve my dream! As always, the best place to follow my journey is on this Facebook page, my Instagram (Xavier.Doerr) and my website . If you would be able to share this post, I would also appreciate it greatly!

  • Xavier Doerr, The Little Aussie Lap 2.0
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