Twenty-one-year-old attempts solo circumnavigation of Australia

Tomorrow (Sunday) 21-year-old Australian Xavier Doerr will commence ‘The Little Aussie Lap’, a solo non-stop unassisted circumnavigation of Australia, on his 21ft Mini Transat yacht, Waterline.

The Queensland sailor will attempt to beat the World Speed Sailing and Guinness World Records as the fastest and smallest racing yacht to complete the lap of Australia single-handed.

Lisa Blair, who holds the current solo Around Australia record of 58 days, also completed a solo non-stop unassisted circumnavigation of Antarctica on Wednesday, of 92 days. She beat the existing record by ten days on her second attempt.

Doerr is aiming to complete the lap in 50 days and join Blair as one of few sailors who have successfully completed the solo unassisted non-stop lap of Australia.

Waterline, Mini Transat hull 176, has a rich racing history residing and racing in both France and Bermuda, before making its way to Australia, landing in Melbourne.

Doerr purchased the vessel in October 2021 and it was subsequently completely stripped and rebuilt by hand in preparation for the next adventure Down Under.

The circumnavigation of the Australian continent is equivalent to a one third lap of the Globe or 12 Sydney Hobart Races, approximately 7500 nautical miles.

“I have chosen to go counter-clockwise to use the most preferable weather systems, even though it is coming into winter,” Doerr said.

“A huge challenge will be sleep deprivation. I plan to sleep in 15-minute blocks to keep a proper watch and avoid collisions with other vessels and floating debris. I have a commercial timer which will ensure I wake every 15 minutes.

“One of the biggest challenges for me will be social isolation,” Doerr divulged. “Everyone who knows me well knows I am an outgoing person, so being in my own head for that long will be a challenge.

“I plan to call my team when I can and have packed a ‘Wilson’ Volleyball as a companion,” Doerr said.

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 and Doerr’s base, Southport Yacht Club.

What’s on board?

Waterline is well equipped with multiple spares and a tonne of safety gear, spare sails, medical kits, EPIRBs.  There is over 2km of rope on the boat, but what the real stats are is that there are…

• Over 200 freeze-dried meals 

• 30 x cans spaghetti and meatballs

• No bananas

• 200 litres of drinking water

• 2 x ipads

• 2 x phones

• 1 x Satphone

• 1 x Go Pro

• 1 x Drone

• 5 x hats

• 2 x sunglasses

• 5 x bottles of sunscreen

• 3 x sets of thermals

• 2 x bottles of Bushman’s repellent

• 1 x pair ski goggles

• 3 x portable chargers

• 1 x toothbrush

• 1 x machete

• 1 x fishing kit

• 1 x Wilson volleyball

• A 6ft 3 in human with big dreams and huge goals

You can follow ‘The Little Aussie Lap’, including the start, via a Live Tracker on the website: the support team will post regularly to Facebook and Instagram.

The challenge commences on Sunday from Southport Yacht Club. A flotilla will follow Xavier as he makes his way out the seaway and to the start line for a 10am commencement.


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