Friday, February 22, 2013

Team Australia Is Barrelling Down the NSW Coast

Crew on the 60-foot trimaran Team Australia, which is barrelling south to Hobart attempting to set a new passage record for the 630 nautical miles between Sydney and Hobart, have described their journey so far as similar to being under a high-pressured fire hose.
Photo: Team Australia
“The boat is doing 22-25 knots in a strong easterly, our top speed has been 35 knots,” said crewman Josh Alexander this afternoon.

“All the boys are clipped in and taking a bath worse than having a fire hose turned on us. I think they sent four trucks to put us out, but we do not care, we are still on fire. This is one hell of a ride if it was at Luna Park the line would be long to get on," he added.
Photo: Team Australia
“The sea state is horrible, very rough wind from 080-090 E. There's a few holes in it out here so the range is from 20-35 knots. Dinner will be interesting, that’s if we can cook. It’s like a roller coaster inside without a seatbelt.”

On their plan for the night Alexander suggests, “Hold it together. Prudence would suggest throttle back a little, but I don't think that's going to happen.”
Photo: Team Australia
At 6:30pm this evening, 7.5 hours after their record chase started from between Sydney Heads, skipper Sean Langman was still driving his 5.7 ton trimaran. Larry Jamieson was meant to be emailing updates but was “too scared to let go of the sheet,” Alexander sad.

Sean’s 19 year-old son Peter was on the traveller, Josh looking after reefing sails, navigating and quotable quotes and Shaun ‘Kiwi’ McKnight was on the grinder with Aaron Hampo. James Ogilvie apparently had plenty on with the new Doyle Sails square top main.

On their start just before 11:00am this morning, Alexander said they had a few glitches getting off the line, nerves playing a part in their tentative sail choice which then meant they lacked sufficient power to push through a messy three metre swell at the Heads.

Once the seven crew settled down and the adrenaline subsided, they relaxed into a groove. Top wind speed so far has been 44 knots.

At 7.45pm this evening Team Australia was abeam of Bega tearing south at 25 knots and well on track to smash Wild Oats XI’s record of 1 day 18 hours 23 minutes and 12 seconds for the 630 nautical mile course.

To follow Team Australia’s record attempt go to http://my.yb.tl/teamaustralia/

Lisa Ratcliff

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