Crossing Bass Strait in a 14' dinghy

Posted by: Craig Arthur

Crossing Bass Strait in a 14' dinghy - 09/03/2005 14:31

Was alerted to the following this afternoon, but a shame it came so late as Michael has almost finished the crossing now (14:30). www.sailfitter.com/basshome.html

Quote:
Australian Olympian Michael Blackburn sailed out of Stanley on Tasmania's
North West coast at 3:00am Wednesday morning on his Laser in his attempt to
sail across Bass Strait. It is 115 nautical (207km) mile journey across
Bass Strait from Stanley to Tidal River near Wilson Promontory. In between
is one of the toughest stretches of water in the world. Blackburn's attempt
has been delayed a number of times because Bass Strait conditions were a
little too vigorous for the tiny sailing craft.

Australian solo sailor, Nick Moloney, who competed in the 2004-2005 Vendee
Globe, became the first and only person to sail across Bass Strait non-stop
on a windsurfer in December 1998, only a few weeks before the disastrous
Sydney to Hobart race. He sailed south from Flinders in Victoria to Stanley
on Tasmania's north west coast on a 3.6-metre windsurfer in a grueling 21
hours and 49 minutes. According to accounts at the time from Moloney,
Blackburn can look forward to extreme tiredness, blistered hands, battered
and bruised skin and diminished eyesight as sea spray hits. However, being
on a Laser and Blackburn having a PhD in Human Movement Studies, should
decrease the problems. - Rob Kothe,
Posted by: Gabby

Re: Crossing Bass Strait in a 14' dinghy - 09/03/2005 15:01

What is it that makes some people put themselves through these sorts of things? Testing his endurance and putting his life at risk at the same time. Either foolhardy or extremely brave or maybe a little of both.
Posted by: Craig Arthur

Re: Crossing Bass Strait in a 14' dinghy - 09/03/2005 15:17

I think the reason is 'because it's there' - the same reason people climb Mt Everest, etc, etc. A good friend of mine kayaked across Bass Strait a few years back. He and a few others island-hopped their way from Wilsons Promontory to Tassie via the Flinders Island group. :cheers:
Posted by: temp trace

Re: Crossing Bass Strait in a 14' dinghy - 09/03/2005 15:44

Bugger, know what you mean about the lateness Craig.

Had a good laugh with the arvo update "even though he's now spent 12 hours on port tack in a Laser" laugh
Posted by: Craig Arthur

Re: Crossing Bass Strait in a 14' dinghy - 09/03/2005 15:54

I like the follow up even better - "ETA is still 16:30 and the battle is now on to get to Tidal River before all the shops shut smile " Time to sneak in a few beer-flavoured beverages? wink
Posted by: temp trace

Re: Crossing Bass Strait in a 14' dinghy - 09/03/2005 18:07

"and Lasers aren't much of a surfboard. The last two times Mike's tried taking a Laser in through decent surf he's broken the rig, so let's hope it's third time lucky smile " laugh laugh
Posted by: Craig Arthur

Re: Crossing Bass Strait in a 14' dinghy - 10/03/2005 08:45

I'd hate to think what a Laser would be like in 10' surf. I have enough fun trying to keep one flat on a lake in 15 knots! I have to admit, the thought came into my head of doing a similar thing on my 14' cat. A lot more stable in the surf at least and probably a little quicker. :p

This also reminds me of a couple of blokes that sailed from Sydney to Brisbane non-stop on a Hobie Tiger (20' cat). Took them over 2 days from memory, with a few hallucinations on the second night thrown in 'cause of the lack of sleep. I'll have to find the article tonight...
Posted by: Dazza_XL

Re: Crossing Bass Strait in a 14' dinghy - 10/03/2005 10:45

Its like driving a car....with no engine!!!
Wearing Sunglasses, without lenses!!!
It makes no sense! But if he wants to do it, good luck to him!!!