Tony Bullimore

Aged 68, Tony Bullimore will sail tomorrow from Hobart to try to break Ellen MacArthur's solo round the world record of 71 days.

Hats off to the old boy, it's the coldest time of the year down there. I expect the press will probably have a dig that he's not taking the same route as Ellen, but his course has been ratified by the World Speed Sailing Records Committee and it's a hell of a challenge even for someone half his age. Go on my son!
And this time he's trying it the right way up!
Doh! Better luck next time old fella...

"British yachtsman Tony Bullimore has had to call a halt to his latest solo circumnavigation attempt after a 50mm pin holding the forestay on his 102ft catamaran Doha lost a retaining bolt and begun to pull out.

‘If the pin had pulled out completely, the rig would have fallen down and I would have been left adrift.’ Bullimore said early today, adding. ‘When I found it during a daylight check of the rig a few days ago, my heart almost stopped. With the rig under so much tension, there is no way of banging the pin back in place. In fact, it is the tension that has stopped it from falling out altogether.’

Bullimore spent several hours lashing the forestay to Doha’s main beam to secure both the stay and the rogue pin, and having already chosen to head north east away from a low pressure system that was to sweep over his course on May 9, is now diverting to New Zealand to affect repairs.

‘I’m devastated, particularly after the promising start I had from Hobart when I was running ahead of the record. I have devoted the past two years preparing for this solo round the world attempt. I can only assume that the retaining bolt came loose during the bashing Doha received in the 50knot winds experienced a week ago. All I can say is thank goodness it happened now and not when I was deep in the Southern Ocean or close to Cape Horn.’

‘The rig is now secure and I am sailing under reduced canvas northwards to New Zealand. Once repairs have been completed, I will sail back to Hobart and re-start the Blue Ocean Wireless Round the World Challenge later in the year.’ "

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