Sailing for 13 hours at the helm of a small dinghy including 4 hours in darkness and winds up to 25 knots with a swell of 2.5 metres was not be easy. The Laser is a very wet boat and quite physical to sail.
It was cold and wet so Michael had to carefully manage his tempo of effort, hydration, body temperature, nutrition, fatigue and stave off wetsuit rash as well as navigate over the shortest possible route.
This is the first time a Bass Strait crossing has been attempted in an Olympic class sail boat. A Laser is less than half the size of the Norfolk, the vessel Bass and Flinders used to cross Bass Strait and circumnavigate Tasmania in 1798.
"I think the idea began when a few of us Laser sailors were sitting around, maybe a little bored with traditional racing, wondering what exciting things we could do in the boat. We came up with the idea of sailing the boats in large surf, trying to catch waves and maybe wiping out in the white water out and catching it all on film to watch later. So we’d have a series of stunts like that sailing in real windy and wavy conditions. Then, we needed a big stunt at the end of the film to add drama and tie it together. The stunt was sailing across Bass Strait in a Laser. I hope to get around to the surfing soon…!"
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