Current Position: THE MAINLAND!!! Congratulations Michael!
Friday, 11 Mar '05: Have added a gallery of low-res shots.... Here.
Thursday, 10 Mar '05: First photo back. Will post more tonight as they come in.
Wednesday, 9 Mar '05, 17:50: He made it! Hit the beach at 16:30 making it a neat 13 hours for the trip - much faster than anticipated and without going for a swim! Max speed recorded on the trip was 19.7 knots down the face of a huge roller, and the average speed looks to be in the high 8's. Total distance sailed was 117 nautical miles. Mike and his coach Arthur Brett are packing the boat up and will be travelling to Melbourne to catch a few well-earned Z's. Tim and West still have to take the chase boat to Phillip Island and they should be in around about now. A quick interview with Mike recorded 15 mins ago is below. West managed some quality work with the camera we're told so look back tomorrow and we should have heaps of still photos plus a bit of movie-madness on the site.
Interview with Mike (1 minute - mp3 - 406KB)
Wednesday, 9 Mar '05, 16:10 : Home stretch - Just 3.9 nm to go and well in sight of Tidal River, but the last part could be the trickiest, as the 2-3 metre swells which have pushed him along will turn into some decent 10-foot surf once he gets to the beach, 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 :) ETA is 16:40 which will give a trip average of close to ten knots!
Wednesday, 9 Mar '05, 15:17: Just talked to Tim Phillips and he said that Mike's only got 11.7 nm to go and handling it nicely - even though he's now spent 12 hours on port tack in a Laser. Boatspeed has been a solid 9 knots for the last few hours, but it's just gone a bit light and speed is now down to 7.5. ETA is still 16:30 and the battle is now on to get to Tidal River before all the shops shut :)
Tidal River, Wilson's Promontory, Victoria.
Wednesday, 9 Mar '05, 12:40: Just had a phone call from West Ashton, you can listen to it by clicking the link below. Getting things to and from Mike is proving tricky, and after almost losing a camera they've decided to conduct the radio interview from the chase boat with either Tim or West. Everything's going well - West says that "Mike looks like he's racing, not in a long distance event." 35 nautical miles to go, which suggests that he's managed a 12 knot average over the last 2 hours!
Interview With West Ashton (mp3 - 537KB)
Wednesday, 9 Mar '05, 10:36: Finally some news! Mike is around 60 nautical miles from the target of Tidal River, and just off the western-most oil rig in Bass Strait. Winds are 15 knots from WSW with seas of 2 - 3 meters. Tim Phillips has said via satphone that Mike is sailing well within himself and feels 'comfortable and strong' after 8 hours in the boat. He's averaging a healthy 9 knots of boatspeed at the moment which will give an ETA of 17:00 if all keeps going the way it is.
There'll be a live interview on ABC 774 Melbourne Radio at 13:50 this afternoon. More news at about 12:00, and we'll try and find a way of getting some audio on the website. Press releases available at: Sail World's website.
A map of Stanley... ...and a photo of Sawyer Bay, Stanley.
Tuesday, 8 Mar '05, 20:36: We're Go! 'Clouds' our weather Guru has given the all clear - the window is now officially open with winds from the west of 15-20 knots forecast across the 'Strait with maybe a bit more of a dose (20-25 knots) toward the finish, but who wants a slow trip home? Seas are around 3-5 meters, so surfing will be the order of the day, because there'll be no wind in the troughs. It won't be much fun for the chase-boat Skipper Tim Phillips or cameraman West Ashton who'll have to try and keep track of a Laser with a strobe light in the Bass Strait rollers.
Regular updates and hopefully some video will be available from launch time of 02:30 Wednesday morning.
Monday, 7 Mar '05, 20:20: Still No-Go. The wind just won't give up! Winds of 25 knots and gusts around 35 knots are still honking across the Strait, so another 24-hour delay has been decided upon. Spirits are still high and fingers are crossed that tomorrow will be the big day.
Sunday, 6 Mar '05, 20:00: Stand by to stand by. The team has decided that tomorrow will provide better conditions.
A departure time of 3am Tuesday 8 March is now the goal, with the hope that target wind of 15-20 knots from the west will eventuate for the attempt.
6 Mar '05, 17:00: Still waiting in Stanley. At this stage the plan is still to get going at 3am Monday 7 March.
Winds at King Island airport are currently WSW at 16 knots, and at Wilson's Promontory it's 22 knots from the west with gusts up to 35.
The chase boat is kindly provided by The Wooden Boat Shop, and Globalstar have assisted with the loan of a satellite phone.
Latest press releases are available at Sail World's website.
24 Feb '05, 1500: Another training run down the Sydney coast.
18 Feb '05, 1600: Shot the above photos training in 25 knots off Manly Beach, Sydney. Top speed 16kts!
Laser Sailing Tips | Why? | Filming & Photos | Crossing Reports | Michael's Story