Thursday, March 18, 2010

Intrepid yachtsmen arrive in Sydney

By Peter Campbell

(March 15, 2010) - Intrepid sailors Alex Whitworth and Peter Crozier have reached their home port of Sydney today, Monday, 15 March 2010, at approx. 1200hrs, ending the second of two remarkable circumnavigations in their little 10m sloop Berrimilla.

Members of their home clubs, the Royal Australian Navy Sailing Association (RANSA) and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, met Berrimilla as she sailed through Sydney Heads at 12.00hrs and is now berthed at the CYCA.

Berrimilla’s final leg, from Hobart to Sydney, marks the end of their second circumnavigation in Berrimilla – the first was a Sydney – Hobart (Race) – Fastnet (Race) – Sydney – Hobart (Race) combination of cruising and racing, via Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope. No other yacht has sailed in both the Rolex Sydney Hobart in Australia and the Rolex Fastnet Race in England in the one year and then sailed back to contest the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

The second circumnavigation has been a voyage from Australia to England through the daunting North West Passage across the top of Canada to again contest the Rolex Fastnet Race, and a delayed return voyage that took Whitworth and Crozier in Berrimilla down to the French-owned Antarctic Kergelen islands before reaching Hobart on 1 March.

After a week to spruce up the Brolga 33 and give her a much-need slipping and anti-fouling, Berrimilla and her crew set sail from the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania last Monday, 8 March. At noon today, Berrimilla was off Ulladulla on the NSW South Coast after a fuelling stopover in Eden.

Berrimilla is the first yacht to circumnavigate the world under sail via the North West Passage and the first to circumnavigate via both Cape Horn and the North-West Passage – opposite ends of the Americas.

She is also the first Australian yacht to sail through the North-West Passage unassisted and in a single season, extraordinary cruises that must rank Whitworth and Crozier as Australia’s greatest living seamen.

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