Gold Coast sailor Xavier Doerr to attempt world record solo circumnavigation of Australia

Home Sports Gold Coast sailor Xavier Doerr to attempt world record solo circumnavigation of Australia
Gold Coast sailor Xavier Doerr to attempt world record solo circumnavigation of Australia

Gold Coast mariner Xavier Doerr is planning to smash the world record for a solo and non-stop circumnavigation of Australia when he sets sail at the end of the month.

The 21-year-old has been sailing since the age of 12 and has invested $140,000 in his attempt to break a Guinness World Record.

“I’ve done two Sydney to Hobarts and I want to get into solo sailing and around the world racing and this is really the launch pad for me to do it.”

The record for the fastest solo and non-stop circumnavigation of Australia in a monohull is 58 days, which was set by Sydney-based yachtswoman Lisa Blair in December 2018. 

Doerr is aiming to complete the same journey in 50 days.

Man standing on deck of a 21 foot pint yacht.
Doerr plans to shave time off the record by making the most of the wind.(ABC Gold Coast: Tom Forbes)

“I am going in an anti-clockwise direction to make use of the most preferable weather systems,” he said.

Sleep deprivation will be a huge challenge for the sailor who is planning to sleep in 15-minute blocks so he can avoid collisions with other vessels and floating debris.

Doerr says while pirates, huge seas and breakages are all potential risks, loneliness will be one of his greatest challenges.  

He is packing a “Wilson” volleyball, which was made famous as Tom Hanks’ companion in the 2000 film, Cast Away.  

“For lack of better company Wilson will be my companion,” he said.  

His 6.5-metre monohull vessel is one of three boats of its kind in Australia.

Man wearing red cap and grey shirt sitting in cabin of a small yacht with radio equipment in background.
Doerr will sleep in 15-minute intervals during the journey.(ABC Gold Coast: Tom Forbes)

Doerr said the yacht was designed to tackle all weather conditions, including six-metre swells that could be experienced in the Antarctic Ocean.

“I chose this boat because it is one of the fastest carbon fibre downwind boats,” he said.

“I’m looking to break a record and I’m doing it in a machine that is capable of it.”

Pink the colour of solo sailors 

The 21-foot yacht is bright pink, the colour used by many solo sailors including Jessica Watson who captured international attention as a 16-year-old when she became the youngest person to sail solo, non-stop around the world in 2010. 

Woman standing on deck of sailing yacht wearing a life jacket and waving.
Jessica Watson waves and smiles as she sails into Sydney Harbour after her 210-day journey.(AAP: Treacy Nearmy)

Doerr said he had met Watson but had not discussed his record attempt with her.

“While I was training in my last boat, I was out off-shore and would regularly see Jessica Watson out there training for filming her Netflix documentary,” he said.

“While they were filming that, I’m out there sailing on my boat watching.”

He plans to depart the Gold Coast on May 29.

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