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New oldest person to circle world

Published on February 22nd, 2020

After four attempts, Australian Bill Hatfield has become the oldest person to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the world.

After leaving from Gold Coast on June 8, he took the westerly route around the three capes, essentially going into the swells and wind. The 81-year-old completed his eight-month journey on February 22, sailing his 38-foot yacht L’Eau Commotion to the Southport Yacht Club in Main Beach, Queensland.

Hatfield said he lived on strict rations while at sea. “For fresh water I had a desalinator that pumps through a membrane, and my daily diet was a third of a tin of beans, a tin of tuna, 100 grams of rice and flour and oats, and 150 grams of milk powder.”

During his first attempt in 2015, Hatfield was washed overboard and the yacht suffered substantial damage to its rigging, forcing him to abort the journey about 160 kilometres west of Cape Horn.

A second attempt in 2016 lasted less than two months after Hatfield struck a significant storm in the Great Australian Bight. During his third attempt the following year, he was unable to round Cape Horn, causing him to abort to the Falklands.

Hatfield takes the mantle from 77-year-old British woman Jeanne Socrates, who completed her 320-day journey in September 2019 when her 38-foot boat arrived in Victoria, Canada.

Source: ABC News, Scuttlebutt

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