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117 Days

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117 Days

On March 6 2009, after 117 days at sea, five guys in a Radford 14m aluminum pilothouse sailboat sailed into Melbourne Australia from Oakville, Ontario Canada. The ocean voyage started in NYC, one stop in Cape Town (False Bay YC – fabulous). The journey followed the route taken by the great clipper ships from North America and Europe on their way to South Africa and Australia via the Atlantic and Southern Oceans.

The voyage more than satisfied the pent up demand for sailing. 16,000nm does that. The guys are still great friends. Why – every afternoon Happy Hour allowed no-holds-barred discussions which morphed into deciding the evenings menu and cook. Attaboys only – constructive criticism was handled as delicately as only boys know how.

No boat, gear or crew breakdowns. Sailmail email,and Iridium sat phones -all in constant use.

Raised $22,000 for men’s cancer.

Worst time – total of 6 days trade winds in the Atlantic Oceans – expecting 6 weeks.

Best time – Sun 25 Jan 09. Position 40 45S 033 00E Southern Ocean.
2.2 oz spinnaker and #4 reef in main. Sensational sailing. The wind built to 24 knots over the 6 hours and the waves built up accordingly. Turns were taken driving and surfing, the bouts lasting until 4 wipeouts (broaches), then the next victim was handed the wheel. Average driving time was 30 minutes and we all had a go. Record speeds seen of 14.6 knots on the GPS with regular 10’s and 12’s. (Later got 22.8 knots below Adelaide.)This was the best sailing ever for us and exactly what was dreamed about during the 6 year build.

Crew John Gayford, Doug Gayford, Doug Sandrin, Stuart Hamilton,Doug Sandrin.