Next Sail: 03 Mar Port Stephens to New Plymouth NZ

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Next Race:
2018 Solo Tasman Challenge 01 Apr 2018
Start: 1300h Port Taranaki New Plymouth NZ
Finish: circa 11 April 2018 - Mooloolaba QLD

Friday, February 16, 2018

Mast stepping....tick

Mast is now back where it belongs and I will finish off the remainder of rigging this weekend along with a raft of other jobs.

My two 'Giant' 130AH AGM house batteries arrived today and I also picked up my VMax AGM 110AH dual start/deep cycle form a local supplier. The Rutland 914i Wind Generator and solar panel should keep them topped up nicely..

Splash back is scheduled for Tues high tide and then I will hole up in a marina to tune the rig and complete the prep for the shakedown from Port Stephens to Newcastle with clearance planned for 03 Mar pending.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Please support Soldier On

As I did in 2014 I am raising awareness of the good work Soldier On does for my peers. All funds raised go to Soldier On less the small commission by the fundraising company. I receive no benefit from your gift other than satisfaction in knowing we can make a difference.

Please click on the link and donate what you can.

53 days until race start

24 days until departure for New Zealand and so far so good. Tracking to schedule so pretty happy with progress. Long days as I am back at work, but enjoyable being out in the balmy summer afternoons working on the tan lines! Only had a few rainy days so managed to kick some indoor jobs. Jobs completed so far are new winches, genoa turning blocks, 2x hatches, sat phone and antenna, mast wiring, QLED steaming/deck light, Signal mate LED Tri/anchor masthead light, RG213 VHF coax and Metz antenna, lifeline whipping cord replaced and dyform rigging clean/inspect/lube ready for stepping early morning next week.

I'm using a product I found in the US called

Bed-it (

to bed in all my gear.... its a butyl -like mastic tape that remains flexible and has the grip of a 2 year old on his dads trouser leg. Great product to work with, however the trick is to not tighten up in one go, you must do over several days as the product creeps into every noon and cranny....and better still, absolutely no sticky sikaflex mess to clean up!

The excellent Slipstream SS folding prop has been serviced and bottom prepped for 2x coats of black Jotun Seaguardian antifoul. Will pop the shaft next week and replace the cutlass bearing when our removals arrive on Monday so I can access my tools that were in storage. I had anticipated having all my removals deliveries mid Jan but delays in finding a house caused some unfortunate duplication of expenditure to keep on schedule. Next buy is the three AGM batteries (ouch!). Engine service and fuel check is next and then should be back in the water late next week. Life is good

Comms / Nav upgrade

My Iridium 9555 Satphones arrived from WA last week so talking with Airtime service providers to get the best bang for buck given I require the data service for the Solo Tasman race followed by several months with no requirement and then in Aug-Dec my solo sail back from The Netherlands on Roaring Forty.

Next week when our removals is delivered, I should know if I need to update the SeaPro Routing Navigation software dongle. Also on the cards is the Lighthouse 2 software upgrade to the Raymarine systems since they have been dormant for the past three years. 

My old trusty Raymarine 101 VHF handeld lives on, however it will be relegated to dinghy duties as I have upgraded to a Standard Horizon HX870 VHF GPS/DSC floating handheld and a HX300 VHF floating handheld with USB and and 12volt charging.

My ICOM 801E HF radio is a solid, reliable and high performing piece of gear so all that is required after I drop the new batteries in is to perform a radio check with Kordia in NZ one evening to confirm operation.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

2018 Solo Tasman

121 days to the 2018 Solo Tasman Yacht Challenge :)

Counting down to late Dec 17 when we head back west to Australia after our posting to the US. Whilst we leave behind our special new found US friends, we are both looking forward to reuniting with family, friends......and of course Rogue Wave!

Planning is well underway to re-commission the old Rogue in prep for the Solo Tasman race in April. After a few additions the Rogue will receive a good shakedown in the March delivery sail to NZ.

To ensure my weather routing is on track every day, I now have an Iridium 9555 satphone with XGate compression software that enables access to Predict Wind data downloads for GRIB files and ocean currents. This is a significant step up from 2014 in route planning and I an looking forward to getting the best out of my SeaPro nav software.

Another addition is a top down Harken Reflex Furler for the Assy spinnaker that will enable me to quickly deploy and furl the bulletproof 1.5oz Doyle APS to maximise performance. I originally planned to add a Code Zero to the inventory, however that budget was redirected into our purchase of Roaring Forty - fortunately RF came racked and stacked with 18 sails!

Whilst I race to fulfill personal goals and to challenge myself, I also race to raise awareness of physical and mental challenges faced by our military and security personnel. Unlike other campaigns you may support, public funds raised through donations go in direct support of Soldier On.

If you are a Company/Corporation aligned with my principles and objectives on a global stage, then please reach out to me and I would be happy to discuss opportunities that are beneficial to all. I pride myself in that public donations have not (and never will be) used in the preparation of either Rogue Wave or Roaring Forty. 

Don't forget to spread the word that we need to stop the grief and self harm so please support our Military and Security Service personnel and kindly donate what you can by clicking this link to my official fundraising page for Soldier On

Monday, June 26, 2017

2018 Solo Tasman Yacht Challenge - SOLDIER ON

Once again as I did in 2014, I have elected to raise awareness of the work being done by Soldier On to underpin my second Solo Tasman Yacht Challenge in April 2018. In 2014 we successfully raised over $3600.00 so in 2018 I would like to shoot for $5000.00. Together we can make a difference.

2018 will be a very busy year....which is not  bad thing! Between family catch-ups, I will be head down bum up settling back into the Aussie lifestyle, a new job and re-commissioning Rogue Wave from storage to make her ready for our delivery to New Zealand in March 2018.

So thought it prudent to start the fundraising now to lessen the impact. Below is the link to my fundraising page on the Soldier On website and in advance, I thank you kindly for your support in helping those that keep this country safe.

An event such as the Solo Tasman take years of planning and preparation prior to actual execution and getting to the start line is an achievement in its own right. However I am proud to say that I am completely self funded and supported by my family as I spend their inheritance!

All donations raised go to Soldier On.

2018 Solo Tasman Yacht Challenge Fundraiser Website

Rogue Wave - 2014 Solo Tasman Yacht Challenge arrival at Mooloolaba

OSTAR 2020

Just back from Newport RI where I was fortunate to greet Mark Hipgrave as he skippered his Sunfast 3600  Mister Lucky to a 3rd in Gypsy Moth class, 3rd in OSTAR and 4th Line Honours. Outstanding effort by Mark considering the toll the weather took on the fleet.......enough drama to make a Perfect Storm 2!

Met Uwe and Asia off the Class 40 Rote 66 and they kindly showed me through their boat. Had a chat with Jaap who raced on the yacht Happy who unfortunately lost their yacht after being pitch-poled, dismasted and taking on lots of water. They were successfully rescued by an ocean going sea tug so had a ride to Bermuda before flying into Newport. Check out the site as the slower Corinthian Jester Class are still out their racing - this is the class Rogue Wave would compete - Roaring Forty would be in the Gypsy Moth Class.
OSTAR 2017
Facebook - OSTAR and TWO STAR

The OSTAR is usually run every four years which timed nicely with my proposed year of retirement being (2021) ....however, the committee has moved the next OSTAR to 2020 to align with the Mayflower 400th anniversary celebrations. So if I am to take part a major re-plan is required to compete Roaring Forty in the 2020 OSTAR.

On my recent flight to Australia and up to Newport I have been reading Eric Tabarly Memoirs of the Sea, which is an excellent read. He does not bore the non-sailor with the day by day details of a long solo or crewed passage for these he quickly summarises the main repetitive events. His story is about inspiration, passion for racing and yacht design and his love of the sea. Highly recommended.