When the little NSW yacht Berrimilla lines up with the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet on December 26, it will mark the final leg of a year-long, round the world journey for owner/skipper Alex Whitworth and Peter Crozier.
The pair arrived in Hobart today for a stopover to gather fuel and supplies and some much-needed sleep before continuing on to Sydney and another Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
After finishing the race in Hobart last year, the two friends sailed their 10.2 metre, 28 year old yacht to the UK via the Falkland Islands. They then competed in the prestigious Rolex Fastnet Race, finishing 2nd in their division and being recognised with a much-coveted Royal Ocean Racing Club Seamanship award for their achievements.
Within days of finishing the Rolex Fastnet, 62 year old Alex and 59 year old Peter had restocked Berrimilla and headed out of Falmouth Harbour on August 20 to the open ocean and a long trip home.
Arriving in Hobart at midday today officially ‘closed the loop’ of their circumnavigation and two white flares from the boat as they entered the Derwent celebrated the moment.
“Apart from family and friends, we’ve missed bacon sandwiches and, as a keen runner, I’m missing being able to stretch my legs on a run,” said Alex Whitworth as he enjoyed a cold beer on the dock at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.
“The trip went almost exactly as planned and we never had any real problems.
“It’s been an amazing experience and I think the best parts have been our success in the Rolex Fastnet where we beat the bigger, newer, faster boats and also the great support we’ve had from people wherever we went.”
Thousands of people around the globe have followed their adventure via Berrimilla’s ‘blog’ website www.berrimilla.com.
“We had some great fun communicating with the astronauts on the International Space Station, sharing a bit of a bond as the most isolated people in the universe – us on earth and they above it,” said Alex.
“We have been astonished by the interest and the pleasure that we appear to have given people through our ramblings on the website.”
The aim now is to gather fuel, food and other supplies, catch some rest and then head north in a race against the clock and the weather to get to Sydney in time for the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. This will be the 15th race for Berrimilla, the 14th for Alex and the 10th for Peter.
“Everyone in the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet is looking forward to welcoming Berrimilla back at the end of an extraordinary sailing achievement,” said CYCA Commodore Geoff Lavis.
“When the fleet lines up for the start of the race, those two men will have the respect of every sailor on every boat – from the large maxis to the other small boats.”
For more information about Berrimilla’s journey and to follow the progress of the boat, visit www.berrimilla.com