Tough times ahead

Xavier Doerr is halfway through his epic challenge known as The Little Aussie Lap.

06 June 2023


Gold Coast based youth sailor Xavier Doerr is taking on one of the most challenging solo sailing campaigns, a non-stop, unassisted, solo circumnavigation of Australia in GCCM his 21-foot Mini Transat Carbon Fibre Race Yacht called GCCM.

27 days into the campaign and Xavier is in great shape with close to half of the little lap completed (3500 nm) and he is heading down the Western Australian coastline – currently off north of Carnarvon.

It’s been a tough few days for 22-year-old Gold Coast sailor Xavier Doerr and the signs suggest it is only going to get tougher as he makes his way down the West Coast of Australia.

Xavier has been forced to take evasive action in an attempt to avoid a massive weather system further down the coast with sustained 50 knot winds and gusts over 75 knots accompanied by massive 12 metre seas.


The decision to temporarily slow down made in consultation with his onshore race team led by Lee Randall.

Adding to a severe power issue on the Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard Xavier has blown a large jib which he has replaced whilst doing a complete check of all fittings ahead of a very windy few day.

Down to his last big jib, Xavier is constantly managing the vessels health, knowing that he still has the toughest sections of his world record attempt and more than three thousand nautical miles still to travel.

It has been far from smooth sailing to date with Xavier finding an outrigger ripped and tearing a hole in the hull, a tear in the mainsail needing repair, a close call with an illegal fishing boat on the Great Barrier Reef, navigating the reef in a storm with zero viability, a recent autopilot issue and bunch of Albatross birds hitching a ride and leaving their mark all over everything on his boat.

He also experienced thick floating seaweed and light winds which is causing him to work around the clock clearing the weed from rudder, keel and every rope it came close to.

There have been some amazing sunsets and sunrises, contact via radio and a low flyover from WA Border Force plane, whales and a lot of flying fish and dinners of Heinz Spaghetti and Meatballs cold and in the can.

Xavier left April 29 from Southport Yacht Club and he will attempt to complete his counter clockwise circumnavigation in under 50 days.

Aboord his 750kg blue yacht, GCCM; Gold Coast City Marina, the circumnavigation of the enormous Australian continent feat is equivalent to 1/3 of a lab of the Globe or 12 Sydney Hobart Races.

The Support Team have been posting regularly to Facebook and Instagram and Xavier has also been going LIVE.

Shore Manager Lee Randall has been checking in daily and recording their zoom calls here.

Follow the gigantic “Little Aussie Lap” via the Live Tracker.

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