Sails. Something I have not mentioned much is the things stuck up in the air

Blog Post 24 by Jon Sanders: Sails


Something I have not mentioned much is the things stuck up in the air. No, it’s not the mast or the stainless steel Super Wind (turbine) support down the back (oops sorry) ‘aft’. The Rolly Tasker Sails built in Thailand.

I know Sven Cornelius CEO of Rolly Tasker Sails reads this. Poor bloke.

“Hey, Sven” (Kerry Tasker proprietor and much more). If you would like to write this into your Newsletter, I would be delighted.

When I was a wee lad, or at least decades younger, Kerry likewise; she was then the receptionist and Sailing Secretary Royal Perth Yacht Club (and me a member). Rolly Tasker AM would build my sails.

Later Kerry married Rolly. (Lucky man).

Rolly Tasker has built my sails since I was a teenager. First in Perth Western Australia and now Phuket Thailand.

A long time ago, Xmas 1984, my S&S34 was at the Cruising Club of Australia, Sydney, preparing for the Sydney Hobart Race.

I, at the bar, as one does, a beer or three with some crew of the more remarkable – at the time I reckoned they just ‘sat on rails’ – they acted more important and knowledgeable. The reality is they could shin a mast or climb out on a set spinnaker pole in 30 knots of wind (and much more). I could not.

Anyway, they were ribbing Rolly as competitors do. I remember saying to them.

“How many State titles have you won?”

“How many national titles have you won?”

“How many world titles have you won?”

“How many Olympic medals have you won?” (Silver Melbourne Olympics).

I don’t remember saying, – “but one could.”

“How many of your own boats did you build?”

“How many boats did you design?”

“How many boats of other designs did you redesign?”

“How many sails did you design?”

“How many sails did you build?”

In May 1986, I set out from Fremantle Western Australia as an official National Bi-Centennial Project to single hand (Solo) three times around the world non-stop, unassisted (no provisions, etc.)

I successfully arrived back Fremantle March 1988 after 658 days at sea (1 year 10 months).

The voyage came under the umbrella and management of the Centre for Marine Science and Technology Curtin University Western Australia, fully assisted by Royal Perth Yacht Club.

Professor John Penrose AM was Chairman and Director of the project.

I had some projects to fulfil.

The advent was sponsored by Kevin Parry AM (Parry Corporation).

In a press statement before I set out on this 10th circumnavigation of the world (Some of my younger friends were calling ‘bog laps’) Susanna Wolz, Media Manager, Media Relations ofCurtin University, comments:

“The John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library at the University’s Bentley Campus holds the Project Endeavour Collection, which commemorates Jon Sanders’ solo, non-stop, triple circumnavigation of the world from 25 May 1986 to 13 March 1988, where he covered 71,000 nautical miles in 658 days – the longest distance sailed continuously by any person or vessel.”

Ms Catherine Clark, University Librarian, said: “the University was delighted to be given the opportunity to be part of Jon Sanders’ next voyage.” (This voyage).

“The University is privileged to hold the Project Endeavour Collection which commemorates Jon’s historic voyage, and on his return, if the teddy bear and flag survive, we will add these to the Collection as well,” Ms Clark said.

I have two Curtin flags. One is now very tatty (so is Stuart Walton’s Club Burgee), the other one is good. And the Curtin teddy is safe, sound and good.

Needless to say, all the sails were by Rolly Tasker Sails, built of Dacron or the equivalent. Of the two mainsails, I used one for a whole year. Then changed to the other. When I arrived home, I could have gone again with the same sails.

With all my mainsails – then and now – I do not have full-length battens. (Which go thru to the mast).

During that voyage, I was obliged by the weather to hove-to (storm triple reefed mainsail) on occasions. Including off Cape Horn and in

particular three days 200 Nautical Miles south of Cape Town, South Africa, in June 1987 – mid winter. The westerly gales were with long periods of storm force.

Preparing Parry Endeavour under Professor Penrose leadership, the Curtin University Naval Architects and Engineers heeded Rolly Tasker’s advice to me.

“Add more strength”. Add more lightness”. “Add more simplicity”.

Meantime, 30 years later, here I am, running before a mild east trade wind at 18 knots. One reef in the mainsail (not usual for me to have full hoist).

My sails are Dacron or similar, beige colour they call cream – I like, plus better for one’s eyes – and a smalled jib (because the jib is not polled out). Comfortable.

Tuamotu Archipelago

I am now a few days from Papeete Tahiti.

As you read this, I am probably weaving my way thru the Tuamotu or Low Archipelago. My 1974 bought paper chart also says ‘Dangerous Archipelago’. This is because of low-lying Atolls, with wonderful lagoons, palm trees, etc.

At night when you see that beautiful ribbon of moonlight in the ocean – ‘beware, it might not be ‘surf’.

The mast man on the Batavia, 400 years back, sighted the shining white line. Alas, those on deck took it to be moonlight (Abrolhos Islands Western Australia).

I have often seen the ‘genuine’ shine – as such, and also the other. Much the same.

I expect to pass within 3 to 5 N Miles of the natural entrance to Fakarava Atoll. Nathan Bryden and I stopped there in Grenvilled Duce’s Beneteau 50 in 2006, on our way to Raiatea.

Hi Nathan!

Got shops there. I’ve now run out of milk. Will I or won’t I? What would you do?

This current voyage is under the umbrella of Royal Perth Yacht Club of Western Australia and the management of Stuart Walton General Manager RPYC and Kelly Scott Public Relations, marketing, administration RPYC.

Paul Stratfold while with me in the Caribbean and Panama stayed in contact with them.

I have more than one continuous tracking device on board. Big Brother stuff. (Nice big Brother).

Hi Kerry and Sven. (Hey, John Penrose).

Kindest regards to all.


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