Blue Ocean Wireless to sponsor Tony Bullimore on record breaking quest 28/3/07

The situation is looking decidedly bright for 67-year old Tony Bullimore – currently on standby in Hobart awaiting a weather window to commence his global record attempt – thanks to today’s Blue Ocean Wireless sponsorship announcement.

Blue Ocean Wireless and Inmarsat – global satellite communications service provider – have today not only announced their sponsorship of the world’s first GSM network for merchant maritime vessels but also launched Bullimore’s Blue Ocean Wireless Round the World Challenge.

Bullimore who was obviously not able to attend to day’s press conference at Inmarsat’s impressive city of London headquarters made the most of his sponsors communication system by speaking directly from Hobart to the conference about his pending record attempt.

Chatting about concerns about the lateness of his departure Bullimore told “Do I have concerns? Yes and know really. I’m always concerned about the weather unless I’m in the Caribbean but I think that there are all sorts of things happening with the weather now. I am leaving at a very nice time of the year and the six and a half thousand miles I have to do to Cape Horn I can do very quickly. The first part of the challenge will be pretty okay. After Cape Horn I have to cherry-pick the weather.

“I’m looking for consistent winds. I’m in a big boat; it doesn’t take a lot of canvas to make it go fast, so I can be well reefed down. When I get back to the Cape of Good Hope it will be really a case of how far south I go. I will be amid the depressions working in a corridor in the Indian Ocean and Southern Ocean. The boat’s fast, capable of doing 20?25kts but I probably won’t be pushing it harder than that.”

Bullimore has been on standby in Hobart for well over three months now so not surprisingly he’s itching to get away. Despite reports earlier this week of a possible change in conditions which could give way to a decent weather window the chances of him getting away before Easter are now looking very slim.

Considering his past Southern Ocean experience – 10 years ago when he was rescued in the Southern Ocean while competing in the Vendee Globe – nothing really seems to faze Bullimore. He actually shows little concern about setting off so late in the Southern Hemisphere season, and he’s biggest concern is seemingly how he’s going to muster enough power to hoist the mainsail! Bullimore added: “The only thing that concerns me is hoisting the mainsail. It’s about 116ft off the deck; it’s a big, heavy mainsail and maybe if I’d had a bit more budget I’d have got a lighter sail and saved about 40 per cent in weight. But as it is I’ve got a big mainsail and it’s going to be very hard work.”

Although Bullimore has only sailed a total of 2,000 miles solo on the boat he says that knowing the boat inside out is the most important thing, adding: “?I work on the premise that I’ve actually done about 120,000 miles on the boat including two round the world trips so I know exactly how she performs.”