Why I think Tony's going to leave Hobart to sail home


I’d forgotten all about Tony Bullimore down there in Tasmania, getting ready to set off round the world solo. Or is he?

First, he was waiting for the last of the Sydney-Hobart race yachts to finish, for whatever reason. Then he was delayed by furling gear problems and, when that was sorted out, the weather wasn’t right. He has been waiting for the wind to slingshot him on his way since January. But, for goodness sake, it’s nearly March now.

The season is coming to a close. In a matter of a few weeks the lengthening nights, risk of ice and intensifying storms will shut the door to the Southern Ocean once again. The idea that he could break the record by sticking up in the latitudes of the 30s is insane: the huge extra mileage and variable weather would make it impossible. With winter coming and all, Tony Bullimore is going to have to leave Hobart eventually, but my money is on him sailing the boat home.

That’s a shame in some ways because Tony’s a legend and a record voyage is one many of us would follow avidly and cheer on. But I do think that if he has been able to sail his boat away from Doha recompensed with the money that was owed to him and never paid after the murky Oryx Quest, that is quite a victory in itself.