Tony Bullimore in final stages of prep for his attempt at solo circumnavigation record 29/12/06

Tony Bullimore is in the final stages of his preparation in Hobart for his attempt on Ellen MacArthur’s 70-day record for a solo circumnavigation of the world.

Bullimore will go on standby on 31 December to await the weather pattern that will give him the optimum start, likely to be from Hobart’s Iron Pot lighthouse at the mouth of the Derwent River where it enters Storm Bay. However, it could be a week or more after that before he leaves.

Bullimore is sailing his 31m (102ft) catamaran Doha 2006 on a 21,719 nautical mile course from Hobart to Cape Horn, up the Atlantic to a waypoint north of Flores in the Azores, before turning south to the Cape of Good Hope and back to Hobart.

The mast was stepped yesterday at the Incat shipyard in Hobart and this morning the boat was moved back to Bellerive Yacht Club.

The time to beat – Dame Ellen MacArthur’s solo round-the-world record aboard the 23m trimaran B&Q – is 71 days 14hrs 18mins 33secs.