Greg Homann to attempt solo transatlantic record in 18ft cat
On 18 November 2004, Greg Homann, 41, from Australia but now resident in the UK, will set sail in his attempt to cross the Atlantic in a tiny catamaran, the type normally seen at beach club resorts. But Greg is no sailing ‘eccentric’ – he’s hugely experienced and what’s more his attempt is backed by principal sponsor, the United Kingdom Sailing Academy (UKSA).
In 2003 an Italian sailor succeeded in sailing solo on a 20ft catamaran from the Canary Islands to Guadeloupe, taking 28 days. Greg will take the same route and attempt to beat this record by a big margin – his estimated time being 20 days. If successful, Greg will have established an official new solo record for catamarans by being both the quickest transatlantic crossing and the smallest such craft to do so.
The boat being used is a modified F18 catamaran called ‘UKSA.org’ in recognition of Greg’s major sponsor. A fully enclosed pod has been built so Greg can get in it and be totally protected from the cold, wind and water. A mast float was also introduced to prevent the catamaran from inverting but if it did capsize, Greg is able to re-right it by himself. Other modifications include “wings” and a seat allowing long periods at the tiller. The food Greg has chosen is self-heating, therefore no gas is required, and a portable desalination unit will provide his water supplies.
Greg has the use of a VHF and Iridium satellite phone and will be in contact daily for weather forecasts and routing. He will have a qualified doctor on call 24 hours a day. As another precautionary measure, Greg has chosen to do the attempt when the annual transatlantic ARC Race starts on 21 November from Gran Canaria, meaning that, at any one time, some of the race’s 150 plus sailing yachts should be reasonably close by.
To succeed Greg will put all his immense sailing skills and experience to good use – Greg has been racing for over 30 years and professionally for almost 20 years. And backing from the UKSA, the world’s premier sail training establishment, has given Greg a huge boost of confidence.