Xavier Doerr’s Day Off

Xavier Doerr is a 22 year old Queensland sailor.

35 Days ago he set off from Southport Yacht Club in Queensland with the specific aim to sail his 21 foot Mini Transat carbon fibre race yacht GCCM – short for Gold Coast City Marina – solo and unassisted anti-clockwise around Australia in record time.

Xavier Doerr with GCCM at Fremantle Sailing Club this morning. Credit Michael Barker, Fremantle Shipping News

The current record of 58 days was created by Lisa Blair in 2018.

Well, that was the plan!

If you thought last weekend’s weather in Fremantle was bad, try a couple of hundred kilometres off the Western Australian Shipwreck Coast – 80 knot winds and 12 metre seas with knockdowns took a heavy toll on Xaviers yacht, so he and the yacht had to limp towards Fremantle.

They slipped into Fremantle Sailing Club around 1 am this morning – just after World Oceans Day kicked off – after a rescue boat from the Sailing Club spotted them around 11 pm last night in still-heaving 3 metre seas off Freo.

GCCM and Xavier Doerr at Fremantle Sailing Club this morning. Credit Michael Barker, Fremantle Shipping News

Amazingly, Xavier was able to keep GCCM moving along at a respectable 3 knots, respectable considering her sails were pretty much torn to shreds.

Xavier was pleased to be welcomed at Fremantle Sailing Club by his mum, Caitlin, who flew to Fremantle from the Gold Coast as the drama unfolded.

Remarkably, Xavier was in high spirits after his Ferris Bueller’s Day Off-like adventure off the coast of Western Australia.

He’s now planning to patch up GCCM as soon as he can and head on south from Fremantle on his way back to Southport.

As they say, all’s well that ends well.

One suspects this will be the first – and possibly the last – Mini Transat to visit Fremantle!

* By Ed Fethers


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