Sailing legend docks in Albany on home stretch of 11th world trip

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Australian yachtsman Jon Sanders after docking in Albany on his 11th circumnavigation.
Camera IconAustralian yachtsman Jon Sanders after docking in Albany on his 11th circumnavigation. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

Sailing legend Jon Sanders arrived in Albany this week on one of the final stops on his 11th solo world circumnavigation.

The 81-year-oldyachtsman set off from Sydney on Christmas Eve, spending the past 17 days alone at sea on his non-stop journey to WA.

Since departing from Fremantle on November 5, 2019, Mr Sanders has travelled more than 45,000km across the globe on his trusty Perie Banou II.

His latest journey has been far from smooth sailing, battling rough storms on his journey from Tahiti to Queensland which left him stranded in Bundaberg with a flooded engine.

The Minderoo Foundation pitched in $20,000 to repair his yacht.

On his journey, Mr Sanders has been taking water samples of the ocean surface to map the presence of microplastics across the southern hemisphere.

In what he describes as a “benchmark” project, Mr Sanders filters 100L of water a day, keeping what is found to be examined by researchers at Curtin University.

Australian yachtsman Jon Sanders has docked in Albany on his 11th circumnavigation.
Camera IconAustralian yachtsman Jon Sanders has docked in Albany on his 11th circumnavigation. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

He said with most microplastics sinking to the ocean floor, he had not found too much pollution along his isolated path.

“The route I took was an easy route to sail from a sailing point of view, but an isolated route away from ships — that’s been of interest to Curtin University,” he said.

Sanders was yesterday waiting to have a COVID-19 test.

He said he was was keen to explore Albany and walk to the top of Mt Clarence before leaving on Saturday.

“I seriously like Albany, it is a beautiful place and so different from the rest of Australia,” he said.

Mr Sanders will stop in Dunsborough where he will meet members of the Fremantle Sailing Club who he will sail with to his final port in Perth.

When asked whether his 11th circumnavigation would be his last, Mr Sanders said time would tell.

“I learnt one lesson: never, never say never,” he said.

“At the moment I can’t imagine doing it again but never, never say never.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails