Sport

Former resident smashes world speed sailing record

TOO FAST: Former Whitsunday resident Paul Larsen sailed into the record books last week after smashing the world speed sailing record in Namibia. Photo Helena Darvelid/VestasSailrocket.
TOO FAST: Former Whitsunday resident Paul Larsen sailed into the record books last week after smashing the world speed sailing record in Namibia. Photo Helena Darvelid/VestasSailrocket.

SAILING

EX-WHITSUNDAY resident Paul Larsen officially smashed the world speed sailing record in Namibia last week, amazing sailing enthusiasts around the world.

Larsen sailed into history, hitting speeds of 68.01knots, or about 126km per hour in his Vesta Sailrocket, an incredibly dynamic sail boat especially designed for speed sailing and breaking records.

Larsen lived and worked in the region from 1994-99, working at Marlin Marine and Hayman and Hamilton Island.

While he always had a passion for sailing, his time in the Whitsundays helped him get direction as he 'immersed himself in sailing'.

"It was while working for Sunsail on Hamilton Island that I came into contact with the 86' French multihull Commodore Explorer. I did whatever it took to get on that boat and four of us delivered it to Yokohama (Japan). It was an amazing experience." Larsen said.

He raced in many different regattas in the area, including the Hobie Cat World Titles in 1998 on his Hobie 16.

Long-time friend Dave Chittleborough has many fond memories of Larsen, adding that "he always wanted to go fast."

"What he's done is incredible," Chittleborough said.

"He was always an intense guy who had lots of crazy ideas. He was one of the nicest guys you could meet. He was mad-keen for multihulls"

Since then Larsen has achieved a lot in the racing and speed sailing world.

"He has taken speed sailing to a new level, to maintain control of that boat while going so fast is just amazing," Chittleborough said.

When asked his thoughts about living here, Larsen said that it had to be something pretty amazing to keep him away from the Whitsundays.

"Fortunately sailing in Europe has proven to be a great distraction and I have been encouraged to follow my dreams. I have so many truly great friends and memories from my time there. I am so happy that they are following my journey," he said.

"I will definitely go back there [Airlie Beach]. Some of my happiest memories were the simple joys of cruising around the islands on a Hobie 16 with a mate."

Larsen plans to continue to visit the Whitsundays when he is back in the country.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Bicentennial Walkway soon to re-open

Works on the Bicentennial Walkway are underway with an expected finishing day of next Friday.

The popular walkway could be open as soon as next Friday

Whitehaven Beach Run set for big field

BLUE SKIES: The Whitehaven Beach Run on Hamilton Island is always a popular event.

Famous race set for massive year.

Shute Harbour boat ramp open today

Whitsunday Fishing World manager Grant Spees called for patience on the Shute Harbour boat ramp earlier this month.

The Shute Harbour boat ramp is now open.

Local Partners

Man hospitalised after being punched in the head

A 28-year old man was taken to Proserpine Hospital in the early hours of the morning with serious head injuries.

Debbie's graveyard: Major auction to clear written-off cars

Auto Repair and Towing Service owner Shane Muntelwit at the salvage yard behind Mackay Airport, which has become a graveyard for about 150 vehicles destroyed or written off by Cyclone Debbie.

A salvage yard has become a makeshift graveyard

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

SUNSHINE Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice nearly saw her form a duo with her battle round opponent.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!