OCC Forums

Bill Hatfield, OCC


By alshaheen - 31 Mar 2016


Bill Hatfield is an Australian member who only joined the Club in July 2015 but has a lifetime of ocean sailing experience behind him. Bill is 77 years old and is currently making a record attempt to sail around the world Sydney to Sydney, solo, unassisted, non-stop and westabout in a 10m (33ft) boat, Katherine Ann.
In order to qualify for a record, Bill had to round an anti-nodal point diametrically opposite to Sydney, which took him to the north end of Faial in the Azores. He set off from Sydney on 10 September 2015, rounded the Cape of Good Hope on 29 November and reached the Azores on 17 January.
At about that time some of us in the OCC became aware of this challenging voyage and, assisted by Simon Currin, Bill entered Katherine Ann into the OCC Fleet Map. Since then we have followed his track southwards towards Cape Horn, which he reached on 23 March. This was his last blog entry.
Bill had been communicating using Iridium Go and had been writing a very interesting blog on: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/whatfield1/?xjMsgID=372609

On 25 March his daughter Helen wrote on his blogsite as follows:
“Dad has had a serious knockdown, 2 windows smashed, solar panels destroyed, however boat is sound. Position 25 March at 1130 AEST was 56.6532S 70.6312W. (SW Cape Horn) Dad has insufficient battery power to start the motor to get to Ushuaia, so he has decided to continue on to Sydney at this stage. Dad has sufficient food and the water generator is working. As it is dark, he doesn 't know if the wind generator is working. If he can sort something out with the solar panels he may be able to occasionally update his position. Current battery power is very low and he may run out of power soon.”

There has been no blog entry since then (a week ago) and Bill has not updated his position on Marine Traffic since 24 March.

John Franklin
1 April 2016
By simoncurrin - 4 Apr 2016

Bill is safe having retreated to the Falklands.
By simoncurrin - 10 Apr 2016

Bill has posted an account of his epic retreat to the Falklands on hid blog. It makes for gripping reading. http://www.sailblogs.com/member/whatfield1/?xjMsgID=392293