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Rating: 5.0

Andrew McAuley's Trans-Tasman quest sea kayak

Date: 2006
Overall: 400 x 620 x 6400 mm
Vessel Dimensions: 6.4 m × 0.62 m (21 ft × 2.03 ft)
Medium: fibreglass and kevlar
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Paul Hewitson
Classification:Vessels and fittings
Object Name: Kayak
Object No: 00045439
Place Manufactured:New South Wales

User Terms

    6.4 metre fibreglass and kevlar kayak made in 2006 by Paul Hewitson from Mirage Sea Kayaks for Andrew McAuley for McAuley's attempt to kayak across the Tasman Sea from Tasmania, Australia to New Zealand. Width 620mm, Height 400mm. The kayak's form was based on a double kayak design which was shortened. This design allowed sufficient room for Andrew McAuley to sleep. The kayak had two bulkheads rather than the conventional three, with extensive kevlar reinforcements around the stress points - the rudder mount, cockpit area and anchor points for the canopy. The kayak is intact except the canopy is missing, thought washed away after the kayak capsized.
    HistoryAndrew McAuley set out from Fortescue Bay, Tasmania on 11 January 2007 on his Trans-Tasman Solo quest to be the first to kayak more than 900 nautical miles to New Zealand. He had aborted an attempt in December the previous year when cold and wet conditions forced him to go back to make modificationsto the kayak to protect against hypothermia.

    On 9 February, 29 days after setting out, the New Zealand Coast Guard received a garbled message from McAuley's kayak - radio call sign 'KAYAK 1' - that contained the words "my kayak is sinking" and "I've lost... oh no". The next day the upturned kayak was found but there was no sign of Andrew McAuley. His kayak was on course, within sight of his destination about 30 km from Milford Sound, and within his projected time frame. The kayak was covered in barnacles. The protective canopy (named Casper) was missing and the pivot arm used to secure it damaged. The back hatch cover was also missing and the hatch flooded. The immersion suit and buoyancy vest were gone but the EPIRB remained. After a three day air and sea search McAuley was presumed drowned. An inquest was held in New Zealand from 10 December 2007.

    Andrew McAuley set out to kayak from Australia to New Zealand in a conventional kayak to prove that it was possible. According to his wife Vicki, although Andrew drowned, the fact that he made it to within sight of the shore indicates that this quest was a realistic one for him. (The World Today, Edgy Adventurers honoured 21/09/2007) After Andrew turned back the first time he wrote on his website "I've said many times... that safety is paramount, while some might argue that if it's the case, I should stay at home...That doesn't fit my risk profile or ethic of adventure either!" Andrew McAuley was post-humously awarded the Australian Geographic Lifetiem Adventure Award in September 2007.
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