Graeme first attempted the crossing in 2005 but significant ice flows blocked the passage and he could not continue. He vowed then to complete his journey and conquer his world record attempt in solo sailing and in 2010 he began the journey for a second time to break the world record attempt.
He entered Lancaster Sound on 27 August 2010 and exited Barrow Point on 9 September non-stop in a record 12 days. It’s estimated that Graeme’s time is the fastest recorded, against crewed vessels that have also sailed through the passage.
Satellite technology now makes The Northwest Passage a navigable reality giving sailors the ability to monitor ice flows and a safe passage during the months of August and September. Warmer Arctic conditions have also contributed to making this milestone achievable.
Graeme arrived in Auckland on the purpose-built 12.5 metre yacht, Astral Express on 27 October 2010 - this journey is the second stage of a major circumnavigation covering 32 of the world’s seaways and oceans, the first leg of which covered over 18,000 nautical miles and took over 4 months of non-stop unassisted sailing.
During his trip, Graeme raised funds for New Zealand charities. He also received the Yachting New Zealand Cruising Award from the New Zealand Royal Yacht Squadron in 2010 and the National Geographic award for being one of the top 10 global adventurers of 2010.
In the 2012 New Year Honours Graeme was awarded MNZM for his outstanding services to sailing and philanthropy.
Graeme has a powerful story to tell – one of courage, commitment and achieving your dream! His successful voyage was a result of meticulous preparation both for himself and the vessel, encompassing mental, physical and motivational conditioning. Presentations can be tailored to elaborate further on any of these facets.
Pacific ocean, Tasman sea, Coral Sea, Great Barrier Reef, Torres Strait, Gulf of Carpentaria, Arafura sea, Timor Sea, Indian ocean, Southern ocean, South Atlantic, North Atlantic, Labrador Sea, Davis Strait, Baffin Bay.
(18000 miles non-stop 4 months 2 days - 2005)
Davis Strait, Baffin Bay, Lancaster Sound, Barrow Strait, Peel Sound, Franklin Strait, Victoria Strait [shortcut], Queen Maude Gulf, Dease Strait, Coronation Gulf, Dolphin & Union Strait, Amundsen Gulf, Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean, Chukchi Sea, Bering Strait, Bering Sea, Pacific Ocean.