Bill Hatfield has been dreaming of completing a solo sail around the world since he was seven years old. On February 22, he accomplished just that as he sailed into The Spit on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. He also set a world record: At 81 years old, Hatfield is the oldest person to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around the globe.
The voyage was Hatfield’s fourth attempt to traverse the world’s oceans, and it took him eight months to complete aboard his 38-foot sailboat L’Eau Commotion, designed by Hank Kaufmann. Hatfield experienced a few complications during his trip, including falling overboard while caught in his sail and encountering three cyclones while returning home.
Hatfield now replaces 77-year-old Jeanne Socrates as the oldest person to accomplish such a feat. His journey is especially remarkable because he sailed west, against the prevailing winds. Read more about Hatfield’s epic journey here.