Veteran sailor Peter Steele to break sailing record

Peter Steele alongside his boat at Eden Wharf after it was towed in by Eden Water Police on Sunday, May 21.
Peter Steele alongside his boat at Eden Wharf after it was towed in by Eden Water Police on Sunday, May 21.

You never know who you might meet at Snug Cove.

After Eden Water Police towed Peter Steele’s boat to Eden Wharf following a rough voyage, the veteran sailor revealed the boat was recently purchased for a special journey.

Mr Steele, 81, aims to become the oldest person to sail around the world solo and unassisted.

But there is more to the journey than simply breaking a record.

“I’m going to use the world trip to publicise the plight of koalas,” Mr Steele said.

Three years ago the veteran yachtsman purchased a 411-acre property near Kyogle, NSW, as part of his vision to protect koalas through his work with World Wildlife Sanctuaries (WWS).

“The koala population has gone from an estimated eight million to an estimated 40,000 today,” Mr Steele said.

“It’s been declared an endangered species in some states and it could get worse if we don’t do something.”

The Gold Coast resident is hoping to depart between October and December this year after recently purchasing his new yacht in Melbourne.

The boat took a battering in the Bass Strait this week, but Mr Steele said the “shake down” was a good test for the vessel.

He is hoping to reset the record held by Japanese yachtsman Minoru Saito, who set the record at age 74.