Call Your Closest Clinic, Australia-Wide
Call Your Closest Clinic, Australia-Wide

Racing To Paradise – Fremantle to Bali

… Prepared by  TMA Member Wembley, WA: Dr Shane Leavy

The Fremantle to Bali Yacht Race was held for the first time this year after a 14-year hiatus. Having sailed as a kid and more recently raced across the Atlantic I was more than keen to be a part of this adventure.I recently joined the team at Capstone Health with Matt Atkins and Dave Rowse and as such I was keen to put into practice my burgeoning travel medicine skills to go with those I’ve gained from my time in Emergency Medicine. All in all I couldn’t think of a better way to practice what you teach!

As owner and skipper of “Farr Lap of Sydney”, I persuaded my land lubber father, Dr Richard Leavy and friend, fellow emergency doctor and sailor, Dr Stephen Grainger to join the crew.

Farr Lap was one of 22 yachts that competed in the 1400 NM (3000 Km) race to Bali. It was the adventure of a lifetime, getting the crew organised and the yacht ship shape and ready for such a journey was an adventure in itself. Fremantle to Bali is 3 times the distance of the Sydney to Hobart with nowhere to seek safe haven once the WA coast is departed off the Exmouth Peninsula.

Adding to the adventure, whilst sailing at the top end of the fleet, Farr Lap began to take on water, more water than had come through the hatches during the first few days of unseasonal norwesters. A decision was made to stop in Exmouth to repair a small crack, which was found to be the cause of their problems.

Reaching Bali in 11 days and a respectable mid fleet position, we spent a restful week in hotel luxury sharing salty sea tales with the rest of the fleet. We then departed for a month of cruising the exotic Indonesian Archipelago, which included Lombok, the Gili Islands and Sumbawa. Waking in hammocks swinging on the yachts’ deck amongst the local fishing boats and seeing the sun rise over Volcano Rinjani was truly an unforgettable experience.Thankfully all the advice and preparation we put in, not only for our boat but also for the rest of the fleet paid off as we managed to avoid any major medical catastrophes and with a little bit of luck we also avoided any minor medical inconveniences along the way simvastatin dosage. (The odd episode of seasickness excluded of course).

The challenges involved in not only the effort of completing the race successfully, but the organizational tasks of preparing our crew and those of the fleet for potential traumatic medical emergencies and also for any travel related problems for the time around the Indonesian islands for many of the boats, were bigger than I had originally planned for, but also incredibly satisfying once it all came together without incident.

Asked if we would do it again for the next race in two years time? All our hands are raised!