Reynolds remembers his remarkable Riviera adventures

He has achieved more than most and has proved that age has no limitations after circumnavigating Australia at the age of 79.

It was a life-long dream for veteran sailor Ian Reynolds to take the 9,000 nautical mile voyage from the Gold Coast clockwise around Australia. Here in his own words, Ian Reynolds looks back at the highlights of his journeys.

The real highlight was his test cruise to Lord Howe Island on board his Riviera 56 enclosed flybridge, Investigator IV.

“The first trip that we did to Lord Howe, while it was a training cruise, the fact is it was the first time I had been that far away from the coast of Australia and the achievement of landing where we did in the middle of the reef was a pretty good feeling,” Mr Reynolds said.

“While we have got complete faith in our electronics and navigation it was still remarkable when we actually arrived exactly where we were expecting to be, so getting to the destination and to cross that much water was the first big kick.

“The second highlight would be traveling so far across from Ceduna to Esperance across the Great Australian Bight – that’s got a bit of a reputation and we were fortunate enough to get beautiful weather, all we had was this huge swell, clear sunny days, starlit nights and peace, that was it. Remarkable.”

And while his achievements have captured the hearts and admiration of many Riviera owners, for Reynolds ‘it didn’t seem like any big deal’.

“Now when I am sitting here (at the 2010 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show) with all of these boats around, I guess the reality of it is that it’s something pretty special,” he said.

And if his 842 nautical mile voyage from the Gold Coast to Lord Howe Island and 9,000 nautical miles around Australia was not enough, Reynolds embarked on a new challenge, his most recent journey to Papua New Guinea, a 1380 nautical mile passage where his boat was the first power boat to participate in the annual Louisiades Rally.

Mr Reynolds said he was searching for his next challenge when he saw an advertisement for the Louisiades Rally, which was primarily for yachts or non-power boats, but that didn’t deter Reynolds who contacted the organisers and asked if a power boat could participate. He pioneered being the first powerboat to participate in the Louisiades Rally.

“That turned out to be an absolutely immaculate trip – we had good weather, the natives were very friendly and happy, we anchored in a very tranquil, beautiful spot. It was a nice way to finish my cruising exploits.”

But at the age of 82 there is no stopping Reynolds who after achieving some amazing sea voyages is now embarking on a new challenge – he is on a mission to find a cure for the Aids virus.

“I have got some tremendous memories and they will never go away but the reason why I am going to part company with my Riviera 56 is because I have another objective in mind – I have invested in a public company that ran out of money and is engaged in the development of a drug for Aids,” Mr Reynolds said.

“The development will take place in China which is an area where I have been in business for well over 20 years.”

Clinical trials will be held in China over a 27 month period before trials begin on humans but Reynolds expects the new drug to be a huge success because it is has less side effects and is a lot cheaper to produce, which will allow it to be distributed to the areas that need it.

Mr Reynolds would like to return to boating one day but his advice and philosophy is to never lose focus.

“I have found that once you decide to do something, don’t lose your focus on it, just keep going and if you run into difficulties and problems try to work your way around them – don’t give up,” he said.

Mr Reynolds is now focused on his next challenge but the memories of his sea adventures including the Louisiades Rally will be with him forever.

The 2010 Louisiades Rally departs from Yorkeys Knob Boating Club in Cairns on September 11 where entrants will cruise 520 nautical miles to the Louisiades Archipelago in Papua New Guinea. EcoSustainAbility is organising the 2010 Rally.