He hoped to be oldest, engineless, small boat circumnavigator

A 72-year-old Slovenian aiming to become the oldest man to sail non-stop around the world is presumed dead after his yacht was found abandoned off Australia’s west coast.

Jure Sterk set off from New Zealand in his nine-metre (30-foot) yacht in October 2007, hoping to make history both as the oldest man to circumnavigate the globe non-stop and in the smallest boat without an engine.

He kept contact with amateur radio enthusiasts, and last reported in early January when he was believed to be 1 900 kilometres from the west Australian coast, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said.