Serge Testa is an Australian yachtsman who holds the world record for the circumnavigation in the smallest boat.
Serge Testa was born in France in 1950 of Italian parents. Later, the family emigrated to central Brazil, where he spent his childhood. Returning to France as a teenager, Serge learned the trade of metalworking, then was lured to Australia by the promise of sunshine and beautiful beaches.
Boats appealed to him as a way to travel and take his home with him. He bought an old wooden sloop, refitted it and taught himself to sail, losing her in the process.
After building and selling several boats, but still short of funds, he decided to design and build a small yacht that would be sufficient for the trip and within his budget.
The result was Acrohc Australis, the 11 ft. 10 inch mini-yacht in which he made his record-breaking circumnavigation.
He departed from Scarborough in 1984 and his three-year journey in a 3.6m boat broke the world record and his vessel, Acrohc Australis, is still the smallest to have completed the 27,000 nautical mile trip.
The boat was designed so that all controls could be operated from inside enabling him to close the hatch in foul weather. The boat is currently on display at the Queensland Maritime Museum in South Bank and h e wrote a book about the adventure called “500 Days: Around the World on a 12 Foot Yacht”
Serge and his brother Silvio built a Polynesian style proa in the Philippines and attempted to cross the Pacific to prove that ancient migrations to the New World could have been made by boat as well as by land. The project was plagued by underfunding and the trip and boat were abandoned halfway to Japan.
Crewing on various yachts, Serge found himself in San Francisco, California, where he met and married Robin. Together, they built Encanto, a 60 ft. steel sloop, which they sailed around the world from 1993 to 1997. After working in the U.S. and Australia, Serge and Robin built a 49 ft. aluminum catamaran, Luar which was launched in Australia in December 2016.
In 2020, a park above Drury Point in Scarborough called ‘Serge Testa Place’ was named in recognition of the local yachtsman.
From the book The Pictorial History Of Redcliffe 1950s-1980s
Serge Testa is listed on the wall of the Redcliffe Wall of Fame:
A collection of portrait and information honouring the achievements of individuals who have influenced and shaped Redcliffe. The collection is in the Jetty Arcade at 139-141 Redcliffe Parade.
For a complete list of people who appear on the wall click on the following blog post: