Schoolboy, 15, becomes youngest sailor to circumnavigate Britain

Schoolboy, 15, becomes youngest sailor to circumnavigate Britain

October 2, 2020

Schoolboy, 15, becomes youngest sailor to circumnavigate Britain after battling huge waves and gale-force winds during 1,600 mile solo journey that took 11 weeks

  • Timothy Long sailed around Britain on his 28ft Hunter Impala boat Alchemy
  • He sailed an average of 50 miles a day – sometimes on just 20 minutes of sleep
  • The teenager raised £7,000 for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust on journey

A 15-year-old schoolboy has broken the record for the youngest person to sail around the coast of Britain solo in an arduous 1,600-mile journey that took him 11 weeks.

Timothy Long undertook the immense feat on his 28ft Hunter Impala boat Alchemy sailing an average of 50 miles a day – sometimes on just 20 minutes of sleep – before arriving back at the Hamble Point Marina in Hampshire yesterday.

The teenager faced bone-shaking winds and enormous waves while raising £7,000 for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust which uses sailing to help young people build back their confidence after the debilitating disease. 

Timothy Long, 15, (pictured arriving back in Hampshire yesterday) broke the record for the youngest person to sail around the coast of Britain solo

Timothy credits Dame Ellen as an ‘absolute inspiration’ of his and mostly followed the route the world-renowed English sailor took back in 1995 – when she was just 18 herself.

Timothy said the trip – where some days saw 100-mile journeys – was the ‘hardest thing’ he has ever done.

Even so, he mostly managed the trip without any help – but did have to call his mother in July asking for help cooking pasta.

Timothy took guidance over the phone – but still managed to spill pasta sauce in his bungling attempt.

The teenager faced bone-shaking winds and enormous waves while raising £7,000 for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust. Pictured: Timothy stepped off the boat to be greeted by his father Nick and mother Sue

Writing on his Just Giving page, he said: ‘This is by far the hardest thing that I have ever done because when you are solo sailing there is no one there to help – no support boat, nothing.

‘This means that you have to be able to do everything ranging from navigation to looking after yourself and knowing how to fix anything that goes wrong on the boat. 

‘The British coastline presents numerous hazards, from the busiest shipping lane in the world in the Dover Straits to the extreme tides of the Bristol Channel, among many others.’

Timothy undertook the immense feat on his 28ft Hunter Impala boat Alchemy sailing an average of 50 miles a day – sometimes on just 20 minutes of sleep – before arriving back at the Hamble Point Marina in Hampshire (pictured) yesterday

He added: ‘Ellen MacArthur has been an absolute inspiration to me and that is why I am raising funds for her Cancer Trust charity. 

‘What I have always loved about sailing is the freedom it brings and the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust enables young people who are a similar age to me and have been through the worst of times to experience that feeling and boost their confidence. It’s a cause that is close to my heart, so please do support them.’

Dame Ellen praised Timothy’s efforts, telling The Daily Telegraph: ‘It is an incredible achievement for anyone to sail singlehanded around the UK, but to do it at 15 really is something else.’

To donate to Timothy’s fundraiser, click here. 

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