Circumnavigation of Britain by drift: it’s a record

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Record breaking sail around UK

Jeremy Warren and Phil Kirk, two Gloucestershire sailors have broken the record for circumnavigating Great Britain aboard a dinghy. Setting sail from Weymouth, a town in Dorset, aboard a Wayfarer, a drift boat common in the North Seas and less than 5 meters long, they aimed to complete the voyage in less than 76 days, which was the previous record. Said, done: the two British sailors only needed 33 days. After leaving Weymouth, the crew headed west to make the clockwise turn. “There was a difficult moment off the west coast of Scotland when we were sucked into a vortex near Hafren. “He grabbed us and spun us around twice on the spot, then spit us into a whirlpool again until we returned to our original position,” Warren says.

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HOW THE BOAT WAS EQUIPPED

During their month at sea, the two used a camping stove to cook on board, stopping for supplies at ports along their route. Their tour was a kind of slalom in the busy British sea: ferries, fishing boats, container ships, and tugboats all tried hard to slow them down. There are obviously no cabins on board, and Warren and Kirk took turns snatching a few hours of sleep when the weather was good. Warren recounted that the trick being able to get some rest was finding a way to get stuck on board and trusting his colleague at the helm.

WHAT BOAT IS THE WAYFARER
The British Wayfarer is a popular day-boat designed for families with water lines also designed for sailing in very rough waters. However, since it is still a dinghy, it is by no means easy to sail when the waves increase and the wind strengthens: significant physical effort is required to counteract the heeling of the boat and the constant sail adjustment typical of all dinghies.

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WHO JEREMY WARREN AND PHIL KIRK ARE
Warren, a 56-year-old entrepreneur, and Kirk, at 40 a naval architect, have decades of sailing experience and both have participated in offshore races, including the classic Fastnet from Cowes to Plymouth.

 

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