Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Crowd-funded 'Pixel' boat sailor reaches halfway point

Alex Alley Image copyright PixelBoat
Image caption Alex Alley is aiming to become the second mariner to sail solo around the world in a boat of 40ft or less

A sailor who crowd-funded his solo bid to circumnavigate the globe has reached the halfway point.

Alex Alley, 48, started the voyage in Class40 boat Pixel Flyer on Christmas Day and has been at sea for 77 days.

He is currently in the Southern Ocean just off Australia, having travelled about 13,400 miles (21,565 km).

Mr Alley, from Gosport, said: "This is a very volatile environment and the attrition rate is very high - so I am lucky still to be going."

He aims to become the fastest mariner to make the solo trip in a Class40 boat, a deep-sea monohull racing craft with a length of 40 ft (12.18 m).

Mr Alley added: "It seems crazy, maybe it is.... Looking at the screen at how far I have come already - over two months sailing on my own and for the past few weeks no other sign of life, apart from the birds following behind.

"Soon every mile, every day will be heading back home - to friends and family and a very different life to the one I am living right now."

Image copyright Google
Image caption Mr Alley is currently south of the Australian mainland, having travelled about 13,400 miles (21,565 km)

He expects to round Cape Horn off the tip of South America in about three weeks.

Mr Alley raised the money for the voyage by selling 5cm squares on the side of the Pixel Flyer - as well as corresponding pixels on his website.

The idea of selling pixels came from student Alex Tew, who sold pixels on his Million Dollar Homepage in 2005 to fund his university place.

The current record for the journey in a Class40 vessel, set by Chinese sailor Guo Chuan, stands at 137 days, 20 hours, 1 minute and 57 seconds.

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