BBC News

Schoolboy breaks solo round-Britain sailing record

image copyrightMarc Turner
image captionTimothy has been raising money for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust during his epic challenge

A boy, 15, has become the youngest person to sail solo around Britain.

Timothy Long, from Aylesbury, set sail on 16 July from Hamble Marina, Hampshire, navigating anti-clockwise around the coast.

He arrived back into the marina, aboard his 28ft (8.5m) vessel, at about 11:00 BST having covered more than 1,600 nautical miles.

Timothy raised more than £7,000 during the challenge, in aid of The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

image copyrightRound Britain 2020 Project
image captionTimothy was greeted back on dry land by his parents, Nick Long and Sue Elder at Hamble Marina
image copyrightMarc Turner
image captionThe challenge has seen Timothy cover more than 1,600 nautical miles

Timothy said: "I can't believe I've actually done it. It's all quite surreal - it hasn't quite hit me yet. I just wanted to try to do something that would push me and make me a better sailor.

"I'm back at school on Monday, which will be a bit of a shock."

And despite missing the start of the new term, Timothy's mum Sue Elder said his school had been very supportive.

He decided to make the trip inspired by record-breaking sailor Dame Ellen MacArthur and largely followed a route she completed in 1995.

The 11-week voyage - divided into several legs with overnight stops in ports and marinas - saw Timothy cover an average of about 50 miles per day, with several longer passages of up to 100 miles.

image copyrightThe Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust
image captionTimothy decided to make the trip inspired by Dame Ellen MacArthur

Thanking him for supporting the charity, Dame Ellen said: " I was only a few years older than Tim when I did the same and I was awestruck by the incredible beauty of the British Isles. There's something magical about looking back on your home country from the sea.

"The money Tim raises will make a huge difference in young people being able to rebuild their lives after cancer."

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national charity that supports young people aged eight to 24 to rebuild their confidence after cancer by introducing them to sailing.

The previous record was set in 2011 by 17-year-old Tom Webb, who successfully completed a similar challenge.

Related Topics

  • Sailing
  • Aylesbury
  • Hamble