Hafren Round Britain - Sailors near home as they Round South Foreland
by Rob Hudson on 1 Jul 2014
'When Jeremy Warren and Phil Kirk set off from Weymouth on 31st May, 2014, no one expected that they would be approaching the home straight a month later. The Round Britain sail was planned to take eight weeks, and beat the existing fastest time of 76 days by a couple of weeks or so.
Hafren Round Britain Challenge 2014 - Cape Wrath RNLI
However, their 16ft Wayfarer dinghy was specially kitted out to enable them to stay at sea overnight, and this made a fast time achievable. Their first leg from Weymouth round Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land's End and finishing in Dale took 67 hours to cover the 250 miles nonstop.
They have a small Primus stove, provisions for up to five days, and rubber camping mats on the cockpit floor to sleep on. They adapted the boat by removing the central thwart and replacing it with a carbon fibre tube. This gives them more space to sleep underneath, and keeps the boat stiff. Phil's experience as a Cherub builder and sailor helped with this.
They sailed up the Irish Sea via Fishguard, Holyhead and the Isle of Man, before going through the Scottish islands, and then round Cape Wrath and Duncansby Head. Their trip down the east coast from Scrabster to Felixstowe Ferry has taken just over a week.
They left there at 0400 on Sunday morning to cross the Thames Estuary in daylight, and round the South Foreland before sailing for the finish at Castle Cove Sailing Club.
If the weather stays fair they hope to reach Weymouth by the 4th July. They have funded the voyage themselves, but have been raising money for the RNLI and the Pappa Fund, which provides support to a small southern Indian community sponsored by Jeremy's home village of Marshfield in Wiltshire. Donations would be gratefully received via their website.'