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Cape Horn Knockdown Dream Setback

by Sail-World Cruising on 19 Mar 2006
Adrian Flanagan at the wheel . .
When polar solo sailor Adrian Flanagan had a knockdown rounding Cape Horn, it was the damage to the control unit for his heating system which will now frustrated his attempt at an UNSUPPORTED circumnavigation. Being unable to repair the control unit means he would be attempting to transit the Russian Arctic without heating, a practical impossibility in his small boat.

To replace the unit, he will now rendezvous with DHL off the coast of Hawaii.

An additional disappointment is the Russian insistence on an ‘ice-pilot’ to accompany Adrian as he transits Russian arctic waters. This would also negate his status of solo circumnavigator. For this reason he is now considering returning to the UK via the Canadian Arctic instead, as Canadian authorities do not place any restrictions on transit through the North West Passage.






When DHL drops off his heating control unit, they will also bring Canadian Arctic charts. It will add a little interest to Adrian’s life as well ‘Because of the necessity of these items, I am taking the opportunity of restocking on reading material as well. Campbell Armstrong, a terrific thriller writer will be sending out a number of his books. There will be additional fishing tackle, some rigging items and a few luxuries, like a decent coffee cup and a new sleeping bag!’

At the moment, Adrian is becalmed again: ‘For three days now I have barely moved. It is incredibly frustrating and peculiarly disorientating.’

Time is now tight for Adrian. To reach the antipodean point – the point on the earth’s surface that is exactly opposite a point off the coast of Brazil, which will define his circumnavigation, he still has 8000 miles to sail. He needs to do this and still be able to have enough summer weather to transit either the Russian or Canadian arctic zones.

Nobody said it was going to be easy, of course, but the brave Kenyan/Englishman is attracting world wide attention from the sailing fraternity, who are sailing along with him in spirit.

In spite of all the disappointments and frustrations, Adrian was sounding upbeat yesterday: ‘On the bright side, he said, ‘it is blissfully warm and the blue skies are doing much to maintain my spirits!

Background Note:

Adrian Flanagan is attempting to be the first yachtsman to complete a solo non-stop longitudinal circumnavigation via the Bering Strait. The route so far has been south over the Atlantic towards the Falkland Islands, then westwards around Cape Horn. His track is now heading north over the Pacific towards the Bering Strait, and with the new development of problems with the Russian transit, the track after that remains uncertain.

Adrian was born on 1st October 1960 in Nairobi, Kenya and now lives near Oxford. Educated at Stonyhurst College and at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, he went on to qualify in Osteopathic Medicine in 1988 before turning his hand to business and writing. He co-founded Flanagan's Supermarket Direct which pioneered grocery home delivery in the UK. His first novel, 'Cobra' was published in 2001.

Introduced to sailing aged eight, Adrian progressed from sail-fins to dinghy racing in Fireballs before graduating onto big boats during his time in the army. In 2000, he crewed in The Times Clipper Round-the-World yacht race.’

The voyage will take approximately 300 days and cover 35,000 miles.

The expedition yacht, Barrabas, is a Trireme 38 Mk IV. Designed by the renowned French naval architect, Francoise Charpentier and hand-built in France from 316 TI (Titanium) grade stainless steel, the boat has been selected for her great strength and safety.

You can track Adrian’s journey on http://www.alphaglobalex.com

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