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West-about Horner sails solo into History

by Julie Flanagan/Sail-World Cruising on 1 Mar 2006
Adrian Flanagan . .
Here is yesterday’s report from Louise Flanagan, on husband Adrian’s rounding of the Horn:
I am incredibly proud to tell you that at 3.18 last night Adrian became a true 'Cape Horner' and wrote himself and Barrabas in to the record books. Having spent the last few weeks researching other solo yachtsmen and women who on record have rounded Cape Horn west-about as part of a circumnavigation, I have only uncovered 11 others apart from Adrian. In addition to Joshua Slocum, Sir Chay Blyth and Mike Golding, they are David Cowper, Ambrosio Fogar, Kenichi Horie, Samantha Brewster, Jean Luc Van den Heede, John Sanders, Philippe Monet and Dee Caffari. (If anyone knows of any additions or subtractions to my list I will be delighted to hear from them).

Below is the e mail Adrian sent me this morning.

“On 6th February, I crossed 50 degrees south latitude on the Atlantic side of South America and so began my attempt to round Cape Horn.

At 0318 on Tuesday 28th February, sailing northwards, I crossed 50 degrees south latitude on the Pacific side, officially becoming a ‘Cape Horner’ and fulfilling an ambition that has been thirty years in the making.

The legend of Cape Horn was never going to let me pass without spitting in my eye - and spit she did, with ferocity and with venom. Cape Horn has challenged Barrabas and me to the very limits of our endurance. Then, she gave us reprieve and showed us her kinder face, a face of startling beauty.

Very few sailors have made single-handed roundings of Cape Horn west-about, against the prevailing winds and currents. I feel profoundly privileged to join so intrepid a band of adventurers, among them: Joshua Slocum, who achieved the first single-handed circumnavigation in 1895; Sir Chay Blyth, who recorded the first west-about, single-handed and non-stop circumnavigation in 1971 and Mike Golding, victorious round-the-world race skipper and veteran of the Vendée Globe.

I came to Cape Horn with hope and fear. I leave with gratitude and the memory of an experience that will endure for my lifetime.'

Adrian on his steel yacht Barrabas is intending to make a polar circumnavigation of the earth. He will now head up and across the Pacific, heading for the Bering Strait, and return home via the often frozen waterways to the north of Russia, then back down through the English Channel to Cowes on the Isle of Wight. If you would like to track Adrian’s journey, go to http://www.alphaglobalex.com

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