A 15-year-old sailor from Aylesbury has become the youngest person to sail solo around Britain.
Timothy Long spent his summer on a 1,600 nautical mile anti-clockwise voyage around the British coast having set out from Hamble, Southampton on 16 July. He has also so far raised over £7,000 to support his heroine, Dame Ellen MacArthur’s young person’s cancer charity
Now he has broken the record of Tom Webb, who sailed around Britain aged 17 in 2011, after returning to Hamble to a triumphant welcome.
Timothy’s first went dinghy sailing on a reservoir near Swindon aged nine.
During his voyage he sailed an average 50 miles per day, with several passages of up to 100 miles. He battled giant waves, gale force winds, 17 hours in thick fog in the Bristol Channel and on occasions sailed for 24 hours straight, sleeping for just 20 minutes at a time.
Ellen MacArthur has been Timothy’s greatest inspiration since reading her books as child.
When he learned about the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust – the national charity that empowers young people aged 8-24 to embrace their future after cancer through sailing and outdoor adventure – he wanted to help. He was too young to volunteer so decided to fundraise.
Inspired by Ellen’s encouragement and that she had sailed round Britain aged 18, Timothy donned his Trust cap to follow her lead on his 28ft Hunter Impala, ‘Alchemy’.
And Wednesday 30 September he received a warm welcome from Ellen herself as he visited the Isle of Wight ahead of his final leg to Hamble.
Ellen said: “It is an incredible achievement for anyone to sail single-handed around Britain, but to do it at 15 really is something else.”
“While Timothy will always have the personal satisfaction of that achievement, the legacy of what he’s done will be even more far-reaching in terms of helping to change the lives of young people in recovery from cancer.”