RNLI-fundraising-sailors-smash-record-to-sail-round-Britain-in-a-Wayfarer-dingy

Byline: Two sailors, from Thornbury in Gloucestershire have beaten the current world record to sail around the coast of Britain in a Wayfarer dinghy by an astonishing 44 days.
Page Content:

Philip Kirk and Jeremy Warren who are raising money for the RNLI and PAPPA FUND arrived in Weymouth today (Wednesday 2 July) after 32 days at sea, having completed 1,500 miles of sailing in an open dinghy.

Philip and Jeremy set sail from Weymouth on Saturday 31 May in their Wayfarer dinghy called Hafren heading clockwise from Weymouth, up the Irish Sea, past the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and up to the west coast of Scotland, taking on the formidable headlands of Cape Wrath and Duncansby Head, the sandbanks of the Thames Estuary and familiar headlands of the south coast, before arriving in Lulworth Cove on 1 July, where they spent the night before taking the short 9 mile journey to finish their challenge at Castle Cove Sailing Club in Weymouth.

A Wayfarer is an open sailing boat which carries a crew of just two who use body weight and constant sail trimming to prevent it from capsizing. While there is no cabin and no engine, Hafren’s interior has been modified to allow one crew member to sleep whilst the other helms with simpler controls than a typical racing Wayfarer, but all specified for durability.

Jeremy, 56 said;

‘It really was a team effort and thank you to everyone who helped out from the shore. There were some parts of the challenge which you could call the best and some the scariest, and sometimes you can say they are the same. 

‘Rounding Cape Wrath in Scotland at midday in visibility up to 800m was pretty scary, we knew it was there, but we couldn’t see it, and suddenly it looms out of the dark at us. It was quite daunting. At other points we were cruising at 4 to 5 knots and surfing down the waves, and we saw lots of dolphins. In the dark they look like torpedoes in the phosphoresce, when you’re in a small boat you’re only a hand away!

‘One part of the challenge which has been great is talking to the RNLI people around the coast. I have always held and continue to hold lifeboat coxswains and crews in awe as a sailor, but when you get to talk directly to local coxswains about navigation for the next part, its just incredible, there was a lot of local knowledge which is just invaluable to us.’

Philip is 40 and been sailing since a teenager, came up with the idea and put it to Jeremy during the Sailing Club’s annual Dinner Dance, he says;

‘As part of the sailing community, we’ve always been grateful for the work of the RNLI and the volunteer crews so it seemed to make sense to choose the charity to raise funds for during the challenge.

It’s something I have always wanted to do and the fact that others had done something similar before us, gave us the confidence that it could be done. We made sure we spoke to four of these people and used the benefit of their experience and learning points in our preparations.

‘Because we were going from headland to headland, there were times when we were at sea for 24 hours or more, in fact our first leg was 72 hours! This meant that the weather reports and forecasting from our shore crew were so important.’

Andy Sargent, Coxswain of Weymouth RNLI lifeboat said;

‘What a fantastic achievement, I am delighted that Philip and Jeremy were able to both realise a lifelong dream at the same time as raising funds the RNLI and PAPPA FUND, and very honoured that they chose Weymouth as their start and finish point.

As a charity, the RNLI rely on the commitment and determination of fundraisers like as Philip and Jeremy to take on such challenges to raise money for us.  While theirs was a very extreme challenge, not everyone’s is! Both men are fantastically experienced sailors, with a wealth of knowledge between them and great shore crew providing safety back up. I hope they can now enjoy a well deserved rest in their own bed!’

Notes to Editors

  • Please find attached pictures of Philip and Jeremy arriving back at Castle Cove Sailing Club in Weymouth credit RNLI
  • The PAPPA Fund is a small charity which supports health and education programmes in ultra-poor Southern India, and is linked directly with Jeremy’s home village of Marshfield, Wiltshire.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone or Amy Caldwell, RNLI Public Relations Manager on 07920 818 807 or amy_caldwell@rnli.org.uk 

Byline: Two sailors, from Thornbury in Gloucestershire have beaten the current world record to sail around the coast of Britain in a Wayfarer dinghy by an astonishing 44 days.
Page Content:

Philip Kirk and Jeremy Warren who are raising money for the RNLI and PAPPA FUND arrived in Weymouth today (Wednesday 2 July) after 32 days at sea, having completed 1,500 miles of sailing in an open dinghy.

Philip and Jeremy set sail from Weymouth on Saturday 31 May in their Wayfarer dinghy called Hafren heading clockwise from Weymouth, up the Irish Sea, past the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and up to the west coast of Scotland, taking on the formidable headlands of Cape Wrath and Duncansby Head, the sandbanks of the Thames Estuary and familiar headlands of the south coast, before arriving in Lulworth Cove on 1 July, where they spent the night before taking the short 9 mile journey to finish their challenge at Castle Cove Sailing Club in Weymouth.

A Wayfarer is an open sailing boat which carries a crew of just two who use body weight and constant sail trimming to prevent it from capsizing. While there is no cabin and no engine, Hafren’s interior has been modified to allow one crew member to sleep whilst the other helms with simpler controls than a typical racing Wayfarer, but all specified for durability.

Jeremy, 56 said;

‘It really was a team effort and thank you to everyone who helped out from the shore. There were some parts of the challenge which you could call the best and some the scariest, and sometimes you can say they are the same. 

'Rounding Cape Wrath in Scotland at midday in visibility up to 800m was pretty scary, we knew it was there, but we couldn’t see it, and suddenly it looms out of the dark at us. It was quite daunting. At other points we were cruising at 4 to 5 knots and surfing down the waves, and we saw lots of dolphins. In the dark they look like torpedoes in the phosphoresce, when you’re in a small boat you’re only a hand away!

'One part of the challenge which has been great is talking to the RNLI people around the coast. I have always held and continue to hold lifeboat coxswains and crews in awe as a sailor, but when you get to talk directly to local coxswains about navigation for the next part, its just incredible, there was a lot of local knowledge which is just invaluable to us.’

Philip is 40 and been sailing since a teenager, came up with the idea and put it to Jeremy during the Sailing Club’s annual Dinner Dance, he says;

‘As part of the sailing community, we’ve always been grateful for the work of the RNLI and the volunteer crews so it seemed to make sense to choose the charity to raise funds for during the challenge.

It's something I have always wanted to do and the fact that others had done something similar before us, gave us the confidence that it could be done. We made sure we spoke to four of these people and used the benefit of their experience and learning points in our preparations.

'Because we were going from headland to headland, there were times when we were at sea for 24 hours or more, in fact our first leg was 72 hours! This meant that the weather reports and forecasting from our shore crew were so important.’

Andy Sargent, Coxswain of Weymouth RNLI lifeboat said;

‘What a fantastic achievement, I am delighted that Philip and Jeremy were able to both realise a lifelong dream at the same time as raising funds the RNLI and PAPPA FUND, and very honoured that they chose Weymouth as their start and finish point.

As a charity, the RNLI rely on the commitment and determination of fundraisers like as Philip and Jeremy to take on such challenges to raise money for us.  While theirs was a very extreme challenge, not everyone’s is! Both men are fantastically experienced sailors, with a wealth of knowledge between them and great shore crew providing safety back up. I hope they can now enjoy a well deserved rest in their own bed!’

Notes to Editors

  • Please find attached pictures of Philip and Jeremy arriving back at Castle Cove Sailing Club in Weymouth credit RNLI
  • The PAPPA Fund is a small charity which supports health and education programmes in ultra-poor Southern India, and is linked directly with Jeremy’s home village of Marshfield, Wiltshire.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone or Amy Caldwell, RNLI Public Relations Manager on 07920 818 807 or amy_caldwell@rnli.org.uk