During the summer of 2015 my intention is to windsurf around Britain. If I succeed in acheiving this I will be the fourth person to have completed this voyage by windsurfer. However, my approach is different to the previous attempts because I will sail alone, without a water-based support team.
Three people have windsurfed around Britain, and their circumnavigations were aided by yacht / powerboat support. Britain is taken to mean the mainland 'big' island of England, Scotland and Wales.
- Tim Batstone - 1984 - 70 days
- Keith Russell - 1999 - 62 days
- Richard Cooper (Britain and Ireland) - 1999 - 61 days
Shore based support
I am welcoming offers of shore based support; and I am also planning for sections where support will only be sporadically available. At different stages of the attempt I will:
- gratefully accept the offers of support from Local Contacts.
- sail with gear to be able to camp for up to a few days at a time
Edit 21/09/2015: Originally, I mentioned that I may have van based support at some stages (which in the end I didn't). For the record - the only 'backup' used/required/available was that provided by the kind people I met along the way or who had volunteered as Local Contacts.
When sailing alone you can only rely on yourself, so it is necessary to plan carefully, be well prepared, and to sail within ones limits. Managing the many potential risks involved in this venture will be my primary concern. There will be days when I choose not to sail because weather conditions are unsuitable, and perhaps others when I turn back to shore instead of pressing on. With 30 years' windsurfing experience I have confidence in my ability to make the right calls about when and when not to sail.
My support and advisory team includes experienced windsurfers and a round Britain (and round the world) yachtsman. Together, we have painstakenly risk assessed the whole project and identified procedures to effectively manage the many and varied situations that could potentially arise.
I like windsurfing around islands. Britain is my home island and I'd like to sail around it. Additional to those entirely selfish reasons, I'd also like to raise some money for some good causes, specifically:
- Ralph Bates Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund - A charity that funds research in and support for those affected by pancreatic cancer.
- Supporting Tanzanian Orphans and Widows - a charity that enables Tanzanian orphans to go to school and assists widows with business start-up loans.
More about these charities and my reasons for choosing them here.