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Old July 1st 19, 03:52 PM posted to sci.military.naval,,alt.sailing,alt.vacation
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Default Dinghy sailors close in on Great Britain circumnavigation record

(16' long dinghy !! Much of big Spanish armada failed in try.)

Dinghy sailors close in on Great Britain circumnavigation record
Duo are near finish line in attempt to be first to perform feat non-stop
in tiny vessel

Steven Morris @stevenmorris20
Sun 30 Jun 2019 08.11 EDT Last modified on Sun 30 Jun 2019 10.35 EDT

The dinghy during a sea trial
They have braved gale-force winds, dodged huge container ships and
suffered vivid hallucinations prompted by sleep deprivation but two
hardy adventurers are on the brink of becoming the first to
circumnavigate Great Britain non-stop and unassisted in a tiny open
sailing dinghy.

Will Hodshon, 42, and Rich Mitchell, 44, will have spent 16 days at sea
when they arrive back in Devon early on Monday onboard a Wayfarer dinghy
that is a mere 4.9 metres (16ft) long.

Once they have stretched their legs and had showers and a few square
meals, the lifelong friends will apply to Guinness World Records to go
into the history books as the first to complete the feat, which requires
a combination of brilliant sailing ability and a daredevil attitude.

Mitchell said they had had some wonderful days. “There have been moments
when we’ve had perfect sailing conditions. We’ve seen minke whales,
hundreds of seals and dolphins have accompanied us for hours at a time
trying to splash us.”

Rich Mitchell in more tranquil conditions
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Rich Mitchell onboard the Nipegegi in tranquil conditions

But there have also been some scary moments, he said. “We’ve had a few
days of big winds and waves and in those conditions you can’t sleep at
all. Will has been hearing the odd voice or two and I’ve been
hallucinating a bit. Sleep deprivation has been the worst – we’ve fallen
asleep on watch a number of times. Sometimes the sailing is very
challenging. You can’t get off the boat when you feel you’ve had enough.
You just have to carry on with it.”

The British-designed Wayfarer is a popular family day-boat, though its
seaworthiness means that it can be relied upon in open waters.

However, it is not a simple vessel to sail, staying upright thanks to a
combination of careful distribution of the crew’s bodyweight and
constant trimming or adjustment of the sails.

The Wayfarer Hodshon and Mitchell have voyaged in, Nipegegi – pronounced
nippy gee-gee – is built of mahogany and is 60 years old. It was bought
at the 1959 London Boat Show by Hodshon’s grandfather, Bill Hodshon. Its
name is made up of the first two letters of the names of the
adventurer’s uncle, father and two aunts: Nick, Penny, Geoff and Gill.

The dinghy during the circumnavigation
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The Nipegegi during the circumnavigation
Hodshon, a marine geoscientist from Wiltshire, said: “Three times we’ve
been in near gale-force or gale-force winds. When that happens at night
it’s really scary. In the North Sea when we were at our furthest point
out – about 60 miles – we had already been going hard into the wind for
a day and a half. We were wet and cold already. This wind came in, we
were worried, I didn’t know how we were going to make it. We took it an
hour at a time and eventually got through.”

The pair were inspired by another circumnavigation of Great Britain in
2014 when the sailors Jeremy Warren and Phil Kirk ventured around the
coast in just over a month. But they stopped, which Hodshon and Mitchell
decided not to.

“We haven’t touched dry land at all,” said Mitchell, a fisheries expert
from Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. “We’ve seen it and hankered
after it – and the odd pub we’ve passed.”

One of his favourite legs was the North Sea. “I’ve known it as a brown
and cold and miserable and cold place,” he said. “But one of the days
there was a beautiful, sunny day. The sea was like glass, not a ripple.
That changed my whole perception of what the North Sea is.” Hodshon said
he preferred sailing through the islands of western Scotland with
fantastic views of hills and mountains.

But there has been little disagreement onboard. “We already knew most
things about each other but it’s a very small boat,” said Mitchell.
“There’s nothing left to hide from each other. And we didn’t run out of

just enough space to sleep on board
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There is just enough space to sleep onboard

“People think they’d get bored. Each day flies by – setting the sails,
planning the next meal, planning for the toilet break. There’s almost
not enough time in the day. We’ve never been bored.”

The pair have been raising money for charities including the lifeboat
charity the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Surfers Against Sewage.

They took with them enough freeze-dried food to last 30 days so food has
not been a problem. “We’ve got enough to go around again,” said Hodshon.
“But we aren’t going to.”

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