TWO adventurous sailors have arrived back in Weymouth having smashed the record for sailing around Britain in a dinghy.
Jeremy Warren, 56, from Bristol and Philip Kirk, 40, from Wooton-under-edge, made their way back in to Castle Cove Sailing Club just 32 days and two hours after they set off from the club on May 31, beating the previous record by an incredible 44 days.
The pair, who met at Thornbury sailing academy, decided to embark on the venture to raise money for the RNLI and the PAPPA Fund, a small charity that supports health and education programmes in southern India
The duo set sail in Hafren, their 16ft Wayfarer dinghy, heading clockwise from Weymouth and continued to sail non-stop for 72 hours before going back to shore.
Jeremy and Philip managed to blow the last record out of the water thanks to excellent weather conditions and sailing through the night on fifteen days of the journey.
Jeremy said: “This 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.
We both got a bit freaked out and frightened sailing in the dark. We actually had dolphins swim past us in the night which was incredible, they just looked like torpedoes in the phosphoresce.”
Philip, who first came up with the idea for the voyage when he was 17, said: “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.
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.
“We decided to start and finish the journey at Weymouth because we wanted to get past Portland Bill at the beginning because of the strong tidal streams.”
Jeremy added: “We could have set off from anywhere but we had such a warm welcome when we bought the dinghy from Rick Pegram at the Castle Cove Sailing Club so that's part of the reason we picked Weymouth too.”
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.