Sailing Across the Atlantic

When I was 14 years old, I became the youngest person ever to sail single-handed across the Atlantic Ocean in January 2007 and wow what an adventure that was! The trip took 6 weeks and covered over 3,500 miles.

I set sail from Gibraltar in a Tide 28 cruising yacht which I and my dad had co-designed, and with my dad sailing an identical yacht too, we were really going as a pair of single-handers.

I sailed south from Gibraltar along the African coast and I learnt quite quickly how much I enjoyed single handed sailing.

 

 

 

 

I had to pull into Lanzarote to collect a new satellite phone and after a weeks waiting, I set off south hoping to head straight for Antigua in the Caribbean. After only a couple of days at sea, half of my self steering gear snapped clean off during the early hours of the morning after a pretty speedy night with a top surf of 18 knots. I then had to divert to the Cape Verde Islands to pick up a replacement system.

 

I vividly remember sailing into the cape verde islands with their barren cliffs surrounding them. I did see some rather interesting conditions along the way and it was my first real experience of being in a good old ding-dong gale on my own. I loved the feeling of exhilaration.

After picking up my replacement self steering gear I then set off on my first major ocean crossing. I was well into the trade winds and had a nice comfortable crossing which I throughly enjoyed.

 

 

On the 3rd of January at 10am I sailed into English Harbour, Antigua, and wow what an incredible feeling that was! I’d crossed my first ocean on my own and I just wanted to do more. For certain, no one could take the grin off my face that day.

The crossing developed a huge amount of media interest and never in my wildest dreams had I expected to be on the front page of every national paper the following day!

 

 

I was presented with the Medal for meritorious conduct from the Scout Association, several sporting awards and a certificate from Guinness World Records which was presented by the shadow sports minister at the Houses of Parliament, London. It was so fantastic to finally hold that certificate after all the hard work we had put in.

Then everybody started asking… what’s next?

To see high res images of my Sail Across the Atlantic please click here.