So how much fun and adventure can you get up to in a small dinghy? Well Ken Fowler is trying to find out by sailing his 13ft RS Aero from one end of Britain to the other!
It’s an epic journey from Lands End in the South West of England to John O Groats in North East of Scotland. The journey will involve sailing across some of the wildest seas and coastlines in Britain with tidal rushes, storm battered surf beaches and even the odd whirlpool – although he’s hoping to steer clear of those!There has only been one other successful attempt at this epic 900 plus mile journey in a single handed dinghy, taking 64 days to complete.He’s hoping to smash that time record and become the smallest dinghy to ever have undertaken this epic adventure.
The route starts at the extreme point of the South West coast of England continuing past Wales and the Isle of Man before passing through the Scottish Islands and along the wild exposed North Scottish coastline.There are several crossings that will take his RS Aerowell out to sea including crossing the Bristol Channel, Cardigan Bay in Wales and the Irish Sea. The final leg is one of the most challenging with the fearsome Cape Wraith at the North West corner of Scotland and the final challenge of making it to John O Groats.
Launch date for this adventure is 7th May 2017. May was chosen as it offers more daylight hours to sail in and the wind is still strong enough to hopefully complete the journey in record breaking time.
So how long will it take? Well that one is up to the weather gods, but Ken is hoping to make the journey in around 23 sailing days, if the weather is favourable. Each day is likely to be a long one with around 8-12 hours of non-stop sailing each day.
Having previously completed a 72 mile single day epic around the very tidal Isle of Wight in a laser, Ken has chosen an RS Aero for this trip. The key factors in choosing this boat were its faster speed (even 5% faster on a 10 hour day means 30 minutes less sailing!), the comfortable hiking position (which is key for long days sailing) and the lightweight hull. The last factor means if he lands on remote beaches at the end of a long day of sailing he can still easily get the boat safely above the high tide mark. RS sailing have been helping Ken to ensure his Aero is up to the job and additional support in terms of equipment has come from Garmin, Magic Marine and YBTracking.
Land based support will be provided by friends driving his 20 year old VW campervan. The support crew will follow his journey along the UK coastline and be able to monitor his progress on GPS tracking. They will be in constant contact either by radio or phone.
Safety will be provided by emergency equipment on board and a GPS tracking my position at all times, which will be available live on the internet– a great way to follow the adventure.
So why is he taking on this crazy epic adventure? To raise money for Cancer charities and because it’s an amazing challenge – life is too short not to go out there and see what you can achieve.
You can find out more about his adventures by following him on Facebook at “Race To Scotland” and on Twitter @racetoscotland. The website is where you can follow his progress live from his launch date and find out more information.
So why not help Ken show that sailing isn’t all about big money and big yachts. It is just about getting out on the water and having your own adventure – follow his journey and help him raise money for two amazing charities.