Charity bid to become the smallest, fastest boat to make the trip from one end of the country to the other


Land’s End to John O’Groats in a 13ft dinghy

Ken Fowler hopes to raise £50k for charity by sailing his 4m (13ft) RS Aero dinghy from Land’s End to John O’Groats – over 900 miles – in under 20 days. The 51-year-old air traffic controller from Mudeford lost his father to cancer 27 years ago and hopes to raise the money for Cancer Research and the Oakhaven Hospice Trust.


The route Ken hopes to take during his ‘Race to Scotland’

He aims to set off from Land’s End on 7 May 2017, sail for 10 hours every day and arrive in John O’Groats by 1 June. He’ll sail along the North coast of Cornwall, across the Bristol Channel and up the Welsh coast to Anglesey, then offshore to the Isle of Man. From there he heads North through the Western Isles and around Cape Wrath to the finish.


Ken practicing hard in his RS Aero

‘If I am successful I will become only the second person to complete this epic journey in a singlehanded dinghy, and break the record for the smallest and fastest dinghy,’ says Ken. ‘I’ll be facing strong tidal races, big waves, whirlpools and, at the end of the day, the challenge of finding a surf battered beach to land on. Not for the faint hearted!’ His shore team, friends Ian and Jane Pike, will follow in Ken’s 20-year-old campervan.


Friends Ian and Jane Pike will act as shore crew, driving Ken’s 20-year0old campervan

Safety and reliable comms critical

Ken has some idea of what’s ahead after sailing a 14ft Laser dinghy 72 miles around the Isle of Wight in 12 hours in June 2015, raising £5k for these same charities. He also knows safety is critical so he’ll always sail with a PFD and an emergency locator beacon. In terms of comms, he contacted ICOM UK because ‘we needed a small, waterproof VHF that floats, is easy to use hands-free and has a good battery life…the IC-M25EURO fitted the bill.’

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