Jersey's Vendée Globe hopeful Phil Sharp and his crew raced from Land's End to John O'Groats in just under 84 hours, setting the inaugural record
Phil Sharp sets Length of Britain sailing record
Phil Sharp and his crew of two, Sean Conway and Alex Alley, brought their Class 40 yacht Bruichladdich across the finish line off John O’Groats at 2047.15 on Monday 14 December 2015 to set the first ever sailing speed record on the iconic 620nm British course. The record attempt began at 0855 on Friday 11 December off Land’s End, defining the first reference time at 3d 11h 52m 15s, an average speed of 7.39kn.
‘We are tired but feel quite ecstatic to have finished,’ said Jersey sailor Sharp, 34, who won the 2006 Route du Rhum solo Transatlantic race. ‘It was a bit hairy towards the finish, with strong tides and big overfalls in the dark. Overall having done it I think this a good course and we have now set a benchmark which we think others will go out and challenge.’ Sharp’s focus now switches to realising his hopes of taking part in the Vendée Globe solo, non-stop, round the world race, which starts on 6 November 2016.
One of his crew, Sean ‘The Beard’ Conway, has now added to his achievements sailing the length of Britain, having recently become the first (and probably last) man ever to run, cycle and swim from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
Conway, a novice sailor, struggled with seasickness until well into day three of the attempt. ‘Hour 54 and I’ve finally got my sea-legs. I always knew I was going to be seasick but wished it had passed a little quicker. The good news is I wasn’t actually sick so maybe I am getting better at it. I just felt useless and unable to make most of this incredible adventure.
‘Right now we’re just off Skye and passing all the islands I swam past when I swam Britain. It’s been two years since then but it feels like yesterday having to get in the freezing cold water each and every day.
‘After I finished the swim I fell in love with the ocean and all things water. Spending the last two days at sea has made me realise how amazing the British coastline is and how much, now that the sea sickness has gone, I love being at sea.’
Sharp set the record to raise money for the Brain Tumour Research charity. Having lost his mother to a brain tumour when he was in his teens, it’s a cause close to his heart. Please click https://www.justgiving.com/PhilSharpRacing/ to honour his achievement with a donation.