Hilary Lister prepares for gruelling journey

Quadriplegic sailor Hilary Lister is now in her final two weeks of preparation for her attempt to sail solo round the British Isles. She will set sail from Dover at 06.30hrs on Monday, 9 June and journey clockwise around the coast.
Hilary rounding the Needles in her Round the Island attempt last year.

Able only to move her head, eyes and mouth, Hilary sails using a sip and puff device which allows her to control the sails and tiller with just her breath. She will sail in her Artemis 20 in a series of day sails. She will be accompanied on the water by a support RIB at all times, and a motor entourage of two motorhomes and a Land Rover (with winch and hoist) will provide land support. Her team will comprise 4 ‘wet crew’ led by Project Manager, Toby May and 3 ‘shore’ crew. Project Director, Tony Leppard will continue to provide ‘remote’ assistance and support for the project.

Each day the team will record Hilary’s finishing latitude and longitude from her GPS, so they can tow Hilary back to exactly the same point the next sailing day. Hilary is anticipating the sail will take 3-4 months. It will involve venturing both into the Irish Sea and the North Sea, as well as the English Channel. Hilary’s route will take her through the Caledonian Canal.

Last year Hilary sailed solo around the Isle of Wight, and in 2005 she became the first quadriplegic sailor to cross the English channel. The Artemis 20 is a performance racing boat, which has been customised with a gimballed seat to let Hilary stay in control, controlling the boat with two straws which are linked to the winches and rudder.

Hilary’s progress can be followed at her website and updates on her route and itinerary will be posted on a regular basis.