15-year-old to remember his father
A 15-year-old schoolboy is hoping to become the youngest person to sail across the English Channel single-handed.
Oli Hancox, 15, from Devon, will sail the 115 miles from Plymouth to Roscoff in a 5m Silhouette.
It was losing his father Neil to cancer almost two years ago that made Oli want to take on this challenge to raise both money and awareness for Cancer Research.
His father was the first person to windsurf across the English Channel in a team relay in 1983 and undertaking a similar challenge seemed, to Oli, a fitting way to remember him.
Oli started training for his adventure last year and over the next few weeks plans to get in as much solo sailing practice as he can.
He sets off in early June and until then his boat will be berthed at the Mayflower Marina.
Oli will be sailing a five metre, Silhouette Mk II Hurley. The journey is estimated to take around 24 hours. The boat, named Cariad, was carefully restored over the summer to prepare for the challenge.
Oli said: “This is one of the most important things I have ever done. My Dad always loved adventure and this seems to have been passed down to me too. I think the biggest challenge during the voyage will be navigating through the busy shipping lanes. During my training I have been doing more and more sailing on my own to get prepared. I am really looking forward to it and pleased that I can do my bit to help people in the future.”
Debbie Hancox, Oli’s mum says, “I am extremely proud of him. I will be nervous but he’s a good sailor and I know how much it means to him.”
Oli hopes to raise £10,000 for Cancer Research. To find out more about Oli’s challenge, or to donate online, visit: www.channelchallenge.co.uk . To find out more about Mayflower Marina please visit: www.mayflowermarina.co.uk .