All in the name of charity

Singlehanded sailor Alan Rankin has launched the Trade Winds Solo Round Britain 2013 Challenge where he plans to sail in his F27 Trimaran 2,200 miles around Britain and run 1,000k to raise funds for: Cancer Research UK, Parkinson’s UK, MS Society, British Heart Foundation and Ocean Youth Trust Scotland.

In the summer of 2013 Alan will set off in June 2013 to sail around the British Isles and Ireland. The course will take Alan outside Britain and its islands including; The Hebrides, Shetland, Scilly Isles, Ireland and St Kilda. The voyage will be broken with stop overs where Alan will swop his sailing boots for running shoes and undertake a series of 10k fundraising runs at ten ports around Britain.

The challenge also follows a low carbon ambition using entirely renewable energy sources of; wind, wave and tidal propulsion supported by wind turbine and solar electrical power. During the trip Alan will consume food and drink supplied from sustainable producers based in Scotland.

The Trade Winds Solo Round Britain challenge has been two years in the planning and today at the Cairngorm Brewery, Aviemore in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park home of his main sponsor and where Alan lives and works Alan launched his plans to complete the unique challenge to raise funds for five charities.

Alan said. “I have chosen to support five charities as each one is working incredibly hard in their respective fields. My family has been touched by each of the conditions and causes the charities are fighting. Public donations will be taken via online and text giving services via the challenge website at

The voyage starts and finishes at Ullapool on the NW coast of Scotland and will head clockwise around Britain and its islands calling at; Lerwick, Blyth, Lowestoft, Brighton, Poole, Falmouth, Dingle, Broad Haven and Stornoway. Alan has support from a shore crew that includes a round the world skipper, international sleep advisor, renowned weather forecaster and nutritional advisors as well as a team of fundraisers, web and social media specialists.

Darren Gittens from Hemple Uk said. “Hempel UK is delighted to be supporting Alan’s Solo Round Britain challenge in 2013. Our products have been applied to Trade Winds, Alans’ F27 Trimaran and have worked with Alan to ensure that he has the best products for this 2,200 mile challenge.”
Fund raiser Sarah Farquhar from the MS Society said. “Alan’s adventure will raise vital funds for the MS Society in our fight against MS. It’s with support from amazing people like the Alan that we can fund research, support services and raise the standards of care for people with MS.”

Dorothy Rodger, an Area Volunteer Manager for cancer Research UK said “We are delighted that Alan has taken on this inspirational journey to raise funds for Cancer Research UK and other charities. Cancer Research UK pioneers life-saving research to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. Our research to beat cancer is entirely funded by the public, so support from events such as Alan’s is absolutely vital to our continued success.”

Paul Jackson-Clark, Director of Fundraising at Parkinson’s UK, said: “I would like to say a big thank you to Alan for taking on such a fantastic challenge for us. Every hour someone is told they have Parkinson’s. Despite this, very little is known about the condition so we are incredibly grateful to Alan for his support in helping us to make more people aware of it.”

During time at sea Alan will adopt a six hourly check in safety management plan with his shore crew. The check-ins will allow the relay of weather and port updates and also maintain position tracking over and above the Yellowbrick tracker on board.

Not all plans have yet been finalised and Alan is contacting yacht clubs, marinas and local running clubs in each port seeking support and assistance. The whole trip will take up to six weeks with 48 to 72 hour stop-overs with departure dependent on weather forecasts.

Alan added, “I have been overwhelmed by the support from the marine industry and cannot thank the companies who have agreed to support the challenge. The list reads like a who’s-who of the marine industry.”
Alan will be undertaking the voyage in his F27 trimaran. The boat is currently undergoing a full refit with support from marine trade sponsors.

Alan is four times Scottish Islands Peaks Race class winner. The race involves a sailing course of 120 miles and 56 miles of mountain running on the west coast of Scotland. Alan represented Scotland in Athletics and is a seven times Scottish Decathlon champion.

In 2006 Alan Rankin became the first person to fully circumnavigate Scotland by boat and bike. His 1,000 mile sail from The Solway Firth followed a course around the Outer Hebrides, St Kilda and Shetland Isles and then south to Blyth on the NE coast of England. From Blyth Alan cycled the 165 miles across England to Gretna Green returning to his starting point at Kirkcudbright. Solo Round Scotland has raised £14,500 for Parkinson’s UK and Ocean Youth Trust Scotland.