Wayfarer Round UK

You may have read in the news about a Wayfarer which sailed Round the UK this month. (It was in the Guardian at least). He is related to Ross Ryan (so when are you getting a Wayfarer!!?)  Will Hodshon came to Notts County’s Annual Wayfarer Conference earlier this year to share ideas with the other 50 intrepid Wayfarer sailors intent on doing challenging things in this robust dinghy. The Family are really proud of Will & Rich particularly considering they did it in a 60 year old wooden Wayfarer which you will see has been in the family for 6 decades.

Two intrepid UK endurance adventurers have achieved a world first.  

They have successfully circumnavigated the coastline of mainland Britain non-stop and unassisted in an open sailing dinghy, completing the epic voyage in just 18 days. By doing so, they have smashed the existing records for the quickest times so far recorded for such attempts.

Using a recently lovingly refurbished 60 year old, 16ft long open sailing dinghy named the Nipegegi, Will Hodshon( 42) and Rich Mitchell (44) set sail from Salcombe, Devon on 15th June and completed the 1390 nautical mile journey today 1st July, arriving safe, but tired, back at Salcombe.

With the back-up of the Nipegegi Round Britain (NRB) team, Will and Rich overcame challenging sailing conditions through open sea passages and using Yellow Brick Satellite Tracking via the Lloyd’s Register which is part of the record verification process recognised by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC). The team also hopes to have the record verified by the Guinness World Records.

An essential part of the attempt’s success has been the support of headline partner, Pure Ionic Water, a product of WET Group, an innovative water enhancing technology, alongside charity Water Smart Foundation which raises awareness and aims to tackle microplastics in the sea and drinking water.  

The charity has lead fund-raising attempts around the record attempt as part of their vision to support related ocean-based charities. Water Smart Foundation has committed to raising £10,000 in donations which will be split between two fantastic causes, the RNLI and Surfers Against Sewage.

A link to the Just Giving page is here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NipegegiRoundBritain

Message from Will: Hi everyone, 

You no doubt already know, however just in case, we made it! We crossed our track in the mouth of Salcombe on Sunday at 18:42pm, completing our nonstop and unassisted circumnavigation of mainland Britain in 15 days and 4 hours.  The whole team are all still recovering from the trip itself as well as, washing, demobilising equipment and coping with the whirl wind of media requests at my parents property here in South Devon.

We are all in shock here not only to have actually completed this project which had such a high chance of failure but also by the reception we received back in Salcombe with over 15 boats coming out to escort us back, including a new and vintage RNLI boat, Salcombe Harbour boats and Salcombe Yacht Club boats. There were banners and signs strewn up on buildings with Nipe’s name and sail number and a big group of people waiting on the jetty with drinks reception and full media presence with us giving video and radio interviews within seconds of stepping on to terra firma, crazy transition into the real world but we figured it would be as famous as were going get so we made the most of it.

As you can imagine there’s a huge sense of pride in the wider Hodshon family too with Nipegegi still breaking sailing records, now including outright fasted dinghy around Britain (both in monohull and multihull classes), completing the first ever nonstop and unassisted circumnavigation of mainland Britain and breaking the dinghy monohull 24hr distance record and all these some 40 years after her last national championship win by Dad in the late 70’s, go Nipe you legend. 

Furthermore we are so pleased that she managed this highly demanding sail without being modified, so miraculously she is still in class and could compete in a national or world championships tomorrow if somebody had the energy to do so, I think a real accolade to the wayfarer and Ian Proctor’s robust and timeless boat design.

We can’t thank everyone enough for all your support, so many people have helped in so many ways the list is endless and I can’t wait to have a bit more time to catch up and thank each of you personally, As well as all the Hodshon family of course I’d like to give particular thanks to my cousin Ben Davies who worked really hard into the early hours with Suzanne while we were at sea to bring onboard our headline partner, Pure Ionic Water, a product of WET Group, alongside charity Water Smart Foundation (WSF) who stepped in at a crucial moment in the project and who’s generous support of the expedition costs was an essential component in the projects success. The WSF charity has committed to raising £10,000 in donations which will be split between our two other causes, the RNLI and Surfers Against Sewage. Our current total is £5633!!

We have been inundated with requests to give presentations on our experience which is fantastic so over the next few weeks we will endeavour to complete our log, collate the pictures and videos and put together an entertaining and informative presentation to share.  Unbelievably there is already a tour schedule forming (ahhh) that Suzanne is putting together covering the country so if your close to one of the locations and would be interested to see a few pics and hear a few stories feel free to come and join us, we’ll share the calendar when its firmed up a bit more. 

Well what a journey as Rich said during one of the more testing times of our trip “there should be a law against executing a plan made in pub” but then perhaps that’s where all the best plans are made! Thinking back to all that prep, working on the boat, electrics, navigation, food, water making, clothing, destructive testing e.t.c. e.t.c. it was such a huge all consuming undertaking for 18 months but on reflection everything worked and nothing broke despite experiencing near gale force winds and scary waves up to 60NM offshore on three separate occasions.  I feel we’ve all been rewarded for our hard work and a great lesson for the kids and us all perhaps.

Really glad to be back, the boat and equipment are all dried and packed away now and the four of us Hodshon’s are about to head off in the NRB tour bus for a few days camping and unwinding together before going back to work next week.

Looking forward to catching up with you all individually really soon.

Kind regards

Will

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