One small cruiser, two sailors, 4,200 miles and no engine

A ‘Help for Heroes’ sailing trip will be

setting off in March from Falmouth to Aden, in Yemen.

The adventurous voyage in a Crystal 23

yacht aims to replicate a challenge undertaken by General Sir Peter de la

Billiere and a crewmate in 1962, while raising funds for the Help for Heroes


Sheamus Devine, who is organizing the new

project, said it will involve one small cruiser, two sailors, 4,200 miles each way and no


He said: ‘In 1962, Sir Peter de la Billiere

sailed a small yacht from Falmouth to Aden, in the Yemen.

‘It took three months, covered 4,200 miles and

he estimated they spent 800 hours sat steering the yacht’s tiller.

‘He was nearly washed out of the cockpit

four times during storms and in Cairo he had to wrestle a python before fleeing

for his life from a local drinking den.

‘In March 2013, I will be replicating his

voyage, the only difference is that while Sir Peter sold his boat in Yemen to take up a post as a special intelligence officer, and his crew flew back to England, I will be sailing my boat Crystal Wake back to the UK via the Azores.’

He added: ‘I will be sailing a restored Crystal 23

identical to the one he purchased from French Bros nearly 50 years ago.

‘I will be making landfall at the same

places as Sir Peter – Tangiers, Gibraltar, Malta, Suez and finally Aden.

‘I will be accompanied by a

recovering soldier on the outward and return legs – in partnership

with Help For Heroes, we will be hoping to boost the morale of a couple of

injured military personnel.

‘We have set ourselves a target of raising

£25,000 for Help for Heroes but in truth, even if we only raise £100, we will

be happy.’

To follow the project’s progress find the

Facebook page ‘Falmouth to Aden’ or click here.

Subscribe to Practical Boat Owner this Christmas and save up to 31%!