Hillary Lister's attempt to sail round Britain will have to wait

Hilary Lister has had to finally face the reality that she will be unable to complete her attempt to sail solo around the British Isles this year, aiming to become the first female quadriplegic to complete such a feat.

Hilary and her team have been beset by problems since setting sail from Dover on 16 June 2008, with bad weather, technical issues with the boats, and injuries to crew members all hampering progress.

Having reached Newlyn in Cornwall so far behind schedule, Hilary and the team last weekend made the difficult decision to halt this year’s attempt but have resolved to complete the journey next year, in the late spring.

The progress log on Hillary’s website tells a tale of setbacks – keel damage, electronics and support RIB problems – robbing the team of vital hours and days in between spells of unsuitable weather.

Project Manager, Toby May, said Hillary’s Artemis 20 had a navigation and control system that was ‘still in development. What we had not envisaged was the level of difficulty operating and maintaining the boat and her systems under the conditions we have faced.’

Hilary said: “I am obviously extremely disappointed and incredibly frustrated that we have not been able to complete the sail this year; it seems that the fates have conspired against us but I am now ever more determined to go again next year. I have enjoyed the wonderful experience of night sailing and the tranquillity and sense of freedom that brings. I also feel incredibly privileged and proud to have been supported by such a great crew who, despite extremely testing conditions and circumstances, continued to show commitment and resilience of the highest order. I would like to personally thank everybody who has kindly made a donation”

Hilary’s efforts have continued to be supported by her launch partners, Artemis and Pindar, and sponsors such as Raymarine, Ocean Safety, Marathon Leisure, and Musto, Kent Sports Development Unit, THB Clowes, Olive Group, Cobra CMS, OneSails, Grapefruit Graphics, and others.