Alan Rankin sailed into 10 ports and ran 10k at each one
Scottish sailor Alan Rankin has completed his solo mission around Britain and Ireland and raised thousands of pounds in aid of six charities.
Alan sailed into Ullapool last Saturday, 20 July,to a fanfare of supporters after navigating 2,400 miles around the British and Irish coasts and clocking up 100k by running 10k in each of the ports he arrived in.
Alan’s 45 day voyage started at Ullapool on 8 June and stopped at 10 ports taking him around the Shetland Isles, down the entire length to the North Sea, along the English Channel to the Scilly Isles, around Ireland and St Kilda before returning to Ullapool.
The challenge sought to raise funds for charities working in areas that Alan refers to as having visited his family, these being; Parkinson’s’ UK, MS Society, Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation and Ocean Youth Trust Scotland.
He was determined to complete the task as it was ‘a little bit of unfinished business’.
Alan said: ‘In 2006 I became the first person to sail and cycle around Scotland and that was when I thought about going the whole way around the UK.
‘The challenge has since been three years in the planning and to make it totally unique I thought I would throw in the 10K runs. The sailing and the cycling combine my two passions.’
The challenge also had low carbon ambitions with his F27 trimaran Trade Winds fitted with solar panel and wind turbine.
During the trip Alan did not require to connect to shore power for any of the electricity required for on board electronic systems.
Using wind wave and tidal power and working with food producers with high sustainable values Alan sought to maintain a low carbon profile and leave as little trace of his epic trip.
The ports of call were: Ullapool Lerwick, Blyth Lowestoft (via a stopover in Grimsby due to weather). Brighton, Poole, Falmouth, Dingle (Eire) Broad Haven Eire Stornoway via St Kilda, Ullapool.
The trip threw up many challenges including sail and rig failures that required repairs at Lerwick, Blyth, Brighton and at Poole.
The trip also featured many miles of beating against adverse head winds particularly on the approaches to Muckle Flugga, Blyth, Lowestoft, Brighton and Poole.
However a favourable south westerly sent Alan and Trade Winds north from Broad Haven to St Kilda at an average of 7.9 knots.
Alan added: ‘The hospitality and welcome extended at the stop over ports was at times quite overwhelming.
‘Meeting all the different types of people around the country is a facet of the trip that will stay with me.
‘In Poole, I had a visit from double Olympic gold medalist Rodney Pattison who was the very first owner of Trade Winds when he imported her from the USA.
‘On my return I had a congratulatory email from Ian Farrier in New Zealand, the designer of the F27 and F-Boat range.’
Alan adopted a six hour safety check in system were he made contact with his shore crew to relay over ship’s logbook data and receive latest weather forecasts from Isle of Wight based Fiona Fitzherbert-Brocholes.
In addition the whole voyage was being tracked on an hourly basis on a Yellowbrick Tracker linked to the challenge website www.soloroundbritain.com where Alan also wrote a blog.
Alan said of his return to Ullapool: ‘There were so many people on Ullapool pier and a piper to welcome me in.
‘I still had my 10th and last 10k to do and had previously mapped out a hill run which in hindsight as it was a blazing hot day and my building fatigue was not the best idea.
‘The six week trip was a massive challenge and will take a while to sink in that it’s all over but I have a couple of days to get myself sorted before I am back at my desk job.’
He added: ‘We don’t know the total just yet, it’s sitting around £6,000 but I am hoping that now that I have completed the trip more people will be willing to make donations which can be done at www.soloroundbritain.com‘