A renewable energy powered UK circumnavigation
The final countdown has begun for Scottish singlehanded sailor Alan Rankin who is due to set sail in early June on a unique voyage around Britain and Ireland.
Stopping off at 10 ports, Alan will swap his sailing boots for running shoes to complete a 10k run at each port to help raise funds for his chosen charities.
The challenge also has a unique low carbon ambition.
Alan’s F27 trimaran has been fitted with a wind turbine and solar panels to generate electrical energy to supply power required for the navigation instruments, communication radios, satellite phone, automatic steering gear, navigation and on board lights.
The sailor will use the power of the wind, waves and tide to complete the 2,200 mile voyage from Ullapool to the Shetland Isles and then south to the busy English Channel.
From there Alan will sail past the Scilly Isles and on up the West Coast of Ireland before heading out to St Kilda and returning around the northern tip of the Outer Hebrides to Ullapool.
Alan said: ‘My ambition is not just to sail around the UK and Ireland but in doing so leave little or no trace or impact of my voyage.
”Unfortunately many use the sea as a ‘tip’ and what is out of sight is out of mind.
‘I would like to think my low carbon, low impact ambition is a positive statement to those who enjoy and make a living from the sea.
‘I am passionate about how look after our seas and aim to complete the voyage with not one scrap being thrown overboard and having used only renewable energy.
‘I have also based my food provisioning around suppliers who have strong sustainability values.’
Alan will also be keeping an eye open for wildlife during his epic voyage.
The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Preservation Society (HWDPS) has supplied a wildlife recording log book and as the voyage unfolds Alan will record and hopefully photograph observations.
The information will be co-ordinated by the HWDPS and circulated to like organisations around the UK and Ireland.
Preparation and updates on Trade Winds Solo Round Britain Challenge can be followed on www.soloroundbritain.com with links to Facebook.
Alan has through sponsorship acquired a satellite phone and will be tweeting from the high seas on @soloroundbrit
Trade Winds Solo Round Britain Challenge is raising funds for five charities, each close to Alan’s family. Parkinson’s UK, Cancer Research UK, MS Society, British Heart Foundation and Ocean Youth Trust Scotland. Online or text donations can be made at www.soloroundbritain/charities
· Ullapool: west to the remote island of Sula Sgeir then north east to Muckle Flugga and then south to Lerwick for the first stop over.
· Lerwick: South down the north sea to Blyth
· Blyth: South to Lowestoft
· Lowestoft: South to the Kent coast then west along the English Channel
· Brighton: West to Poole harbour
· Poole: West to Falmouth
· Falmouth: Passing the Scilly Isles rounding Bishops Rock and head to Ireland
· Dingle: Ireland northwards to Broad Haven
· Broad Haven: North West to St Kilda and then heading north east to Hebrides and on to Stornoway
· Stornoway: A short stop to prepare for a timely arrival back in Ullapool.
· Ullapool: Completion of the voyage
Alan’s previous charity challenge
In 2006 Alan completed the first ever singlehanded circumnavigation of Scotland by boat and bike. Starting at Kirkcudbright in the Solway Firth he sailed to 1,000 miles round St Kilda, Shetland and landed at Blyth on the NE coast of England and then cycled the 165 miles back to Kirkcudbright. Solo Round Scotland raised £15,000 for Parkinson’s UK and Ocean Youth Trust Scotland and in 2010 the account was published with a forward by Sir Ranulph Fiennes.