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Well done Keith for completing your challenge

Update on Keith's progress by Mark Sanders-Barswick 16th June 2017Disabled yachtsman sailing single-handed around Great Britain & Ireland.

Keith started on 12 May and finished on 18 June. He did 2,497 nautical miles.

Where is Keith? Track his progress below

Keith has a satellite tracker on the boat. Follow Keith White as he attempts his Round Britain and Ireland challenge here.

Update on Keith's progress by Mark Sanders-Barswick 16th June 2017

So near yet so far!

Disabled yachtsman’s heroic effort to circumvent the UK single-handed are thwarted by misfortune again.

Having encountered bad weather with strong winds over the previous days, Marathon was struck by a heavy wave which knocked out the vessels electrics. Despite Marathon’s Mainsail being blown and the yacht being rammed by an Irish fishing vessel earlier in the trip, Keith showed typical dogged determination to complete his journey.

On the 7th June, Keith posted on his Facebook page:

I’m exhausted and wet. This is the first time I’ve stopped all day. Very big seas and Marathon went over to a 40 degrees angle and now everything is on the floor – and predicted winds in the North Sea are 35 knots plus.’

But Keith’s indomitable spirit was not for breaking as wilfully, he pushed Marathon southwards. Then, almost 200 miles from journey’s end, cruel fate struck plucky Keith another blow. Just before 7pm on Sunday 11th June, a vessel passing Keith put in a call to UK Coastguard and Lowestoft RNLI was launched to locate Keith some 27 miles south-east of the port.

Lowestoft RNLI took about an hour to reach Keith whilst a wind farm crew transfer vessel was standing by close to Marathon. An RNLI crew member was put aboard Marathon and found Keith to be tired but determined to continue his single-handed journey.

Despite strenuous protestations from Keith, the RNLI took the decision return to port with Marathon and towed Marathon back into Lowestoft, mooring in Hamilton Dock just after midnight.

Marathon under tow by Lowestoft lifeboat

Keith, understandably, is devastated that his journey has been broken. But, the fact of the matter is, the circumstances of the situation were beyond his control. The ever-resourceful yachtsman was forced to make ongoing, temporary repairs to Marathon, his steadfast attitude standing strong throughout the journey - only have to have his dream shattered so close to home

Distance travelled before forced tow-in

Keith’s determined nature, true to form, has refused to give in. After repairs to his vessel he has continued his journey and at 08:00 this morning was off of Margate.

Distance Keith travelled with blown out main sail

Surely, there is no doubt that Keith could, and would, have achieved his goal if he was not forcibly towed into Lowestoft? We can all learn from Keith and his Herculaneum spirit… never give up – ever! Let’s make a big push to welcome home Keith. Please ask all your friends, colleagues, neighbours – anyone you know, to make a donation


Round Britain & Ireland challenge

In May 2017, disabled single handed sailor Keith White will cast off from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, to sail clockwise around the whole of British Isle’s. The voyage will take him non-stop around the west coast of Ireland and St Kilda, then passing north of the Shetlands Islands and south past the east coast of England to Dover then west along the English channel and back home to the Isle of Wight.

Wight Fibre, the optic cable broadband supplier will be supporting the challenge and raising funds for the U K S A. and Dartmouth will be raising funds for Sailability.

Lola helping out!

How did Keith White come to join Dart Sailability? How did Keith White come to join Dart Sailability and dedicate his Round The British Isles Solo Challenge to raise money for Dart Sailability and for all UK Sailability organisations?

Like everything it was a matter of luck.

In October 2015 Keith and the Marathon has started out from Cowes to head for the official start line for global circumnavigation for those folk who start that massive challenge from here. Somewhere off Dartmouth he had a gear issue with his steering, so he popped into Dartmouth.

Tim Trent, now our Safety Officer works part time for Dart Harbour and Navigation Authority, and he was on Yacht Taxi duty, monitoring VHF channel 11, DHNA's channel, since no River Officers were on duty that day. He picked up Keith's call for berthing assistance, and with his colleague, Jan Scott, helped Marathon to a safe berth.

Keith's global and literally single handed trip interested Tim, so much so that he looked him up online and found out that he is quite a guy, with a history of achievements as a yachtsman with only one hand that Tim could only gasp at in awe, and could not even consider doing with both hands. Unbidden, Tim was the main architect of the Wikipedia page on Keith.

As that voyage unfolded Tim suggested to Keith that he return to Dartmouth as his first port of call when he came back to the UK, and DHNA made him royally welcome in 2016 when he did so. Keith fell in love with Dartmouth.

When he planned his solo circumnavigation of the British Isles, he asked Tim which Dartmouth charities he might support with his new challenge. “Dart Sailability,” said Tim. The fit was so perfect.

Almost on the spot Keith joined us as a sailing member, and put our logo and stickers on Marathon. Then he had a brainwave, and got on touch with the RYA Sailability folk, suggesting that he and we were leading the way with fundraising for taking folk with disbilities afloat, and asked them if they would let all Sailability folk know. And they have!

We're fundraising based on Keith's trip. We've gone for the idea that it's a notional 2,100 nautical mile trip, and we're suggesting folk sponsor Keith's challenge per nautical mile

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