Solo round Britain and Ireland voyage calls at Lerwick

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A yachtsman who is sailing single-handed around Britain and Ireland, with the aim of raising money for a range of charities, reached Lerwick in the middle of June.

The first leg of Alan Rankin's challenge aboard his trimaran, Trade Winds, took him from Ullapool, in north-west Scotland, to Shetland. From Lerwick, the route runs south, then west along the English Channel.  Rounding Land's End, the voyage will continue around Ireland, St Kilda and the Outer Hebrides before arriving back at Ullapool. The distance involved is 2,300 miles, much of it in very exposed waters.

Alan is also undertaking a 10,000 metre fund-raising run at each of the ports en route, which, in addition to Ullapool and Lerwick, are Blyth, Lowestoft, Brighton, Poole, Falmouth, Dingle (County Kerry), Broad Haven (County Mayo) and Stornoway.  The charities that will benefit from his efforts are Parkinson's UK, Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, the Multiple Sclerosis Society and Ocean Youth Trust Scotland.

Alan is determined to use entirely renewable resources - wind, wave, tidal and solar power - during the journey and he has also decided to use only food and drink that comes from British producers committed to sustainability.

Trade Winds spent longer in Lerwick than intended. After setting off southwards, Alan discovered that there was a problem with the vessel's rigging and he had to return to port in order to await the arrival of replacement parts.

You can follow his progress on the Solo Round Britain Challenge website, where you can also make a donation to the charities.  We wish him well for the rest of the journey.