Harken Derm

Departure near for world record attempt

Published on December 21st, 2018

With the help of crowdfunding, Alex Alley is aiming to break the Solo Non-Stop Around the World Record in his 40′ yacht – Pixel Flyer. His goal is to better the 2013 record set by Guo Chuan of 137d 20h 01m 57s.

But before he crosses the English Channel start line between the Créac’h lighthouse on the island of Ushant and the Lizard lighthouse in Cornwall, he is looking for an ideal weather system to improve the odds. In this report, Alex believes he’s found it:


It looks like we will finally be leaving on December 24… probably.

Pixel Flyer was lifted out of the water today (Dec. 21) for the final clean of the hull. As the boat was out the water only six weeks ago there was virtually no growth on the bottom at all, just a fine film. Very impressive considering the boat has sat still most of that time and also considering that the anti-foul paint is now seven years old!

There was a slight drama as the hoist decided to stop playing just as we were being lowered back in to the water. An electrical fault left Pixel Flyer just inches away from being launched and unable to move. After lots of head scratching and poking with a screwdriver, the hoist roared back in to life and we could finally launch Pixel Flyer for the last time before the record attempt.

A final test of the two autopilot systems to check everything is working as it should – all good. Final stop at the fuel dock to top up the tank then back to our Haslar marina berth for the final time.

It looks like we will almost certainly be leaving from Haslar Marina in Gosport (UK) at around 11:00 on Christmas eve. The weather models are slowly starting to get more in sync and although not perfect, at least it isn’t boat breaking weather. We could wait forever for perfect conditions, but this is the first window we have seen since the beginning of November.

Once we reach the start line on Christmas day, from there it is south across the Bay of Biscay, past the Canary Islands (around New Year), Cape Verde Islands and then on to the Equator and beyond.

Once away, the satellite tracker will be activated to plot our position every hour.

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