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Alley lagging behind solo record pace

Published on February 26th, 2019

(February 26, 2019; Day 58) – The record attempt by Alex Alley (GBR) to break the Solo Non-Stop Round the World Record in his Class40 Pixel Flyer has him about midway across the Indian Ocean in solid downwind conditions and clocking nearly 300 nm a day.

“It’s amazing down here. So different from sailing anywhere else. I’ve been sailing downwind now for over 2 weeks, every hour, day and night. I’m like a kid in a massive playground all to myself.

“If you get asked why I’m not going further South at the moment, it’s mainly due to how my two spinnaker sails are original and not as strong and how I’m not insured and can’t afford to damage or lose the boat. I will, however, have to eventually dive further south for New Zealand and Cape Horn.

“When I set out on this project, it wasn’t just to try and beat a round the world record. It was to show that you don’t need to have a big corporate sponsor or a huge bank balance to achieve something like this. I’m just an ordinary guy but what I do have is a desire to succeed – passion, drive, the right attitude and tenacity – a lot of tenacity.

“It has not been easy. In the 10 years or so of the project, I have had my share of luck but I have also had my fair share of setbacks too. However, most importantly I never gave up because I believed I could do it.

“It has taken a lot of sacrifices to get here but the fact that here I am, almost half way around the world shows that it can be done. It hasn’t been easy but it has been an adventure and an experience – and I still have a way to go yet.

“When I return, as much as I would like to keep Pixel Flyer, she will be on the market as I have to pay back everything I have borrowed – so if anybody wants a well-equipped fast Class40…. I believe everyone is capable of achieving their dreams if they are determined enough and have the right attitude to succeed.

“There is one thing stopping you achieving your goals. That one thing is yourself. If you are determined enough to succeed then you will. The question you need to ask yourself is how much do you want it?”

Regarding the record, while his time and distance is known for his current position, what remains is hard to anticipate. It is estimated that his total mileage will be at least 26,000 miles which would put him about 2 days behind the record. But with lots of fast sailing ahead until he has to turn left at Cape Horn, the opportunity exists to get ahead of the record pace.

It’s certainly tense and tight and every hour of low winds, high pressure, wrong tack, poor trim or too much wind of course affects his progress against the goal. He should be half-way in about a week.

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With the help of crowdfunding, Alex Alley (GBR) is aiming to break the Solo Non-Stop Around the World Record in his 40-foot yacht – Pixel Flyer. His goal is to better the 2013 record set by Guo Chuan of 137d 20h 01m 57s which started and finished at the city of Qingdao in Shandong Province, eastern China.

Alley began his quest December 31 at the traditional start line between the Créac’h lighthouse on the island of Ushant and the Lizard lighthouse in Cornwall in the English Channel.

With his start at 14h 31mins 09 sec (subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council), if he is to beat Chuan’s record (and he has to beat it by at least one minute), then his deadline is to cross the line again going the other way, on at 10h 32mins 06 secs on May 18, 2019.

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