THIS WEEK IN 1997: Open boat adventurers come home to Champagne welcome

The Spirit of Portsmouth is escorted into Portsmouth
The Spirit of Portsmouth is escorted into Portsmouth

The crew of the Spirit of Portsmouth were recovering from minor frostbite sustained in their record-setting voyage across the north Atlantic.

The crew of the Spirit of Portsmouth were recovering from minor frostbite sustained in their record-setting voyage across the north Atlantic.

Sub-zero temperatures aggravated by severe wind chill tested the stamina of the four men who completed the journey from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA, to Portsmouth, UK.

They suffered frostnip – a less severe form of frostbite – during the Greenland and Iceland legs of the three-week voyage.

Crew member Dr Jan Falkowski, 36, said he expected he and his colleagues would recover the feeling in the tips of their fingers over the following fortnight.

The crew of Dr Falkowski, from London; skipper Alan Priddy, 44, from Hayling Island; Vic Palmer, 52, from Milton, Portsmouth; and Steve Lloyd, 43, from Southampton, were resuming their normal lives having recorded the first high-latitude crossing of the Atlantic in an open boat.

Negotiating icepacks and 60ft waves had added a further 2,000 miles to the 4,100 they originally anticipated.

Despite arriving 48 hours late at the Hebridean islands the week before, the boat crossed the finishing line as planned.