Gosport sailor Alex Alley nears equator in round-the-world record attempt

A SAILOR who is attempting to break the world record for sailing solo non-stop around the world says he is running '˜almost entirely on autopilot' as he nears the equator.

Monday, 14th January 2019, 11:11 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th January 2019, 7:35 pm
Alex Alley (48) from Alverstoke, on board the Pixel Flyer. Picture: Sarah Standing

Alex Alley, from Alverstoke, is attempting to break the world record in his crowdfunded vessel, Pixel Flyer.

Currently, the world record sits at 137 days, 20 hours, one minute and 57 seconds '“ which Alex must beat by at least one minute to claim.

To do this, he is expected to return to land before May 11.

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Having set off on New Year's Eve, Alex has flown through the Bay of Biscay and hit the trade winds '“ giving him a clear run at the equator.

Alex said: '˜This boat is amazing, it just covers the miles effortlessly.

'˜It's getting quite warm during the day but did feel a bit chilly first thing last night. 

'˜It's strange that although I am out here on my own, I certainly don't feel lonely. There is a very big difference between being alone and lonely.'

Nick Leggatt, the weather router adviser for the mission, says that thunderstorms could slow Alex down as he nears the equator.

He said: '˜I think it is all down to luck '“ I have sailed through thousands of thunderstorms, and sometimes it is really scary, but I have never done anything in particular to avoid them or otherwise deal with them.'