THE final preparations are now underway as a Gosport sailor gears up for a solo world record attempt.
Alex Alley, 48 from Alverstoke, is looking to break the world record for going non-stop around the world in a vessel 40ft long or smaller.
He hopes to beat the current record of 137 days, 20 hours, one minute and 57 seconds in his crowdfunded vessel Pixel Flyer, which has the faces and logos of people who have sponsored the attempt on the hull.
Alex says that anticipation is growing as the start draws nearer – but that he’s not without his fears either.
He said: ‘I am excited, and really looking forward to going, but I’m still a bit nervous.
‘This will be the first time I’ve sailed solo around the world, so at this stage I’m making sure I have enough spare parts and emergency plans in place.
‘But all in all I cannot wait to get out on the water.’
As part of his preparation for the record attempt – which he believes will take around four months – Alex has been speaking to others with experience in the area, including fellow Gosport sailor Alex Thomson.
Alex Alley explained: ‘The main piece of advice I got was not to do it – but I’m going ahead with it anyway.
‘I have raced around the world before so I know what the conditions will be like, but people like Alex have been a big help, advising me to look after the boat and myself ahead of going after the record.
‘You can't push at 100 per cent and manage everything at the same time.’
The crowdfunded Pixel Flyer is the first boat of its kind, and something that Alex has been planning for almost a decade.
With the faces on the side, he says that it’s not just the communications system that will stop him from feeling lonely.
He explained: ‘This is the world's first crowdfunded sailing record – it’s a concept that has been in the words for about nine years.
‘It feels great to have so mane people’s faces on the side. I’ll be alone when I’m out at sea but I certainly won’t feel lonely.
‘For this to become a proper record I have to beat the current record by one minute – so if I’m only 59 seconds ahead of it I’ll be absolutely devastated.
‘I’m confident that I can shave at least a week off the record though, if everything goes to plan.’
An exact departure date has not yet been set – but Alex is hoping to depart around November 8.