Dame Ellen MacArthur and Ludo Bennett-Jones, following his record-breaking voyage. Picture courtesy of J2 Communications and Events - by Patrick Eden www.patrickeden.co.uk/.
A YOUNG skipper who trained on the Isle of Wight has sailed into the record books.
Ludo Bennett-Jones, aged just 21, arrived in Cowes last Thursday after circumnavigating Britain in a 16ft Wayfarer dinghy.
Ludo, who trained at UKSA, is now the youngest and fastest to have completed the 2,500 mile circumnavigation in a dinghy.
At the dockside to greet him was international yachtswoman and Cowes resident, Dame Ellen MacArthur.
She said: "Ludo is now a hero of mine.
"The boat that Ludo sailed round Britain in is a dinghy with no cabin — most people would go and sail one of those for an hour, maybe two, but to sail one for 47 days is really quite extraordinary.
"When I sailed round Britain aged 18 I took a little boat with a cabin and it took me four-and-a-half months, so it’s blown that out of the window."
Traversing the Bristol Channel, one of the UK’s busiest shipping lanes, rounding Cape Wrath, one of the most unpredictable corners of the Scottish Isles, and visiting Wales, the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and then Scotland in three days were just some of the extraordinary highlights from his journey.
Ludo, who hails from Oxford, said: "What an epic adventure this has been.
"I’ve spent the best part of two-and-a-half months enduring the worst weather for 230 years.
"It didn’t beat me, it might have slowed me down a bit but I’m still here.
"It was a truly extraordinary journey, sailing with dolphins, four kingdoms in three days, battling the Scottish seas, testing lots of Orkney bitter and fine malt whiskeys and meeting fascinating and generous people the whole way round."
Ludo has so far raised almost £40,000 for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and Sport Relief.