“Vertical” round the world solo yachtsman to give fundraising talk for local RNLI lifeboats

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Adrian aboard Barrabas off the Siberian coast

Date: 11/11/2008

Author: Adrian Don, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer

Reference: Tynemouth 045 2008

Tynemouth and Cullercoats RNLI lifeboat stations are asking people to join us for an extraordinary event.

Adrian Flannigan, solo yachtsman, will re-live his adventures to raise funds to help keep our lifeboats saving lives at sea.

Adrian has a reputation for delivering a fascinating and lively talk, capturing his audience completely.

Adrian became the first person to complete a ‘Vertical Circumnavigation’ of the planet in 2008, having endured an epic 405 days of sailing and 31,000 lonely miles.

The event takes place on Friday 14 November 2008, from 6.30pm (start 7.30pm prompt) at South Tyneside College, St Georges Avenue, South Shields, NE34 6ET.
Tickets: £8 (adults; £5 (students / senior citizens); £10 (on the door)
TICKETLINE: 0191 266 1037 or 07703 323 086
Email: info@storrarmarine.co.uk or info@thepolarfront.com

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Over The Top

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This is an inspiring story and it holds the reader from the first page.

Good books inform and entertain. This is a good book. The author is a writer who embarked on an extraordinary adventure. The result is a well-written book. The adventure was the first attempt to complete a vertical or bi-polar circumnavigation by sea. The idea took root while the author was a teenager. The events of life conspired to delay the adventure for three decades. Many have a dream, see it delayed and never pluck up the courage to make it happen. Flanagan sets the scene with a brief and readable background to his life before the adventure. The task he set himself was considerable. He had to acquire the necessary skills of seamanship, find and equip a suitable boat and then sail his dream. That would have been a serious challenge for a novice sailor, but he planned a course that would tax the most experienced yachtsmen. It involved sailing from the South Coast of England, down through the Atlantic, past the Falkland Islands, round Cape Horn against prevailing wind and currents, north through the Pacific to the Bering Strait and then along the Russian northern coast, round the top of Norway and down the North Sea to the English Channel and back to Southampton Water. The preparation was compressed into less than a year and the expedition was largely funded by mortgaging his home and using all his savings. The voyage was full of extreme tests, not least in obtaining the first permission from the Russian Government for a single-handed sailor to transit the Russian Northern Sea Route.

tinyurl.com/6zxsfx

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The Voyage of the Beagle

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This book is both a fascinating account of one of the events that changed the world, and fine art. The publisher has produced a handsome volume with printed linen covers and high quality paper. The work is lavishly illustrated with art, photographs, sketches, maps, facsimile extracts of newspapers and advertisements. The production standard is very high and the quality of illustration is to be expected of this publisher and of an author who was an auctioneer with Phillips Fine Art Auctioneers, Head of Victorian Paintings and a former curator of art. James Taylor has collected together for the first time all the threads of the story of Charles Darwin and the Voyage of HMS Beagle that was to change our view of the world. The text is readable and engaging, enriched by first-hand commentary from personal letters and diaries.

tinyurl.com/6y7wmp

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OVER THE TOP

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The First Lone Yachtsman to Sail Vertically Around The World

by Adrian Flanagan

Published in hardback by Weidenfeld & Nicolson on 6th November 2008, at £16.99

In May 2008, Adrian Flanagan made history when he completed the first ever single-handed ‘vertical’ circumnavigation of the world. Over The Top tells the story of this remarkable voyage.

In 1975, when Adrian Flanagan was 15, he read Sir Francis Chichester’s account of his record-breaking circumnavigation and a dream began to form. 30 years later, on 28th October 2005, Adrian set sail from England on his quest to voyage vertically around the earth by the most difficult route imaginable, via Cape Horn and the icebound waters of the Russian Arctic.

The challenges would test the limits of his endurance. Only a handful of solo sailors had ever rounded Cape Horn against the prevailing winds. The Russian government had never allowed a single-handed yachtsman to enter their territorial waters.

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BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF BRITISH NAVAL AVIATION

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“One Hundred Years of British Naval Aviation”
Nighthawk Publishing, Available November 2008,
eBook, £9.99, ISBN 1-84280-118-X

The British Government has selected 2009 as the Official Centenary of the Fleet Air Arm. This is an arbitrary date that can be justified on the basis that the Naval Estimates for 1909 included funds for the construction of the ill-fated HM Airship No 1 “Mayfly”.

The real story of British naval aviation starts with papers written by the colourful Admiral Cochrane while still a Napoleonic War frigate captain. Later, RN observers during the American Civil War experienced balloon flight. By the close of the Nineteenth Century naval gunnery officers were regularly using Army balloons as observation platforms, spotting for naval guns landed in South Africa.

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AGX – Mission Accomplished

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The final Broadly Boats Special in the Alpha Global Expedition series is now available as a free download from: tinyurl.com/59vkxp

The book “Over The Top” by Adrian Flanagan will be launched by Orion in October 2008.

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The Tall Ships’ Races 2008 got off to a flying start

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HMS Mersey will be following the fleet. Above, earlier this year when HMS Mersey welcomed first vertical (bi-polar) cirumnavigator Adrian Flanagan back to British waters after his transit of the Russian Northern Sea Route

The Tall Ships’ Races 2008 got off to a flying start yesterday as the race got under way just off the northern coast of Northern Ireland. The Royal Navy provided three start vessels for the race team, including HMS Mersey who will now be following the fleet all the way to Maløy in Norway. On board is the race communications team who will be contacting the fleet twice a day for updates.

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Mir ahead of Morgenster and Alexander von Humboldt at the race start

The first morning report, conducted this morning at 0600 GMT (0700 local time), saw Christian Radich (Norway) leading the fleet on corrected time, with fellow Norwegian ships, Statsraad Lemhkuhl and Sorlandet in second and third respectively both in Class A and overall. On the water Mir (Russia) is leading having already passed the first waypoint, with Christian Radich and Dar Mlodziezy not far behind.

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Thanks for a wonderful welcome home

Adrian and Louise wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who have helped to make this voyage of circumnavigation possible, to those who sent messages of support as Adrian prepared to sail away, to those who wrote and emailed during the trip, to all of those who came to make the conclusion such a memorable event today. From Adrian’s preparations, through the voyage he has been deeply touched by the generousity and good will of all those he met – to all those new and much appreciated friends.

Today has been an incredible experience for Adrian and his family. It was not until 15:30 that they were able to enjoy lunch as guests of the Commodore of the Royal Southern Yacht Club and there is a busy afternoon and evening ahead.

Below is a set of photographs very kindly supplied by the British national newspaper the Daily Express, photographer Steve Reigate.

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The cup that refreshes – courtessy Royal Navy

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A great adventure but great to be home

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Family celebration

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Adrian with two very proud sons

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Maybe its worth going round again just for a welcome like this

Over the coming days an weeks there is a task ahead to sort through the images of this outstanding achievement of an ordinary man doing something extraordinary, living a dream.

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AGX Homecoming

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Anyone wishing to rendezvous with Adrian at sea made their way to the EAST BRAMBLE MARK (50 47.2 N, 1 13.7 E) between 9:30am and 10:00am today.

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Spectators were able to watch Adrian as he proceeded up the River Hamble between 10:00am and 11:00am. Viewing from either the Hamble or Warsash side of the river. Adrian is scheduled to arrive at the visitors’ pontoon of the Royal Southern Yacht Club at around 11:00am.

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Full Day Ahead

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Today will be a very full day for Adrian Flanagan as he ends a unique voyage – an outstanding achievement.

Perhaps the final course chosen was a gentle build up to today. Originally, Adrian considered leaving Norway and heading South and West around the Shetlands and the Scottish islands, along the West coast of Ireland and round the South West tip of England to reach the Solent. That would be a longer journey but probably his last in Barrabas before she is sold. After looking at all the options, including forecast weather and timings, It was decided that Adrian would take the shorter route into the North Sea and through the Channel to his finish line.

By taking this option, Adrian encountered progressively heavier traffic as he crossed ferry routes and approached the incredibly busy Channel. For most of his 31,000 mile voyage, he had been out of sight of land and rarely saw another ship. Company was the occasional whale, dolphins, flying fish, sea birds, walrus and polar bear – a solitary existence. Today he will be the centre of attention and surrounded by boats and people. It will be a very busy day.

For Expedition Manager and ex-wife Louise, the activity started yesterday with a full schedule of interviews and planning meetings in preparation for today.

Inevitably, this blog will not keep up with the day’s events and so many things are happening, but with the exact order still being finalized.

The Royal Navy have sent a fast patrol vessel out to meet Adrian and to escort him to his moorings at the Royal Southern Yacht Club. The Daily Telegraph is due to publish the first of two articles in the edition today. There is a live interview with BBC radio for the Johnny Walker Show. Other interviews with the press, radio and television and a well deserved celebration of an outstanding achievement.

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