Cornwall

Falmouth yachtsman Paddy Macklin back from world trip

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Media captionLow-tech sailor circles globe

Cornish based sailor Paddy Macklin has completed his 17-month round-the-world journey and arrived in Falmouth.

The 52-year-old yachtsman, who was feared missing in bad weather during the trip, was escorted in by friend Steve Ransley.

Mr Macklin left in December 2009 to sail around the world solo with nothing more than a child's school atlas.

At the time he said he wanted to "recapture the spirit of true amateur sailing".

Mr Ransley said his determined friend was an "inspiration to us all".

"He didn't want anybody to call help for him, he wanted to do it in the true tradition of going to sea and being prepared to drown like a gentleman."

Caught in storms

Mr Macklin was hoping to beat Sir Robin Knox Johnston's time for sailing solo and non-stop around the world in 312 days but was forced to call into New Zealand for repairs after sustaining damage in a Southern Ocean storm.

Earlier in the voyage a major search was also launched after contact was lost with Mr Macklin.

At the time his 27ft (8.2m) wooden Buchanan sloop was caught in a fierce Atlantic storm in the Bay of Biscay and he could not use his satellite phone to contact family at the agreed time.

They contacted Falmouth Coastguards who said Mr Macklin was only made aware of the major search when he heard his name on the radio.

After hearing the radio report he made contact and said he had wrapped up his phone to protect it during the bad weather.

The former painter and decorator, who paid for the expedition himself, had enough food and supplies for 600 days but did not carry an emergency position-indicating radio beacon during the journey.

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