Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Sailor to resume crowd-funded 'Pixel' record bid

Alex Alley (left) being helped by locals in Brest Image copyright Paula Reid
Image caption Mr Alley (left) is being helped by local people in Brest to fix his navigation instruments

A sailor whose crowd-funded round-the-world trip was halted by technical problems says he is hoping to set off again tomorrow.

Alex Alley, 48, from Hampshire, aims to become the fastest mariner to make the solo trip in a Class 40 boat.

But after leaving Gosport on Christmas Eve, his wind instruments malfunctioned so he headed to Brest, France, where he is trying to locate a replacement part.

If repairs are successful, he aims to set sail at 18:00 GMT on Saturday.

Mr Alley raised the money for his trip by selling 5cm squares on the side of the yacht Pixel Flyer and corresponding pixels on his website.

Storm avoidance tactic

On Wednesday, Mr Alley said he suspected a fault with the masthead units attached to the vessel's speed and direction indicators.

His partner, Paula Reid, travelled by ferry to France, arriving in Brest at 02:30 on Friday with one of two replacement components - a horizontal masthead wand - and was preparing to winch Mr Alley to the top of the 60ft-tall mast to fit it on Friday afternoon.

She said they were still trying to locate a further component - a vertical unit - but had so far struggled because of the Christmas holidays.

Ms Reid said Mr Alley hoped to leave on Saturday evening to catch the best tides to the start line, near Urshant, at midnight.

Mr Alley previously said he would need to restart the voyage within a week in order to lessen the chances of hitting storms at Cape Horn.

The current record, set by Chinese sailor Guo Chuan, stands at 137 days, 20 hours, 1 minute and 57 seconds.

Image caption Alex Alley sailed out of Gosport Harbour on Christmas Eve

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