Keith White is Stopping for Repairs

Keith White is Stopping for Repairs

Over the last few days Keith has been battered by winds of 40 knots. Classed as a force 8 Gale, the conditions have meant he’s had to battle with ongoing repairs to the wind vane self steering system and to one of the running check stays that adds strength to the mast. The Bay of Biscay is notorious at this time of year and for sure it’s lived up to its reputation. Keith has coped admirably with everything that has been thrown at him and has successfully been able to keep up with the running maintenance and the repairs to keep his boat going through the big seas and high winds.

Despite his disability, Keith is a very capable sailor and he’s taken everything in his stride. And regardless of the heavy weather, he’s even found time to enjoy the sailing and has been amazed just how well his boat Marathon performs in such adverse conditions. However last night he had a catastrophic failure of the furling mechanism that connects the heavy weather jib to the fore-deck. Throughout the night and without sleep he’s worked tirelessly to fix it, but unfortunately the furling gear cannot be fixed onboard. Therefore with a heavy heart Keith has regrettably decided he has no choice but to make a temporary stop and is now heading for port in northern Spain to make the necessary repairs. The rigging is brand new and he certainly wasn’t anticipating failures of this nature.

Clearly this voids the none-stop element to the voyage, but Keith’s dream is still to circumnavigate the globe. He will still take on the Southern Oceans and the Roaring Forties with only the lonely albatross for company. And he will still face the mighty Cape Horn alone before sailing home to complete one the pinnacles of sailing achievements.

As I write this on Keith’s behalf, I feel immensely proud of him, and proud of what he has achieved. Just getting to the start line has been a battle. He’s put every last penny he has into this project and I’m sure you will agree with me that Keith is already a winner. This is just a glitch and by no means a failure. I know from the number messages he’s received from all around the world, that you will support Keith all the way as he makes his repairs and continues to complete what most of us would never dare to do – sail single-handed around the world.


By | 2017-04-13T08:56:29+00:00 October 29th, 2015|World Challenge|13 Comments

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  1. Reg October 29, 2015 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    Well said Julian. He has already touched the hearts of so many people with his non stop bravery and determination.

  2. Carmel October 29, 2015 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    Good luck with the repairs Keith, we’re all rooting for you and we’ll be tracking you too when you’re back on your way! Great article Julian, and thank you taking time out to write such an excellent update.

  3. Rob October 29, 2015 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    Very well written Jules, and you are so right he has achieved so much already. Keep plugging on Keith, we are all behind you. You are one in a million.

  4. sally October 30, 2015 at 12:10 am - Reply

    Stay safe brave fella, we are in awe of your determination, cannot believe what natures throwing at you. Good luck with repairs. Many thanks to Julian for superb updates.

  5. Stuart Gough October 30, 2015 at 7:10 am - Reply

    Good luck with everything, just make sure that the rigging is bullet proof before you leave port. Better to find out now close to land, than in the southern ocean.

  6. Paul October 30, 2015 at 8:25 am - Reply

    We are sorry to see that Keith has had to make the decision to enter port but it’s the right one to make for his safety and no one would ever think he’s a failure. I personally have the greatest respect for him and continue to wish him well, a man with such determination will complete this epic journey! Chin up Keith….’To the Limit and Beyond’. Best Wishes Paul and Save the Children.

  7. Tim October 30, 2015 at 8:52 am - Reply

    Sounds like a major repair job and a wise decision. I hope he finds a good engineer to fix it. I have always hater jib furling gear, but I can’t see how to reduce sail in a heavy sea with only one useable arm without it.

    It’s a far braver decision to pause and remove the non stop element than to bash on in hope of being ok. I hope the delay isn’t sufficient to wreck the entire plan. It seems to me he will lose a week at least, which has implications for the timing of the remainder of the trip.

  8. John MacKenzie October 30, 2015 at 11:33 am - Reply

    What a shame for Keith but a wise decision.

  9. Barry Braddick October 30, 2015 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Glad to hear you are safe in port getting the boat repaired. We are all tracking your progress in the USA and look forward to reading about the next leg of your journey.
    You are a true hero and we pray for your safe return.
    Love from Barry Jen Laura and Katie.

  10. Mary Ann October 30, 2015 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Thank you Julian for your updates and info, the he service you provide is truly appreciated.
    Keith, I know the disappointment you must be feeling. Unexpected things happen, and this just shows what a professional sailor you are. Only a novice would put their intentions before a dangerous situation. We are all proud that you had at least had the courage and ambition to follow your dream. A title is not as important as an yearning to achieve something, and the challenge to do so. I am grateful that you are safe and will make the necessary repairs to continue your journey. Continue with your aspiration and we will follow you to the end. May the winds guide you safely through your voyage and bring you back home.

  11. Kevin October 30, 2015 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    The big deal is your sailing round the world the fact it’s not non stop isn’t that important
    You carry on mate and make the most of your life and most importantly enjoy your self

  12. dawn gillett October 30, 2015 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Keith my darling brother,it may not be non-stop now but you will still be the first disabled person to sail round the world. Good luck, love you loads. Your loving sister Dawn

  13. Don mapp October 30, 2015 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    All the best and congrats. makes my effort seem trivial.

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