AN OXFORD schoolboy is set to smash a record and become the youngest person to solo sail around Britain.

St Edward’s School pupil Timothy Long, 15, is due to arrive back at Hamble Point marina, near Southampton, today.

He set off on July 16, heading anti-clockwise around the coast.

The feat is all the more remarkable as Timothy had previously only sailed 80 miles in one journey, before taking on this 1,600-mile challenge.

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Timothy, from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, is aiming to break the record set in 2011 by Tom Web, who was 17 at the time.

“I started sailing when I was about nine-years-old and quickly transitioned into bigger boats and sailing at sea,” said Timothy.

“A lot of work has gone into this, the idea first came to me three years ago and since then I’ve spent that time leading up to this.

“There was a whole load of preparation, in terms of getting the boat ready.

“There’s lots of extra challenges, with 80 miles my previous longest stretch, so it’s been a very steep learning curve.

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“I’ve had to learn a routine, how to be by myself, I’m my own nutritionist, my own medic, and when it goes wrong, you have to keep your head straight and make the right decision.

“I’ve had a few days with quite rough weather and there’s been some very windy parts to the journey.”

Timothy said one of the toughest challenges was navigating the Bristol Channel, where he had to deal with 17 hours of fog.

“I could hardly see my hand in front of my face,” he said.

“When you’re in fog, it’s so disorientating and makes navigating much more difficult.”

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The trip has also seen Timothy raise over £6,000 for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.

“The record has been a big driver for this but not the main reason, I wanted an adventure more than anything,” he said.

“I’ve been fundraising for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, which does great work in taking people on sailing trips and rebuilding their confidence.

“You can’t imagine what these people go through and the trust shows there is a big beaming light at the end of the tunnel.”

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His mum, Sue Elder, said she was very proud of her son.

“It’s a massive thing that he’s doing, and with the fundraising side of it too,” she said.

“It requires a lot to go and do this, there’s so many hazards and navigational challenges.

“He’s had to leave some ports at half 11 at night and go out into the dark.

“My husband did a lot of sailing in his youth and Timothy got experience from that, and caught the sailing bug.”

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