Sailor restarts crowd-funded 'Pixel' round-the-world record bid

Alex Alley with the new components and his yacht Pixel Flyer in Brest

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Paula Reid

Image caption

Alex Alley has been trying to source replacement components for his yacht in Brest

A sailor whose crowd-funded round-the-world trip was thwarted by technical problems has restarted his challenge after carrying out vital repairs.

Alex Alley, 48, from Hampshire, aims to become the fastest mariner to make the solo trip in a Class40 boat.

After leaving Gosport on Christmas Eve, his wind instruments malfunctioned and he diverted to Brest, France.

Mr Alley eventually set off again earlier, passing the start line near Urshant shortly after 14:30 BST.

Mr Alley raised the money for his non-stop trip by selling 5cm squares on the side of the Class40 yacht Pixel Flyer and on his website.

The Class40 is a deep-sea monohull racing craft with a length of 40 ft (12.18 m).

The fault, caused by cable chafing and moisture in the vessel’s masthead units, meant the speed and direction indicators were not working as he approached the start line.

His partner, adventurer Paula Reid, travelled by ferry to France, arriving in Brest at 02:30 on Friday after sourcing one of two replacement components – a horizontal masthead wand – and winched Mr Alley to the top of the 60ft-tall mast to fit it later that day.

Minimise storm encounters

A further component – a vertical unit – was sent overnight from The Netherlands, arriving on Saturday morning.

Mr Alley thanked local sailors and technicians for their help.

He said: “We couldn’t have done it without everyone’s support.”

Mr Alley previously said he needed to restart the challenge within a week to minimise the chance of encountering storms at Cape Horn.

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

Image copyright
Paula Reid

Image caption

Mr Alley (left) received help from sailors in Brest

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