Quadriplegic sailor Hilary Lister counts down to solo sailing attempt around the British Isles 28/5/08

Hilary Lister, quadriplegic sailor, is now in her final two weeks’ of preparation for her courageous attempt to sail solo round the British Isles. She will set sail from Dover at 06:30 on 9 June and journey clockwise around the coast.

Able only to move her head, eyes and mouth, Hilary sails using a sip and puff device which allows her to control the sails and tiller with just her breath. She will sail in her state of the art sailing boat, the Artemis 20 – a 20ft (6m) sailing boat – in a series of day sails. She will be accompanied on the water by a support RIB at all times, and a motor entourage of two motorhomes and a Land Rover (with winch and hoist) will provide land support. Her team will comprise 4 ‘wet crew’ led by Project Manager, Toby May and 3 ‘shore’ crew. Project Director, Tony Leppard will continue to provide ‘remote’ assistance and support for the project.

Each day the team will record Hilary’s finishing latitude and longitude from her GPS, so they can tow Hilary back to exactly the same point the next sailing day. Hilary is anticipating the sail will take 3-4 months. It will involve venturing both into the Irish Sea and the North Sea, as well as the English Channel. Hilary’s route will take her through the Caledonian Canal.

Hilary’s progress may be tracked from her website www.hilarylister.com and updates on her route and itinerary will be posted on a regular basis.