Due to a technical fault with the team’s boat, we are disappointed to say the 999 Coastal Challenge has been postponed until 2014.
Ingress of water was noticed by the crew of the boat approximately 5 hours into Day 1. They proceeded to bring her safely into port at Dartmouth where she underwent immediate modifications before being taken overland to begin day 2 from Bude in Cornwall.
Unfortunately after approximately 4 hours of running in heavy sea conditions and high winds, the modifications to the boat failed and the crew found themselves at a stop again. After making themselves safe the crew brought the boat into the port of Ilfracombe. After an assessment by both the team and the boat manufacturers it was deemed that to continue the challenge was not safe. The boat has now been re-called by the manufacturers for extensive assessment as it is currently unclear as to its cause.
The boats manufacturers and team made efforts to find a replacement craft to continue the challenge from Beaumaris but a suitable boat could not be found in time. The team are immensely disappointed but feel passionately about completing the challenge in its entirety. As almost all the 999 Coastal Challenge team work for the emergency services and are unable to extend their leave further the team now plans to re-start the challenge in 2014.
We would like to thank everyone for all the support and praise we have received. Our sponsors have been amazing and we owe it to them to return next year to complete we said we would attempt. To circumnavigate the British Coastline in 9 days, 9 hours and 9 minutes.
On the boat today we have Pete Green, Chris Carter, Luke Todd and Rodger Towers. Reunited with the boat after its emergency repairs last night todays crew set off this morning at first light from Bude. Launching into lumpy seas and a northernly wind the crew are fully prepared for a hard day out on the sea.
We have received some amazing coverage today as the X-Runner set off from RNLI Headquarters in Poole. We featured in almost all the BBC East Midlands news broadcasts with a final longer piece on East Midlands Today. If you missed it click on the picture below to watch it on iPlayer.
The team are doing this to raise money for both Watersafe UK Search & Rescue Team and the RNLI, two charities who rely heavily on volunteers to run. To provide the equipment and train these volunteers costs both charities a great deal of money and it is your support that will enable them to continue to provide their respective search and rescue services.
If you could take 2 mins out of your day to donate to the challenge to either the Just Giving text service. Text "WSUK99 £5" to 70070 or click here
to donate via the Just Giving website it would make all those hours in the boat seem a lot easier.
After approximately 5 hours of running this morning the crew of the X-Runner, Nigel Cobb, Pete Green, Ian McAlesse and John Faulconbridge, contacted the Coastguard and the land based support team informing them they were experiencing technical difficulties with the boat. After assessing the situation the crew decided they were able to limp safely to port.
The X-Runner had left RNLI headquarters in Poole harbour at 7.30am and had made good speed along the southern shores of the UK. At approximately 12.40pm as the crew were heading towards Lands End, the driver, John Faulconbridge, noticed a problem with the boat and brought her to an immediate stop. Approximately 10km off-shore the crew were able to return the X-Runner safely at slow speed into Dartmouth where the support team were on the quay to meet them and arrange immediate repairs.
The boat remains in Dartmouth this afternoon undergoing repairs before it will be taken across country to RNLI Bude, the planned finish of day 1. It is expected the X-Runner will be fully repaired and able to resume the 999 Coastal Challenge at first light tomorrow morning. Despite this set back the team are in good spirits and feel confident they can complete the remaining legs of the challenge.
Nigel Cobb said after disembarking from the X-Runner, “This situation has brought into focus the dangerous and arduous nature of this challenge to all involved. The crew onboard were well trained and all remained calm as we assessed and made good the situation before limping back to port. Myself and the team are extremely disappointed to not have finished in Bude today but the safety of the crew comes first at all times. Until the X-Runner began experiencing difficulties it had ran flawlessly since leaving Poole at 7.30 and the crew had been coping extremely well with the conditions. The X-Runner is undergoing repairs as I speak and I am confident we will see her back on the water in Bude tomorrow for the run up to RNLI Beaumaris.”
At 7.30am on the 9th September Nigel Cobb, Ian McAlesse, John Faulconbridge and Pete Green set off in the X-Runner on leg 1 of the 999 Coastal Challenge. Leg 1 from RNLI Headquarters in Poole to RNLI Bude is a minimum of 270 miles, in good sea state,so give themselves every chance of success the team brought their launch time forward to first light.
You can follow the X-Runner live via it's onboard GPS tracker.
The team have just been doing some quick interviews with the local media and setting the boat up for the first leg, which starts at 9am this morning. They will be undertaking one of the longest legs from RNLI Headquarters in Poole to RNLI Bude and will be hoping for calm sea conditions.
Onboard today will be Nigel Cobb, Pete Green, Ian McAleese and John Faulconbridge.
The X-Runner had to complete it's first rescue before it starts 999 Coastal Challenge tomorrow.
Whilst out in Poole harbour checking the boat over and making the final boat preparations, the X-Runner was called upon by Portland Coastguard to assist a windsurfer in distress.
The team promptly responded and soon located the stranded windsurfer. He was then checked over by the medics onboard and safely returned to shore.
The X-Runner then returned to Poole Lifeboat Station and is ready and looking forward to commencing the challenge in the morning.
To help the team successfully achieve their challenge Furute Safety have supplied four of thier BLUERAY Marine safety helmet to protect the crew on the challenge. Two of the BLUERAY helmets are fitted with bluetooth communication sets so the crew can communicate and receivce calls via their mobile telephones.
Each of the helmet is supplied with half smoked full length visor for added glare protection.
We would like to wish Nigel and the team at Watersafe , good luck on their challenge.