Ross Edgley Swims Around Britain

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By Hanneke Boon
Ross Edgley swimming

Ross Edgley has swum all the way round Britain!

On November 4, 2018, Ross Edgley became the first person to swim around mainland Great Britain. He did so in the record time of 157 days. During this voyage he was escorted by the Wharram Pahi 52 'Hecate' as the indispensible support ship.

Pahi 52 Hecate with skipper Matt Knight standing on bow

Ross started his swim in Margate on the 1st June. For the next 5 months he swam two sessions of 6 hours every day, day and night, making use of favourable tidal currents. In the two six hour breaks between swims he had to eat 10 - 15,000 calories and sleep. He never left the support ship, never stepped foot on land. Ross had to overcome swarms of jellyfish, shivering temperatures, busy shipping lanes and even parts of his tongue falling on his pillow (salt water will do that).

Ross on-board Hecate

Wharram Pahi 52 'Hecate' was the perfect support ship during this incredible achievement. Congratulations to Ross and his support team on 'Hecate', Matt Knight the skipper, Susanna his wife, cook and provisioner and other members of his family and friends who were crew. The support boat and crew were as essential to Ross' success as his incredible swimming prowess.

Ross and the crew aboard Hecate

Matt Knight wrote the following to James Wharram Designs about Hecate as support ship:

"Hecate was the perfect mother ship for Ross and crew: the entire journey wouldn't have been possible in any other boat I don't think... I spent a lot of time thinking about alternative options, because none of it was easy, but every time I would come up against the multiple problems that all your clever little design details solve, that alternative options would not address.

"Key major features such as the lifting aft net/deck were simply indispensable. Recovering a man overboard in rough seas numerous times per day would not have been possible otherwise (especially when he was often near exhaustion - we sometimes literally scooped him up!). But as well as that obvious example and the numerous other less obvious, smaller details, the underlying vessel characteristics were key to success: stability and good sea keeping characteristics in rough seas, and the cushioning effect of the deep Vee canoe hulls and flexible construction. This was especially important at slow swimming speeds in rough seas, which would have made it impossible in virtually any other sort of boat & were what made it manageable for the crew and swimmer to survive the 5 months of such intense pressure."

All the details of Ross' swim can be found here:

Ross Edgley's victory stance on the beach
Map of Ross Edgley's route around Britain