Katie finds school is plain sailing after solo UK adventure

Falanda comes home, with Katie Mccabe guiding her into port

Falanda comes home, with Katie Mccabe guiding her into port - Credit: Katie Mccabe

Record-breaking Topsham teenage sailor Katie McCabe has come down to earth with a bump after becoming the youngest person to sail solo around Britain.

After a sensational summer which saw her travel from port-to-port, often in challenging conditions, her days now involve going from classroom to classroom.

“It’s quite strange being back at school after what was an incredible adventure but there has been a lot of interest in what I did,” she said.

“I was asked to do a talk to the other students but I said no as I felt a bit embarrassed.”

Katie has found herself in high demand since returning home on August 22.

She has received international media attention, gave a speech at the Southampton Boat Show, has won two sailing awards and been nominated for a third.

The 14-year-old also managed to fit in a ‘quick’ 30-hour round trip to the French coast and back at the end of her holidays in August.

Most Read

She said: “I went with my mum across the Channel but we couldn’t land due to the Covid restrictions. We reached the French border at 2am and celebrated with a cup of tea, and a major soaking from a rather large wave.

“We had no problems crossing the shipping lanes (twice), although it was quite busy on occasions. In total the trip was 29 hours, and with my new crew-of-one, I even got to sleep for an hour or so!”

Katie was shortlisted for and won the Yachting Journalists’ Association Young Sailor Of The year and Young Journalist Of The Year awards and has also been nominated for the Seahorse magazine Sailor Of The Month. You can vote for her up to the end of October here https://seahorsemagazine.com.

The teenager beat the original record for the youngest sailor to circumnavigate Britain which was set by 15-year-old Timothy Long from Buckinghamshire.

She was at the helm of her 26-foot wooden boat, Falanda, for between eight and 15 hours a day but one gruelling stint took her more than 32 hours.

Following close behind her on the 1,600 nautical mile anticlockwise voyage was her boat builder father David who needed to be within a five-mile range of his daughter for insurance reasons.