HE IS the 15-year-old schoolboy who is aiming to become the youngest person to sail solo around Britain.

Timothy Long is due to set off from Hamble Point Marina today at the start of a 1,600-mile voyage which is expected to take about two months.

Timothy, a member of Hythe Sailing Club, will spend the rest of the summer circumnavigating the country in a 28ft yacht.

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He aims to beat the record set in 2011, when 17-year-old Tom Webb successfully completed a similar voyage.

He had his first taste of sailing at the age of nine, when he had to contend with thunder, lightning and a supposedly stable dinghy which tipped him into the freezing waters of a reservoir.

But he became hooked on the sport after spending a season aboard the family's 35ft yacht.

In 2017 he acquired his own boat and went on to become the youngest skipper in the Round the Island Race.

Now he is about to embark on his biggest challenge yet - Round Britain 2020.

During his long and arduous voyage he will have to navigate the busiest shipping lane in the world - the Dover Straits - as well as contending with huge tidal ranges in the Severn Estuary.

"I haven't really had much time to think about it because I've been so busy getting the boat ready," he said.

"Of course I'm nervous but equally I'm looking forward to getting out on the water and getting on with it."

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Timothy aims to complete between 45 and 100 miles a day, with overnight stops in ports and marinas.

"Everything depends on the weather but I hope to be back for the start of my GCSE year in September," he said.

Timothy, who already has plenty of experience of solo sailing, knows one of his biggest challenges will be the tiredness that comes with having to do everything aboard the boat himself.

He said: "I have found that fatigue takes a huge toll. When you are fatigued you do not perform well and can make the wrong decisions.

"Alone you have to rely on your own judgement. Therefore it is crucial to make the right decisions."

Timothy aims to raise at least £2,500 for the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, which helps young people rebuild their lives after recovering from the disease.