A SCHOOLBOY was congratulated by one of Hampshire's best-known sailors as he neared the end of a record-breaking round-Britain voyage.

Timothy Long, 15, is raising money for the Dame Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, which takes young people sailing to help them recover from cancer and other serious illnesses.

Dame Ellen, 44, visited Timothy in Cowes, where he anchored ahead of his triumphant return to Hamble Point Marina.

In 2005 she broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe.

Timothy, a member of Hythe Sailing Club, said: "Ellen has been my idol ever since I read her books at the age of 12. so when she came into Shepards Marina with her dog Norman I was completely taken aback!

"We had a very enlightening yet incredibly informative conversation.

"A quote that always rings true to me is 'the world is your oyster', yet knowing how to crack open that oyster is quite a challenge.

"My conversation with Ellen helped me begin to figure out how to do it and. It's certainly an hour of my life that I will never forget."

Timothy, of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, has become the youngest person to sail solo around Britain. He took almost three months to complete the 1,600-mile voyage.

Dame Ellen: "It's an incredible achievement for anyone to sail single-handed around the UK but to do it at 15 really is something else.

"While Timothy will always have the personal satisfaction of that achievement, the legacy of what he’s done will be even more far-reaching in terms of helping to change the lives of young people in recovery from cancer.

"Young people are going to need the Trust more than ever after Covid-19.

"The pandemic has amplified the feelings of isolation, loneliness, anxiety, anger and fear experienced by young people undergoing cancer treatment and their families."