After a long night battling upwind since leaving Falmouth yesterday evening the Phil Sharp Racing crew started off Land’s End this morning at 0855hrs UTC in near perfect conditions, destination John O’Groats.

Aspiring Vendée Globe competitor Sharp and two man crew are looking to set the first reference time for sailing the 620 nautical miles passage from Land End to John O’Groats on their Class 40 yacht.

“In the end the conditions at the start are close to perfect. We have 20kts from the SSW and are immediately accelerating under gennaker but plan to change to the spinnaker shortly. It feels so good to be under way with the clock ticking. In fact conditions do look like they will be lighter than expected and it may take us a bit longer than expected but we shall have to see.”

“All is good on board.”

Sean ‘The Beard’ Conway – the non sailing adventurer who has already run, cycled and swum from Land’s End to Joh O’Groats has coped admirably with the tough, bouncy upwind conditions and so far has held all his food down and not succumbed to sea sickness. Boat owner Alex Alley concentrated on getting well rested last night on the delivery to the start line and is – according to Sharp – ‘bouncing with energy and great on the boat. In fact neither of us have sailed the boat downwind at all yet and so it is learning for all of us but the conditions are great, we make see the wind build to 25kts but it should be good and fast for the next few hours.”

The trio expect to be at John O’Groats on Monday.

Phil Sharp, who sadly lost his mother to a brain tumour as a child is raising funds for Brain Tumour Research. Donations can be made at to fund research.