Next addition to round the world team

We’ve just announced the latest member of the Circumnavigation Record 2011 team, and it’s someone who goes back a long way with Alan Priddy. In 1997 Alan and consultant psychiatrist Dr Jan Falkowski crossed the North Atlantic from Portsmouth, New Hampshire to Portsmouth, England, via Greenland and Iceland, in an open 7 metre RIB. It took them three weeks, and they braved pack ice and storms in what became the first open boat crossing of the Atlantic at such a high latitude in 1,000 years!

Jan Falkowski

Jan Falkowski

I met Jan in 1999 on my very first trip out in Alan Priddy’s round the world RIB, shortly after it was built. That trip was a real baptism of fire for me. We were trying to circumnavigate the British Isles, and we’d not even cleared the south coast when we ran into a container, disabling the boat. It was Jan who pulled on the drysuit to go over the side and inspect the damage, and to attach the tow rope when the Lizard lifeboat reached us.

Whilst unable to be with us on the round the world trip in 2002, we had the benefit of Jan’s huge experience on our 2001 Transatlantic, for which our world record still stands, and the second one in 2003. In the meantime, Jan has been part of a very successful powerboat racing team with Drew Langdon (two-times world champions), and has also set a number of other offshore records, including the British Isles record set by Alan Priddy, Steve Lloyd and me in June 2000.

The wider world is more likely to recognise the name Jan Falkowski as the victim of Britain’s worst ever case of stalking, dramatised in the recently screened 2009 TV drama “U Be Dead”. But from our point of view, Jan is an old friend, hugely experienced and totally dependable. And let’s face it, with two world champion powerboat racers on board – Jan Falkowski and Shelley Jory-Leigh – together with Alan Priddy, arguably the most experienced ocean adventurer alive, we really are starting off with the best hope of smashing the powerboat Circumnavigation Record.

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