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Saturday, August 21, 1999 Published at 15:17 GMT 16:17 UK


Windsurfer sails into record book

Last leg of the marathon was completed off the coast of Dorset

An adventurer has completed an 1,800-mile journey around Britain's coastline on a windsurfer, sailing straight into the Guinness Book of Records.

Keith Russell, 23, who left Exmouth 62 days ago, shaved eight days off the previous record set in 1984.

He completed the final leg of the marathon on Saturday, windsurfing 14 miles from Lyme Regis, off the Dorset Coast, to Exmouth.

Mr Russell, who has 10 years' windsurfing experience, raised funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute with his trip.

The Exmouth lifeboat escorted him home from Lyme Regis. He had a support boat and van in tow, and each time he came out of the water his exact location was logged via satellite.

Jumping over basking shark

"It's a brilliant challenge, it was unbelievable," said Mr Russell.

He said he made the trip, sponsored by London-based DCT windsurf insurance, "just for the hell of it, because it was there to be done."

His best sailing day was when he completed a 95-mile run off the coast of northern Scotland.

One of the hairiest moments came when he was forced to jump over a basking shark off the Cornish coast.

The Edinburgh-born graduate, who lives in Hayling Island, is now setting his sights on wave-riding around the world.

The dream, however, is estimated to cost around 500,000.

Location logged by satellite

"I might send off a few letters now and see if I can get the money together," said Mr Russell.

"Having done this, it should be easier to get sponsorship."

He had the back-up of a support boat during the trip and his location was regularly logged via satellite.

The former record-holder, Tim Batstone, from Llandudno, who set the record with a 70-day-trip in 1984, sent champagne and a message of congratulations.

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