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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 21 January, 2003, 10:43 GMT
Atlantic hero back at school
Seb Clover in his first lesson back at school
Seb may sail solo around the world after his exams
Teenage sailor Seb Clover has enjoyed a hero's welcome on his first day back at school after his record-breaking solo Altantic voyage.

Seb, who turned 16 last week, sailed into the record books as the youngest person to cross the Atlantic single-handed, in a race against his father.

Crowds of pupils cheered and clapped their classmate as he arrived at the gates of Ryde School, in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, on Tuesday morning.

Seb is now considering a round-the-world trip after he finishes his GCSE exams.

I feel so much more confident

Seb Clover
Seb said: "I'm amazed by this welcome and I did not expect it at all.

"I definitely feel different coming back to school now than I did when I was last here, because I feel so much more confident.

"I came to this school a year ago and I am used to people not knowing who I am, so all this attention feels kind of strange. But I'm slowly getting used to it."

Earlier Seb had told the BBC he expected the other children would make fun of him when he got home.

Have you finished your geography homework?

John Mitchell, form tutor
Seb's form tutor John Mitchell welcomed him back with a trophy and a speech.

He said: "We all want to wish Seb a happy return.

"I think people are so proud of him but the question on all our lips and the one the nation wants to ask is....have you finished your geography homework?"

Dr Nicholas England, head teacher at the 6,000-a-year school, said: "It is absolutely astonishing to think what Seb has achieved. It showed amazing courage and a wilful determination."

Seb Clover arrives back at school
Classmates cheered when Seb arrived at school
Seb flew back to Britain from Antigua last week after the tough three-week race, in which he had spent Christmas at sea.

He and his father Ian began their 2,700-mile (4,345km) race from Tenerife on 19 December in matching Contessa 32-foot (9.8m) yachts.

Both were followed by killer whales and Seb struggled with broken rigging.

Ian crossed the finish line at English Harbour, Antigua, on 11 January, followed by Seb the next day.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's Emma Simpson
"The teenager seem unfazed by his transatlantic trip"
  The BBC's Rob Watson
"He's very much in the tradition of British explorers"
  Seb Clover, youngest transatlantic sailor
"The highlight was definitely seeing whales and dolphins"

Click here to go to Southampton
See also:

15 Jan 03 | UK
12 Jan 03 | England
11 Jan 03 | England
06 Jan 03 | England
03 Jan 03 | England
24 Dec 02 | England
19 Dec 02 | England
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