Gerry Hughes: First deaf yachtsman to sail around the world solo
Huge congratulations from PredictWind to Gerry on becoming the first deaf yachtsman to sail around the world solo! We are proud to have been involved in this inspiring achievement.
Hundreds of supporters turned out to welcome the 55 year-old school teacher home from his journey of more than eight months.
Gerry joins the ranks of 201 members of a special group of people who have sailed solo around the world, south of the three great Capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn. This makes Gerry the 26th Briton to complete this voyage and the first deaf person to achieve the epic feat.
Gerry was presented with the first ever RYA Sailability Personal Endeavour Award on ITV’s Surprise Surprise in recognition of his historic voyage as the first deaf yachtsman to sail single-handedly around the world via the Five Great Capes.
Since he was 14, Gerry has wanted to sail world, ‘Sailing has always been my first love and it provided a real escape from my deafness when I was a youngster.’
PredictWind played an important role, helping plan for weather and plot routes along the way. And though the journey wasn’t without its trials, Gerry was able to keep in touch using the PredictWind Satellite Communicator, a piece of hardware that tracks your position and downloads forecast updates via satellite.
“After I arrived back home a few weeks ago from sailing around the world I can look back and say to myself how pleased I was with the PredictWind Satellite Communicator. I used it every day from when I set sail on September 1st 2012.
Every morning at 6.00am I opened my laptop to check the weather so that I could decide on the route I could take. It offered four different routes enabling me to make a decision about the course I would choose to match the angle of the wind. It was the same every evening at 18.00hrs.
Using the communicator also offered me the opportunity to keep in touch with my family via email. I am so delighted with myself with my decision to purchase the PredictWind Satellite Communicator. It has become my bible and I will continue to use it for sailing at home in the West of Scotland.”
‘The last eight months have been amongst the toughest of my life but despite all the challenges of the expedition, it has been a period I have thoroughly enjoyed’ he said of his trip.
Supporters were kept up to date throughout the journey through Facebook updates, blog posts and were able track his position on the website using the PredictWind tracker.
Gerry said of his achievement, “now, I hope that following and completing my dream can encourage young people who face similar difficulties to see that their hopes and aspirations can still be fulfilled through belief and hard work.”
The PredictWind Satellite Communicator used by Gerry and many other sailors provides worldwide coverage and access to emails and forecasts while at sea as well as allowing others on shore to plot progress.