They have battled strong winds, rough seas and undertaken hours of complex repairs when their engine gave up on them – now a team of adventurers are preparing to celebrate as they approach the finish line of a 2000-mile epic voyage…

Three crews set sail from Falmouth on board the ‘Spirit of Falmouth’, a 92-foot long tall ship and two support yachts on the Turn to Starboard Round Britain Challenge. After spending two months sailing in an anti-clockwise direction around the British Isles, a team of military veterans is set to sail into Falmouth in Cornwall on Sunday July 31.

The grueling expedition has been organised by Turn to Starboard founder and former RAF squadron leader Shaun Pascoe. It aims to help participants gain new skills while raising awareness of the challenges some veterans face after leaving the military.

He said: “The aim of the Round Britain Challenge is to help participants re-engage, reintegrate and gain new skills. Our incredible crew has overcome significant challenges along the route and has shown resilience in every situation. Many have gained valuable sailing miles as part of their training for Yachtmaster qualifications, whereas others set themselves a personal challenge as they battle with their own issues after Service life. We are looking forward to arriving back home in Falmouth and to a well earned rest!”

A team of 38 veterans – many with little or no sailing experience – has taken part in the epic voyage, which is also supported by The Endeavour Fund. Fourteen veterans are set to complete the whole voyage with the rest completing shorter sections of the route, along with beneficiaries of the Prince’s Trust and a documentary film crew.

All three vessels have stopped at ports such as the Isle of Wight, Newcastle, and the Orkney Islands along the route. In Liverpool, the crew were invited to berth outside Merseyside Maritime Museum in celebration of a brand new exhibition marking 250 years of the Pilotage Service. The crew greeted residents at the In Safe Hands: The Story of the Liverpool Pilots exhibition and played a part in telling the story of the Liverpool pilots and their vital role in navigating ships in and out of the port.

The lead sponsor of the initiative is AkzoNobel’s International coatings brand, which is supporting the project and providing essential products from their range of leading yacht coatings.

Spokesman Stuart Melville said: “This has been a fantastic challenge for such a worthy charity and we are delighted to have been supporting the team throughout the journey. Our team has been offering advice and support along the way to ensure the boat is in top condition and the team have had all they need to conquer the challenge. We are looking forward to meeting them as they complete the challenge and arrive back in Falmouth.”

People are invited to donate by ‘buying’ a mile of the expedition for £10