Just three weeks from departure on her attempt to break the record for circumnavigating the world, Spirit of Cardiff has seen an eleventh hour change in the crew

Just three weeks from departure on her attempt to break the record for circumnavigating the world, Spirit of Cardiff has seen an eleventh hour change in the crew. The new man is Penarth-based outside broadcast TV cameraman Alan Carter.

Retiring crew member Dr Jan Falkowski is consultant psychiatrist at a major London hospital, and made the difficult decision to drop out at the last minute in the light of unexpected extra work commitments. “Jan is absolutely gutted,” commented Spirit of Cardiff skipper Alan Priddy, “but he’s put his patients first, and naturally I wouldn’t have expected anything less.”

“It was obviously a shock when I heard the news from Jan, but we have put in a huge amount of work over the last two years and overcome a lot of other problems – we weren’t going to let this get in our way!”

Alan Carter is no stranger to the Spirit of Cardiff project, having already been involved behind the scenes over the last two and a half years. “I’d always dreamed about going along on the trip,” said Carter, “but I never thought it would actually happen. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.” Carter’s skills as a TV cameraman will be put to good use in documenting the Spirit’s historic voyage. And his addition to the crew results in one little oddity – all four crew members were born in 1953, the year of the Coronation and first ascent of Everest.

And it’s hoped that with a local man actually on board, Cardiff and South Wales will get behind the project with renewed enthusiasm. “Our ‘Buy a Mile’ scheme has made a good start,” said Alan Priddy, referring to the sponsorship offer of buying miles at five pounds each. “Now let’s really get it going and show how the people of South Wales can support one of their own.”