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At the age of eighty he sailed around the United Kingdom

Murdoch McGregor

The sea and sailing sometimes change life at any age. It was the same for Wendy Smith, whose story we told you recently, and it was the same for 82-year-old Scotsman Murdoch MacGregor.

Murdoch was named Yachtman of the Year at the British Yachting Awards, surpassing important names in Britain’s prestigious Olympic sailing team.

It’s a rather unique story, and in this case also we are experiencing a “rebirth”: at 72 years old, McGregor, who knew little or nothing about boats, decided it was time to make a change in his life and become a navigator.

“I’m a great dreamer, and when I turned 72 I thought I’d better be a sailor and the dream took me there, out to sea–McGregor said to the English press–I could have gone to the local sailing club and the people he would take out to see if the sail was mine– MacGregor continued—but instead I bought the boat without knowing if I would be able to move it, let alone face the high seas.”

To embark on this second life as a navigator, Murdoch initially chose a particular boat: he bought a Hurley 22 for about 2,000 pounds, a little less than 7 meters long, but perfectly habitable and fit even in difficult sea conditions.

Among other things, MacGregor has already faced other interesting challenges in his life, such as running a marathon at the age of 44, another significant athletic achievement.

With a Hurley 22, after trying to learn the basics of sailing, he set out on his first voyage which was initially a few dozen miles along the northern coast of Scotland, but soon became around 500.

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The following year, Murdoch realized he had to buy a slightly larger boat, so he moved on to the 23-foot Artemis. McGregor never stopped since, making annual trips to Orkney and Shetland, arriving first in London along the Thames passing under the London Bridge, and sailing from Scotland to the heart of Berlin.

Not bad for a man his age, who discovered sailing at 72 years old and 10 years later, using small boats, did more than the average yachtman would ever do in his entire life as a navigator.

In 2021, the newest project, at the age of 80, circled the UK, but his fame now cannot make it go unnoticed, and so the recognition came at the British Yachting Awards.

During his tour, there was also a very private encounter, a meeting with Katie McCabe, a 14-year-old who walked the same path as McGregor around the UK.

“She’s the youngest person to have sailed around the UK and I’m the oldest,” said Murdoch. “We did it around the same time, so now we’re almost united.”

And perhaps the business isn’t over, MacGregor plans to sail to Norway in May this year.

“I feel so privileged when I’m at sea and I’m so grateful for my health. I still don’t take a single pill and that’s why I’m grateful every morning.”

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Earl Warner

"Devoted bacon guru. Award-winning explorer. Internet junkie. Web lover."

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