Seb Clover

Sebastian Clover, more commonly known as Seb Clover (born 15 January 1987),[3] is a former English record-breaking sailor and paramedic.[4]

Sebastian Clover
Born (1987-01-15) 15 January 1987 (age 33)
Other namesSeb Clover
EducationRyde School with Upper Chine, Isle of Wight [1]
Plymouth University [2]
Known forSailing solo across the Atlantic at 15
Parent(s)Dolores and Ian Clover

Clover is a former young adventurer from Cowes on the Isle of Wight in England, who, at the age of 15 years and 362 days,[3] was the youngest person in the world to successfully sail across the Atlantic Ocean single-handedly (in late 2002 – early 2003).[5] Another young Briton, Michael Perham, surpassed his record in 2007.[6]

Clover also allegedly crossed the English Channel single-handedly at the age of 11, which led his mother to dare him to cross the Atlantic Ocean next.


Clover was educated at Ryde School with Upper Chine, a co-educational independent school in the seaside town of Ryde, on the Isle of Wight,[1][7] followed by the University of Plymouth (subsequently renamed Plymouth University for marketing purposes), in 2005.[2]

The recordEdit

From 19 December 2002 to 12:50 GMT[8] on 12 January 2003,[3] Seb raced his father across the Atlantic Ocean for 2,700 nautical miles (5,000 km)[9] between Santa Cruz de Tenerife on the Canary Islands and Nelson's Dockyard on Antigua. Both father and son sailed identical 32 feet (9.8 m) Contessa 32 yachts. Seb made the crossing in a yacht called Reflection, his father in one called Xixia.[8]

The voyage did not pass without problems. Both racers had close encounters with killer whales and rigging problems meant Seb was unable to catch up with his father. He had to repair a shroud fixture that broke in heavy weather.[10] His priority became to keep the mast standing and finish without pushing the boat too much.[11]

Seb eventually lost the race and arrived in Antigua a day behind his father[10][12] when he was 15 years and 362 days old.[3] He lost his title in January 2007, when Michael Perham made the crossing at the age of 14.[13]


In the aftermath of his achievement, Clover received several awards. He was named Best Prodigy of the Year by the Duchess of York in the second edition of Britain's Brilliant Prodigies Awards.[14] He also received the Young Sportsman Award in the BBC South Sports Awards 2003[15] and the Raymarine Young Sailor of the Year Award 2003 which was announced at the Schroders London Boat Show.[10]


  1. ^ a b "Atlantic hero back at school". BBC News. 21 January 2003. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Ryde School – Old Rydeians in Further Education (Page 17 - 2005 Leavers)" (PDF). Ryde School with Upper Chine. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 April 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d Guinness Book of World Records 2004. Guinness. 27 August 2003. ISBN 978-1-892051-20-2.
  4. ^ "Family of Lorna Lambden in 24-hour Isle of Wight walk aim". BBC News. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  5. ^ "Solo teenager sets Atlantic record". BBC News. 12 January 2003. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Boy sails into the record books". BBC News. 3 January 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  7. ^ BBC News at 6 and all ITN news programmes on the first day of Clover's return to school, after his successful single-handed voyage. Both broadcasters featured interviews with Clover and his classmates inside the school, and named the school in their reports.
  8. ^ a b "You've done us proud". This is Hampshire. 17 January 2003. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2007.
  9. ^ Clover, Seb (9 April 2002). "Sailing into the record books". Newsround. Retrieved 17 January 2007.
  10. ^ a b c "Top Sailors Accept Awards at Show". British Marine News. British Marine Federation. February 2004. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2007.
  11. ^ "Killer whales visit teen sailor". BBC News. 6 January 2003. Retrieved 17 January 2007.
  12. ^ "Father beats son in Atlantic race". BBC News. 11 January 2003. Retrieved 17 January 2007.
  13. ^ "Boy sails into the record books". BBC News. 3 January 2007. Retrieved 5 March 2007.
  14. ^ "Sailor boy Seb named Prodigy of the Year". Newsround. 26 April 2003. Retrieved 17 January 2007.
  15. ^ "BBC South's Sports Awards 2003". BBC News. 8 December 2003. Archived from the original on 15 March 2005. Retrieved 17 January 2007.