Former Lancashire scholar Adrian Flanagan, was recently pipped at the post by Formula One prodigy Lewis Hamilton... to finish runner-up in The Times InGear Man of the Year award.
Adrian, who is attempting the first ever single-handed north to south solo circumnavigation of the globe, is currently wintering his vessel in Norway and he will complete his voyage in the spring.
He was a boarder at Stonyhurst College during the 1970s, where he excelled in a wide range of sports and took a particular interest in voluntary work with handicapped children.
In the autumn he will be returning to Stonyhurst to talk to pupils and parents about his adventures.
He was educated at Stonyhurst College and at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, and went on to qualify in osteopathic medicine in 1988 before turning his hand to business and writing.
He co-founded Flanagan's Supermarket Direct which pioneered grocery home delivery in the UK. His first novel, Cobra, was published in 2001.
Adrian now lives near Oxford. The book of his remarkable voyage, Over The Top, will be published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in November 2008.
Adrian said: "To be considered for The Times InGear award is a great honour made more so by the calibre of the contenders.
"My congratulations to Lewis - an inspirational guy and a worthy winner."
He added: "I would not have been as well prepared for my single-handed expedition without my education at Stonyhurst, which taught me to live and learn independently and encouraged individualism and free thought.
"I was allowed to pursue my interests outside the classroom and to believe in my convictions."
Adrian, 47, set sail aboard his 38ft stainless steel sloop Barrabas to attempt the first ever single-handed, vertical circumnavigation westwards via Cape Horn and the Russian Arctic, knowing that the challenges ahead would test the limits of his endurance. He is only the 14th solo yachtsman to successfully double Cape Horn westwards against wind and current, recorded the first non-stop UK to Hawaii (18,000 nm) and is the only yachtsman to have ever sailed Russia's Arctic Coast along the Northern Sea Route single-handed.
Among his many adventures, Adrian has been washed overboard, dislocated both wrists, suffered two knock-downs at Cape Horn and been tracked by pirates off Brazil.
Adrian will be appearing at the Collins Stewart London Boat Show at ExCel in the London Docklands on Sunday, January 20, where he will be showing a film and giving a presentation on his Alpha Global Expedition. He will be accompanied by his ex-wife Louise and their two children.