Two sailors bidding to break a dinghy endurance sailing world record will be delayed finishing their challenge by weather.

Leading Seaman Phil Slade (Royal Navy) and Mark Belamarich (Ministry of Defence) were due to arrive in Portsmouth today (Thursday), however, light winds have slowed their good progress and they are now expected tomorrow (Friday) morning after three nights at sea.

The pair are still on course to have sailed more than 300 miles from Plymouth’s Royal Navy and Royal Marines Sail Training Centre Camber on Plymouth Sound to Whale Island in Portsmouth. This distance would set a new standard for the Guinness Book of Records. The challenge is in aid of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC).

The dinghy is being escorted by a yacht with a Guinness records observer team on board. A spokesman on board said: “The dinghy has been hit by a lull in winds. This has put back their estimated arrival in Portsmouth. They are expected to arrive early tomorrow morning – possibly about 8am, though that is only an estimate. The winds are picking up a little. The sailors’ morale is high and they are doing well. We look forward to seeing them finish their challenge.’’

The sailors have reacted to the drop in wind strength by taking a more direct route further off the South Coast to try and catch stronger winds.

Details of the record attempt are; the attempt is for the ‘Longest Distance Sailed in a Double-Handed Dinghy’. The current record is 555.6 km, which is 300 nm (about 345 mi). To beat it they are sailing a route for 320 nm (368 mi) which started on Tuesday and involved a night-time crossing of the Channel to France in an unmodified basic 14-foot Bosun Class dinghy.

Pictured: the pair setting off from Sail Training Centre Camber on Plymouth Sound, Tuesday 14 June