Tom Goron, 12, has managed the incredible feat of sailing the Channel single-handedly. His crossing between the Isle of Wight and Cherbourg took fourteen hours and twenty minutes. At one stage the poor boy was so tired and aching he vomited ten times, according to his father, who followed in a support vessel.
Goron’s crossing was the fastest time ever for a children’s boat and he might enter the record books as the youngest person ever to do so. This plucky French schoolboy is both brave and incredibly determined, but what lies ahead? Should we applaud father and son or be secretly pleased we didn’t have such pushy parents?
These days, few children are allowed to play outside, get filthy and disappear for hours after school to make secret dens and invent hidden kingdoms. Parents are obsessed with keeping them “safe”, so danger only happens on their laptops and smart phones. Tom’s achievement is a throwback to another kind of childhood, one that was tougher and more challenging. Perhaps this champion sailor could tour British schools and pass his message on.