14. Kokiri

Yacht Name:            Kokiri

Length:                   11.5m

Yacht Type:             Pacific 38

IRC Rating:              TBC

Hull Colour:            White

Draught:                 1.8m

Sail No:                   N/A

Port of Origin:         Southampton

Tilman Trophy:       Yes

In the Footsteps of Tilman


This year a team will be entering the race with members who have very much followed the example of Bill Tilman’s extraordinary life. They are Chris Kemp, Mike Nott, Rob Willings, Lou Willings and Mark Watson. They will be in “Kokiri”, a 38ft New Zealand-built Pacific 38. Their aim is compete in the Tilman Cup with all of the team doing at least one run.


Chris, Mike and Mark served together in the military where they developed passions for mountaineering and fell running. Lou and Rob met during an adventure race in the Arabian Empty Quarter.  In 1991, Mike and Mark made an expedition to climb Mt Kenya and summitted on Nelion Peak, just as Tilman and Shipton did years before them.


On this trip one of the party was seriously injured by rockfall and a lengthy self-rescue ensued. This involved re-crossing challenging mixed rock and snow ground lowering the casualty, a run to get help from others in a lower hut and then a long stretcher carry over glacial moraine. Tilman held strong views about outside help during adventures, and firmly believed in the ability to self-rescue in all circumstances.


Collectively, the team has made mountaineering expeditions throughout the World and Mark will be returning from his job in East Africa in order to do the race, but not by bike as Tilman once did!  Chris owns “Kokiri” which he sails whenever he can – he is under pressure to land us on the shores of northern latitudes for lots more climbing trips as soon as we can get more time off together!


Chris Kemp – Skipper/Runner

Occupation: Safety Advisor

Age: 56

Gender: Male

Nationality: British

Long distance running events have included: the Dragon's Back Race (inaugural event); various KIMMs; Welsh 1000 (the toughest for me by a long chalk!!); the Marathon des Sables; the Everest Marathon Sailing experience is mainly cruising and passage making, rather than racing. Approximately 10,000 miles logged including mate on a Challenge 70 yacht across the Atlantic

Mike Nott – Runner/Sailor

Occupation: Retired

Age: 56

Gender: Male

Nationality: British/Welsh

Convinced by a friend to enter and hope to finish uninjured.

Mark Watson - Runner/Sailor

Occupation: Consultant

Age: 56

Gender: Male

Nationality: British

Have done lots of running and some dinghy sailing.  I like mountain running and want to get competent in coastal sailing - we want to finish well!  A long term fan of Bill Tilman.

Rob Willings - Sailor/ Runner

Age: 50

Gender: Male

Nationality: British

"I once ran away from a sailing boat."  

We aim to survive. Preferably with the boat intact.

Lou Willings - Runner/Sailor

Age: 53

Gender: Female

Nationality: British

"Have ran downhills all over the globe. I have walked uphill in lots of places too.
My sailing on the other hand has mostly been away from the hilly areas ... "


I once was seasick on a kayak for 12 hours.

Chris Kemp
Mark Watson
Lou Willings
Rob Willings
Mike Nott