HAMPSHIRE sailor Nick Bubb is hoping to see a dramatic improvement in the weather after being “hammered” by the Antarctic elements.

Forecasters say conditions are set to improve in the Southern Ocean, where the 33-year-old yachtsman is bidding to recreate Ernest Shackleton’s epic 800- mile voyage in a 22ft boat.

Shackleton and five members of his crew rowed from Elephant Island to South Georgia after their ship the Endurance sank in 1916.

Nick and five fellow adventurers set out from Elephant Island last Thursday and have already rowed more than 280 miles in a replica craft named after the explorer’s grand-daughter, Alexandra.

But the crew have had to cope with huge swells and fierce winds as well as whales, icebergs and equipment failures.

An expedition spokesman said: “After taking a hammering over the past two days the sun is shining and the swell has dropped back, giving them a welcome reprieve – which might be short-lived.

“The wind is expected to swing around and come directly from the north, which will slow them down.”

Nick, fromLymington, is the boat’s skipper.

He and three fellow members of the crew have been drying out their clothes and sleeping bags while the other two have been grabbing some much-needed sleep.

After reaching South Georgia, the team plan to recreate Shackleton’s three-day trek across its mountainous interior, which was achieved without the aid of climbing equipment or even a map.

The polar explorer found a Norwegian whaling station and got help for more than 20 shipmates still stranded on Elephant Island.