He's the award-winning Hampshire yachtsman battling treacherous conditions as he attempts to recreate an epic Antarctic voyage.

Nick Bubb is one of six adventurers who are bidding to emulate the feat achieved by polar explorer Ernest Shackleton, who sailed 800 miles in a 22ft boat after his ship Endurance sank in 1916.

Last night Nick and his fellow sailors were celebrating after reaching the mid point in their marathon journey.

No-one is following Nick’s progress more closely than friends and colleagues in his home town of Lymington, where the 33-year-old sailor works for the Brewin Dolphin investment management firm. His boss, Rob Carroll, said: “Nick’s a very talented sailor and this is a fantastic once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Nick’s got experience of sailing in the southern oceans and he’s also a great lover of the Shackleton story. The chance to take part in this remarkable ‘remake’ appealed to him both personally and professionally. He’s an extremely fit young man who will welcome the challenges he’s likely to encounter.

“There are several other sailors on the team at Brewin Dolphin and the Shackleton expedition is a daily topic of conversation. Nick will have a fantastic story to tell when he returns in March.”

Boatbuilder Paul Baker, 44, of Battramsley Farm, near Lymington, is also following Nick’s progress.

He said: “He’s always struck me as a fun guy with a great sense of adventure. I think he’s probably the right sort of person to get involved in something like this. I last saw him in the summer, when he was his normal ebullient self.”

Nick is skipper of the Alexandra Shackleton, named after the explorer’s granddaughter.

Last night an expedition spokesman confirmed that the small boat had reached the halfway point in its epic voyage retracing Shackleton’s route almost 100 years ago.

He and his crew took to lifeboats after their ship the Endurance was crushed by pack ice and sank. After reaching Elephant Island Shackleton and five of his shipmates sailed to South Georgia, getting help for the rest of their comrades.