THE end of the first stage is in sight for a Hampshire sailor attempting to recreate a famous Antarctic voyage of discovery.

The crew of the Alexandra Shackleton, skippered by Nick Bubb, from Lymington, has only 86 miles to row to reach South Georgia.

Nick and his shipmates are trying to recreate the route taken by Sir Ernest Shackleton nearly a century ago – an 800-mile journey, following the route to South Georgia taken by the polar explorer after his ship, the Endurance, was crushed by pack ice and sank in 1916.

Along with some of his shipmates, Shackleton made the long row from Elephant Island, off Antarctica, to South Georgia, to ensure the rest of the crew left behind on the ice were rescued.

Once they reach South Georgia, the team of rowers will attempt to recreate the explorer’s three-day trek across its mountainous interior - he reached a whaling station and managed to get help.

Their 22ft vessel left King George Island nine days ago and the crew has faced icebergs, electrical difficulties affecting their long-range radio and radar tracking device as well as seasickness.

The crew has covered 97 nautical miles during the past 24 hours at an average speed of between four and five knots but as weather conditions during the second half of the voyage have proved favourable, the boat is now on course to sail into King Haakon Bay in a day or so.

Nick, 33, has said that the crew will drop the sails and approach the island with caution rather than risk sailing the boat close to the rocky shore in the darkness.