A Hampshire sailor has today completed the first stage of an epic Antarctic voyage inspired by the exploits of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton.

Nick Bubb and five fellow adventurers landed on South Georgia after completing a gruelling 800-mile voyage in a 22ft boat.

They cheered and took part in a group hug after coming ashore at Peggotty Bluff in the early hours, just 12 days after setting out.

Expedition leader Tim Jarvis, 46, said: “I'm immensely proud of this crew.

“They all performed incredibly well under such dire circumstances and the fact that we managed to sail 800 nautical miles in such a small vessel really shows how solid they are individually and how well we worked together as a team.”

Nick, 33, of Lymington, is part of a six-man team attempting to re-enact what has been dubbed the greatest survival story of all time.

Shackleton and his crew were left stranded on pack ice after their ship the Endurance sank in the Weddell Sea in 1916.

When the ice began to melt they climbed into three lifeboats and sailed to Elephant Island. Shackleton and five other men then continued on to South Georgia and spent three days trekking across its mountainous interior.

After finding a Norwegian whaling station they arranged for all their shipmates to be rescued.

Three members of the Shackleton Epic expedition will cross South Georgia using old-fashioned equipment. Nick and the other two adventurers, using modern gear, will follow with a film crew.

They hope to arrive at the site of the old whaling station at the end of the week.