On the 30th June 2011, 56-year-old Polish sailor Tomasz Chichocki departed on a solo sail around the world on his Delphia 40.3 yacht Polish Copper (Polska Miedz). It had taken eight years preparation, the journey took nearly a year, he was reported missing during his voyage up the South American coastline after rounding Cape Horn, but now he is back, triumphant.
Tom - glad to be home with his family
Delphia Yachts in Poland were pretty happy with his performance, and that of the boat, and one of their representatives spoke with Tom after his arrival.
Tom said he has lost 30 kg during his journey. He's glad to be home with his wife and family after 312 days at sea. He reported that the boat had been rolled and he had lost some of his food, so he had been rationing it for some months, which was why he had lost so many kilograms of weight.
He has been checked out medically and is in good health, and except for some electrical faults, the boat itself is in good order, a testament to its robust construction and the quality of equipment like mast and rigging.
The engine alternater is being replaced at Brest, and from there the boat will navigate the enormous floating traffic in the English Chanel, and be taken back to the factory in Poland for a post mortem on its condition.
After all those miles, and so many gales, 50 plus knot winds, it may be prudent to replace all the standing rigging and sails and have a thorough inspection of chain plates and rigging attatchments-----particularly after a rollover.
On the day that Tom in his Delphia 40-3 made landfall in Brest, France, a journalist asked Tom what his next challenge would be, and he said he wanted to do it again, in the same boat, but non stop this time.
You can understand his disappointment in having to turn back from about 1000nm east of South Africa, to Port Elizabeth, S.A., after hitting a suspected semi submerged container and damaging the steering.
This has been a huge challenge, quite an adventure. Congratulations to Tom, and to Delphia.
About the journey:
It was in 2003 that Tomasz Cichocki came up with an ambitious plan to sail solo and non-stop around the world. He was already an experienced sailor, having crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice in one season, and several times the Baltic and Mediterranean seas.
He intended to sail eastwards around the world without stopping. He departed from Brest in France, then down the Atlantic to take the traditional Southern Ocean route below the three Capes.
Sadly, the 'non stop' part of the challenge was negated when the boat struck an object in the water, possibly a semi submerged container, approximately 1000nm south east of South Africa, the impact flinging Tom across the cockpit and knocking him out, cracking a rib and also giving him a very stiff and sore shoulder.
When he came to he found the steering was jammed, but after attempting to repair it he had only 20% steering, so it was decided to turn back to Port Elizabeth, in South Africa, where Tom had medical treatment and the boat was hauled out and the steering repaired.
Then after rounding Cape Horn and sailing northwards along the Brazilian coastline, his communication suddenly stopped, sending alarm waves through friends, family, sponsors and supporters.
It says much for his grit and seamanship that he is contemplating doing it all again so soon after his arrival home.
For more information, go to his http://www.en.kapitancichocki.pl/!website