Please select your home edition
Edition
Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Excitement grows at the Global Solo Challenge with two possible new groups

by Global Solo Challenge 24 Apr 02:46 PDT
Pete Goss on Aqua Qurum (50ft) in the 1996 Vendée Globle - Pete became the first sailor to complete a a circumnavigation on a boat with a canting keel © Global Solo Challenge

As the list of enquiries received about the Global Solo Challenge 2023 tops 220 sailors (of which more than 150 already own a boat) organisers need to ensure the event remains fair, even in light of a potentially diverse fleet at the start.

17 skippers have already confirmed their entries. At the lower and slower end of the scale, we have now received 10 enquiries from 32 footers, the minimum length allowed by the Notice of Event.

At the upper end of the scale, four Open 50s of the former IMOCA 50 Class have made provisional enquiries. These boats are within the maximum allowed length by the Event of 55ft, however, their expected performance and circumnavigation time is out of the scale currently envisaged by the entry criteria.

The tortoise and the hare

The Global Solo Challenge, with its unique format of staggered starts, is set to be a sailing re-enactment of the tale of the tortoise and the hare. Slow boats depart first chased by the faster boats which set off later. Once at sea there are no classes and the first boat home wins.

The expected circumnavigation time for each boat determines the departure group. This requires complex simulations and comparisons with available reference times to keep the event fair.

A group for the small tortoises

We have had a total of four Contessa 32s owners writing in, we know their passage time will probably be over 200 days compared to the approximate 190-195 days predicted for a good boat in the current slowest group.

For this reason, we are evaluating the possibility of a further group that will allow these boats to set off a little earlier. We are still running simulations and looking at precedents. One enquiry is from a Contessa 32 which has already completed a single-handed circumnavigation in 2018.

Other boats that may benefit from this new group are small long keelers which would not keep up with more modernly designed boats.

A group for the hares of the oceans

There are only a handful of events that today accept an Open 50 as an entry. Examples are the Rhum Class of the Route du Rhum or the OSTAR. There aren't any around the world events open to these boats.

It is in keep with the spirit of the Global Solo Challenge to offer a departure for these boats, even more so if there are no other similar events they can attend.

Several simulations confirm that an up to date Open 50, with canting keel, weather routeing and modern sails allowed, should expect to complete the circumnavigation in about 115-120 days from La Coruña.

To keep the event fair these boats should set off approximately 3 weeks after an average first/second generation Class40 such as that sailed by Guo Chuan in 2013 (Akilaria RC2) when setting a reference time of 137 for a solo non stop circumnavigation on a 40ft boat. The course from La Coruña is slightly longer than that sailed by Guo Chuan and would therefore add a few days to the expected circumnavigation time for a similar boat.

Open 50s vs latest generation Class40s

A latest-generation Class40 with a large scow-type bow, in the hands of a capable skipper would probably perform in line with the estimated time of older IMOCA 50, such has been the incredible design improvement in recent years. These modern projects are typically built for the professional circuit of Class endorsed events and are unlikely to be interested in the Global Solo Challenge, which is more adventure oriented than aimed at professionals.

IMOCA 50 or Open 50 owners are encouraged to write in to express their interest in the GSC, to assist us deciding on this potential group which would certainly add to the excitement and hype around the event.

Related Articles

How to apply antiskid on deck or paint numbers
More lessons and tips from the Global Solo Challenge In many classes such as Mini 650s, Class40s and Imoca60 it is mandatory to paint your boat number on the deck, in Cat Zero events you also have to paint an area of 4sqm in high visibility colour. Posted on 17 Oct
Knock-downs, capsizes, 360s, dismastings
Everyone who has sailed has certainly wondered what would happen if the boat overturned Everyone who has gone by boat has certainly wondered what would happen if the boat overturned. Just think about how many times I have asked myself this before leaving for the Global Ocean Race. Posted on 9 Oct
Global Solo Challenge: Battery & power management
Almost every sailing or motor yacht has on board a more or less complex electrical system Almost every sailing or motor boat has on board a more or less complex electrical system and a variable number of batteries. This depends on the size of the boat, the instruments installed and the equipment on board. Posted on 29 Sep
Global Solo Challenge: Facing Cape Horn in a storm
A story of rounding the famous landmark After the second storm, the wind dropped rapidly, and within half a day it went aft and we could even hoist the big gennaker. Hugo and I celebrate, laugh, joke. Posted on 27 Sep
Global Solo Challenge: Pasquale, gentleman sailor
Pasquale De Gregorio embodies a dream, that of racing the most extreme solo race Pasquale De Gregorio is one of the closest sailors to all lovers of the sea and sailing. Pasquale is an example, he had to conquer the sea, he was not born near it, it was love at first sight, which lasted a lifetime. Posted on 25 Sep
Sail changes on an offshore racing boat
Sail crossover is a term used to refer to a boat's combination of sails for all conditions Sail crossover is a term used to refer to a boat's combination of sails for all conditions. Each sail has a range of use, beyond which a smaller sail will replace it. Posted on 18 Sep
Global Solo Challenge welcomes 35th entry
For François Gouin, sailing is an incredible school of life François Gouin from Pornic in France is the 35th entry in the Global Solo Challenge with his Pogo 40S Kawan3, a first generation Class40 (Finot-Conq) built in 2008 by Structures. Posted on 15 Sep
Jean-Luc Van Den Heede interview
An in-depth analysis of solo sailing and of the problems to be faced such as food and sleep A long interview with Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, the last seadog, the man of records and the "long route" who talks to us about the mother of all non-stop solo circumnavigations. Posted on 13 Sep
32nd entry for the Global Solo Challenge
The momentum of the event continues to grow The momentum of the Global Solo Challenge (GSC) continues to grow. Organisers are delighted to announce that the 32nd entry is also the 3rd Australian skipper, with a 50+ foot performance boat, who at this stage wishes to remain anonymous. Posted on 6 Sep
Global Solo Challenge: What is an AIS?
An essential instrument for safety on a sailing boat The acronym AIS stands for Automatic Identification System. It is used by ships, pleasure boats and traffic control stations. The system allows information on the position of nearby ships and shore stations to be exchanged electronically. Posted on 4 Sep
Sea Sure 2021 - RED - FOOTERSelden 2020 - FOOTERVaikobi 2021 FlexForce - FOOTER