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McConaghy Boats 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Pierre-Henry Mahul is the 19th entry in the Global Solo Challenge

by Global Solo Challenge 30 Apr 08:00 PDT
Pierre-Henry Mahul from Bandol in France © Global Solo Challenge

French Skipper Pierre-Henry Manul from Bandol in France sails a Germ Frers-designed Halberg Rassy 53 named Michaella.

He has just returned from a single-handed passage to Cape Horn and the Tierra del Fuego and back. He had originally planned to sail around the world non-stop by the three great capes but was forced to changed plance due a late departure which would have caused him to be at the wrong time in the southern ocean. He's now determined to go the full way around at the Global Solo Challenge.

Where does your passion for sailing come from?

I have always been attracted by the sea. I received my first rowing dinghy at 5, my first sailing dinghy at 10 and at 14 I convinced my parents (who were not sailors) to buy a 27' cruiser that I would skipper and my father would crew. Everyone was happy so we moved to a 34' yacht. First we sailed regattas but I was attracted by the open sea.

What lessons have you learnt from sailing?

That the sea will always win, so to plan for my passage with humility, using more sense than brashness. That boats are expensive so you have to work hard to get one and you'd better care for it.

What brought you to like single-handed sailing?

In 1983 I had brought my Contest 29' in Cowes in order to participate to the Cowes-Deauville race the next weekend. But my step-father died this same week, and when I could get back to Cowes I had no crew available; that was my first singlehanded passage, as I still had an Atoms vane to steer! First solo Atlantic crossing in 1995.

What prompted you to sign up for this event?

I am just back from a 124 days solo return trip to Cape Horn. Originally planned to be a three capes non stop RTW but plans were changed due to a delayed departure in December. Superb trip!

How do you plan to prepare for this event?

I am ready with this boat but if I change I'll have to learn and prepare the new one.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge?

The weather, mainly the sea state. My personal challenge will be to abandon the 5.80 Class Mini Globe Race 2024 and to convince my family.

Tell us about your boat or the boat you would like to have

Michaella, a HR 53, is a good boat ready to do it again. She is my 25th boat, I have been much of a multihull man. I'd like now to get a pilot house arrangement and a faster boat capable of planing when running.

Do you intend to link this personal challenge with a social message?

Yes when I'll find the proper message to carry it will be centred on bringing people to the sea.

About the boat

  • Boat Name: Michaella
  • Boat design: Hallberg Rassy 53 - German Frers
  • Year built: 1997
  • LOA: 53
  • Displacement: 23,000 kgs
  • Upwind sail area: 140 sqm
  • Downwind sail area: 240 sqm

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