Please select your home edition
Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - LEADERBOARD

François Gouin with his Class40 Kawan3 is the 35th entry in the Global Solo Challenge

by Global Solo Challenge 15 Sep 04:06 PDT
French skipper François Gouin © Global Solo Challenge

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.

For François, sailing is an incredible school of life: rigor, anticipation, discipline and, he believes, it is the most complete of discipline spanning from physical, technical, to emotional level. He wanted to participate in a round-the-world circumnavigation by the three great capes but the opportunity had never materialised until the announcement of the GSC, which represents a dream for the lovers of the open sea with yet requiring a budget that makes the project feasible.

The moment to launch himself in this adventure has arrived for François. The organizers are delighted to welcome him as the 35th entry in the GSC, 11th among the French skippers, 3rd Class40 and 5th among the 40-foot racing boats.


Where does your passion for sailing come from?

Since childhood. I discovered sailing and dinghies with my parents and friends on vacation. When I was very young, my greatest pleasure as a city dweller was during the holidays to walk the pontoons to admire, examine and compare the sailboats. It made me dream. From adolescence we discovered with our friends the pleasure and pride of sailing alone from one point to another, day or night, sometimes with strong winds on the small family sailboat of 7m. Then very quickly I discovered how rich and fun it was to try to go faster than the sailboats around us and therefore to sail in a races. The story has never stopped since!

What lessons have you learnt from sailing?

Sailing is an incredible school of life: rigour, anticipation, discipline but also flexibility and adaptation to the external elements to which you have to submit. Despite all these apparent constraints, it is an immense space of freedom. We never finish to learn technically, or about our reactions hence the marine environment requires a lot of humility.

What brought you to like single-handed sailing?

I have always been fascinated by great solo ocean racers in France and abroad, and I waited 40 years to do my first solo transatlantic. Unsurprisingly, it was a revelation. Single-handed racing is the most complete of the activities on the physical, technical, emotional level. Everything is there and everything is concentrated, you have to manage the race, the route, the boat, yourself at all levels. Strong sensations.

What prompted you to sign up for this event?

There has always been more or less consciously a place for such a great adventure in my head. The opportunities are rare, complicated. But there the planets quickly aligned themselves with the announcement of the GSC, a course which is the dream of lovers of the open sea, which requires a budget that makes the project feasible for an amateur, a program compatible with preparation despite my professional activity. It's the time to go for it, there won't be many other opportunities for me!

How do you plan to prepare for this event?

My preparation will be centred on that of my boat. I want to sail with a boat with which I feel good, confident, that I know perfectly.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge?

I see 2 (at least!): gather the budget for a preparation as close as possible to my expectations today, to be on the starting line - navigate well to cross the finish line!

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

I chose a sailboat of a size in relation to the means that I hope to be able to mobilise to prepare it as I wish, of a size which makes manoeuvres sufficiently easy, and a sailboat which surfs on the water as soon as we go downwind: I sailed on this type of sailboat in the range 9 to 12 m for about fifteen years, which for me combine safety and the pleasure of planing. So I chose a first generation Pogo 40S, a Class40 of good construction, Kawan3.

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

The project was built from the outset with the support of Unicancer, which is the federation of French Cancer Control Centers; this project brings to the general public and to the federation of cancer hospitals, the message of the benefits of physical activity adapted for the prevention of cancer.

Sailing experience: I mainly sailed in race and cruises on the Atlantic coast, in Brittany since the age of 18. I complete 7 crossings of the Atlantic, 6 in races including 4 in single-handed races (Transquadra), numerous participations in the Fastnet, and all the Atlantic races...

About the boat:

  • Name of the boat: Kawan3
  • Boat design: Pogo 40S (Finot-Conq)
  • Sail number: TBA
  • Year built: 2008
  • LOA: 40ft
  • Group: TBA
  • Displacement: 5000kgs
  • Upwind sail area: 115m2
  • Downwind sail area: 233m2

Related Articles

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
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
Global Solo Challenge: Radar on sailboats
Making the most of it and using it safely The word radar is an acronym coined by the US Navy at the beginning of World War II with the meaning of "Radio Detection And Ranging". Its application for military purposes has spread over time, also finding diffusion in the civil field in aviation. Posted on 28 Aug
How to optimise route based on weather predictions
Optimising the route: understanding the problem to be solved. One recurring question among the novice offshore sailor is how to optimise your route when sailing. The practice is known among sailors with the French name of Routage or the English name of Weather routing. Posted on 23 Aug
Solving problems with inboard diesel engines
Some of the more common issues seen with sailboat engines To fully understand the operation of the inboard engine of a sailboat, you need to study at least the basic principles. Refer to the many resources available online, a short google search will bring up many results. Posted on 21 Aug
How to make the most of wind maps and grib files
Understanding the limitations, from the Global Solo Challenge Wind maps derived from grib files are nothing more than one of the possible representations of the development of the meteorological situation. Posted on 18 Aug
Standing rigging: step by step guide
How to deal with the tuning of standing rigging of a typical sailboat. Historically, the most traditional rig type is the masthead one. That is with the forestay and backstay attached to the masthead as fixed standing rigging that create traction in the opposite direction. Posted on 16 Aug
Cape of Good Hope: the route to the Cape of Storms
Its calming name has nothing to do with prevailing weather conditions The Cape of Good Hope was initially called Cape of Storms by the navigator Dias who first reached it, without being able to round it, arriving from Europe. Posted on 29 Jul
North Sails 2021 FOOTERSea Sure 2021 - RED - FOOTERGet My Boat 2021 FOOTER