Please select your home edition
Edition
Cyclops 2022 May LEADERBOARD

Global Solo Challenge: Where does solo offshore racing come from?

by Global Solo Challenge 21 Jun 12:36 PDT
Jester – Blondie Hasler – OSTAR 1960 © Roger Lean-Vercoe / PPL

When sailing single-handed for extended periods, the greatest problem was, in the past, who was going to helm and keep watch when the skipper had to sleep?

This was an intractable and potentially dangerous situation. So it is no wonder that long-distance solo sailing events are a relative newcomer to the Ocean Racing diary.

The first solo race across an ocean was held as late as 1960, The Single Handed Trans-Atlantic Race.

The concept of the race was developed by a decorated British war hero, Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert George "Blondie" Hasler DSO, OBE, and the idea for the race arose after he had invented the first wind vane auto-steering system, enabling yachts to maintain their course without the skipper having to be hands-on for 24 hours per day.

Sponsored by the Observer newspaper, the race became known as the OSTAR.

Although there have been changes in the race's sponsorship and name, the OSTAR continues to be raced every four years. Nowadays, it is officially known as the Original Trans-Atlantic race and is only for amateur sailors.

Professional were meant to start competing in the newly created the TRANSAT race which has been held since 2004. Held initially over a very similar route (to Boston rather than Rhode Island) meant the OSTAR slipped forward by a year to 2005 for the first time since 1960. OC Sports bought the rights to use the history for the OSTAR in promoting The TRANSAT, a race that never really took off.

After 2008 edition (to Boston) the 2012 edition wasn't held. In 2016, only 25 boats took the start to a course to New York and the 2020 edition, meant to go to Charleston, was cancelled. Now officially called The TRANSAT CIC after its main sponsor is due to be held in 2026 next, but little seems to tie this new event to the history of the OSTAR.

Meanwhile the Royal Western Yacht Club have introduced the 'TWO STAR' for double-handed teams.

In the original event, there was a great number of people who expressed an interest in entering the race, but in the end, only five yachts set off from Plymouth, England to Newport, Rhode Island, USA, with one of these yachts skippered by Halser, himself.

Continue reading the full article here...

Related Articles

Fatigue in solo offshore sailing?
Fatigue management, cognitive performance and emotional strains in solo offshore racing There is a fundamentally different element in solo offshore sailboat racing compared to 'just' sailing alone across the ocean; fatigue management. Posted on 29 Jun
Which boats were designed by Bruce Farr?
He designed his first yacht at the age of 13 It is incredible to think that Bruce Farr, designed his first yacht at the age of 13 and during his teenage years, he was involved in designing small class-racing yachts, which were notable for their lightweight construction and good planing abilities. Posted on 25 Jun
Global Solo Challenge: Doldrums, pot au noir, ITCZ
Today we will look at the first hurdle the participants will find on their way One thing about the Global Solo Challenge is for sure: both the skippers and the boats will be facing huge challenges during their circumnavigation. Posted on 18 Jun
Which boat would you pick to sail round the world?
Global Solo Challenge opens up the opportunity The unique format of the Global Solo Challenge opens to the opportunity of sailing around the world in an organised event on a wide range of boats, with little limitation imposed by the rules. Posted on 14 Jun
Which boats were designed by Frers?
Several Global Solo Challenge yachts designed by the Argentinian firm Amongst entries for the Global Solo Challenge (GSC), one firm of Naval architects stands out, particularly for the number of yachts entered, which were designed by Argentinian firm Germán Frers (pronounced with a soft Spanish G, so it sounds like Herman). Posted on 8 Jun
Global Solo Challenge - Do you qualify?
There must be thousands of sailors who dream of sailing around the world, non-stop and alone There must be thousands of sailors worldwide who dream of sailing around the world, non-stop and alone. Just you and your boat overcoming the elements and achieving one of the pinnacles of yachting aspiration. Posted on 6 Jun
Sailing past the Cape Verde archipelago
Global Solo Challenge will metaphorically 'leave the old world' here Almost 2000 miles into the circumnavigation, having left A Coruña and passed the Iberian Peninsula, the Canary Islands, and the coast of Mauritania, the skippers of the Global Solo Challenge will metaphorically “leave the old world”. Posted on 3 Jun
Can yachts capsize?
Global Solo Challenge looks at mountainous seas and high wind situations One of the first pieces of advice I found was, that you should not go sailing in inclement weather, particularly when there are high winds and large waves. Posted on 31 May
Which boats were designed by Sparkman & Stephens?
Global Solo Challenge skipper Daffyd Hughes will be sailing an S&S 34 One of the smallest yachts in the fleet that will set off on the circumnavigation next year. This yacht is only 34 feet in length, but it was designed by the great designer Olin Stephens of the American Company Sparkman & Stephens. Posted on 25 May
Global Solo Challenge welcomes 49th entry
The planets have aligned for Stéphane Girolata and he now wants his dream to come true Stéphane has discovered the sea and sailing almost by chance, whilst runinng a mushroom farming business he wanted to get a boating licence to reach out to new potential clients anchored in the bay of Saint-Tropez. Posted on 25 May
Cyclops 2022 May FOOTERSea Sure 2020 - FOOTERRooster 2020 - Impact BA - FOOTER