Please select your home edition
Edition
Lloyd Stevenson - T2Artefact 728x90px TOP

Global Solo Challenge: How long does it take to go from novice to round-the-world sailor?

by Global Solo Challenge 6 Aug 03:14 PDT
Chay Blyth - British Steel - 1971 - First person to complete a west-about solo circumnavigation by the three Great Capes © Global Solo Challenge

One of the pioneers in the World of Solo Circumnavigation is Sir Charles (Chay) Blyth. Up until 1968, Blyth's only seafaring experience was as a long-distance rower when he, along with John Ridgway, rowed the Atlantic Ocean.

In the Sunday Times, Golden Globe Race of that year, he entered this race with no sailing experience, whatsoever. Indeed, Author Peter Nichols wrote that "Few people leaving a dock for an afternoon sail in a dinghy, have cast off with less experience than Chay Blyth had when he set sail alone around the World." It is even reported that Blyth followed some friends in their yacht for the first part of the race so that he could copy them!

Blyth was sailing a 30 ft yacht called Dytiscus III, and incredibly despite his lack of experience and knowledge of sailing, he actually made it beyond the Cape of Good Hope. Then, in storm force 10-11, the fibreglass twin-keeled yacht, broached repeatedly, breaking the self-steering gear.

The yacht was also knocked down three times before Blyth decided to retire.

With hindsight, the boat that he was sailing, was deemed totally unsuitable for such a journey.

In 1971, still having only three years of sailing experience behind him, Blyth became the first man to circumnavigate the Globe, solo and non-stop westwards, so that was against all the prevailing winds.

In contrast, all of the entrants to the Global Solo Challenge (GSC) have considerable sailing experience, with the number of nautical miles already covered by each sailor being measured in tens, if not hundreds of thousands of nautical miles.

The organisers, have set a framework of the minimum requirements for the boats to be used, and whilst they may assist and advise the entrants, at the end of the day, it is for the individual skippers to decide if their boats and indeed they themselves are up to the challenge

To ensure that the skippers are aware of their own abilities, the suitability of their boats and its equipment, the organisers have stipulated that every sailor will have sailed the boat that they are going to be using in the challenge for at least 2,000 nautical miles, solo and non-stop before they can even get to the starting line.

Continue reading the full article here...

Related Articles

GGR, VG, GSC: 3 solo non-stop circumnavigations?
Thousands of people lined the quays, together with a flotilla of yachts The second edition of the Golden Globe Race started from Les Sables d'Olonne, France, on 4th September 2022. With 15 yachts, manned by some incredible skippers, crossing the start line. Posted on 23 Sep
Who are your heroes from world of solo sailing?
Part 2 of this series from the Global Solo Challenge When I submitted an article to the GSC as to who were my heroes from the World of Solo Circumnavigation and who would be in my own hall of fame, the first person to read this article, prior to publication, was the founder and organiser of the GSC. Posted on 16 Sep
Jean-Pierre Dick on the Global Solo Challenge
“Don't prepare half-heartedly for such a challenge!” At 56 years old, French skipper Jean-Pierre Dick has an impressive track record. He is a four times winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre, twice winner of the Barcelona World Race, and participated in 4 Vendée Globe Challenges, finishing twice on the podium Posted on 13 Sep
How to get power when sailing around the world
The first and most obvious way is to charge the batteries is via solar power Whilst the sailing world is undoubtedly grateful to companies like Raymarine for the incredible safety and information technologies that we now take as standard when we are at sea, we have to remember that every one of these devices takes power. Posted on 10 Sep
What are the advantages of the Gale Sail by ATN?
Innovations and inventions are happening, with new solutions to long-standing problems Having written a number of articles for the Global Solo Challenge (GSC), I am fast becoming aware of the number of things that there are to learn to partake in this challenge. Posted on 6 Sep
Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink
How do you get access to drinking water in a circumnavigation? 'Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink'. So says the poem, 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' by Samuel Coleridge. Posted on 31 Aug
Who are your heroes from world of Solo Sailing?
Intrepid, clever, determined people who achieved remarkable feats in quite remarkable circumstances For anyone who has an interest in solo ocean sailing, particularly circumnavigation, they will have their heroes, people who have inspired them in their sailing, and indeed their lives. Posted on 27 Aug
Global Solo Challenge welcomes 52nd entry
Ronnie Simpson from Honolulu in Hawaii is an experienced sailor At 37 years of age, he is in his prime physical condition to take on this challenge, which he hopes to be a stepping stone for his ultimate dream: participating in a Vendée Globe. Posted on 22 Aug
What damage can an orca “attack” cause?
Orca attacks on small boats and sailboats are becoming more frequent. Why? The sea can always surprise us with unexpected situations that would not even cross our minds before casting off. Posted on 20 Aug
The most dangerous sector in a low pressure system
Sailors and their boats must be prepared to be able to withstand all kinds of storms Perhaps one of the worst circumstances that a sailboat can face on the high seas is to find itself immersed in a tropical cyclone. Posted on 13 Aug
SOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS728-X-90 BottomCyclops 2022 May FOOTERRS Sailing 2021 - FOOTER