Please select your home edition
Vaikobi 2023 Gloves - LEADERBOARD

Pierre-Henry Mahul: "Mindset is the most important thing"

by Mathieu Houllière 25 Mar 06:54 PDT
Pierre-Henry Mahul © Pierre-Henry Mahul

Frenchman Pierre-Henry Mahul is one of the participants in the Global Solo Challenge, which will start next September in A Coruña, Spain.

An experienced sailor, he has already sailed the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn single-handedly and has more than 100,000 miles under his belt. On board Whisper Michaella, he is setting out again to tackle what he affectionately calls "the grand opera".

"I can't wait to get there. I'm really excited ". From the first exchanges, the tone is set. Pierre-Henry knows where he is going, when, and how. In this case, to A Coruña next September aboard his sailboat Whisper Michaella to participate in the first edition of the Global Solo Challenge (GSC). This car enthusiast, a collector of old models, likes things to go fast and doesn't beat around the bush: " I've been dreaming of this round the world race for a long time. If it hadn't been for the GSC, I would have gone anyway. " He had few doubts about it.

This is not the first time that Pierre-Henry will attempt to sail around the world by the three great capes. In October 2020, aboard Michaella de Bandol (all his boats are named Michaella), he tried to sail around the world solo. Unfortunately, a problem with the windvane forced him to stop in Cadiz for a month, postponing the passage of Cape Horn to April on his estimated route plan. Pierre-Henry then decided to go directly to Patagonia to round the legendary Cape.

Six months after his departure, barely back on dry land, his friends told him about the Global Solo Challenge. " I had barely set foot on land when they asked me, "Have you seen this race around the world, the Global Solo Challenge?'" I answered that I had not heard about it during those long months at sea, but I was immediately interested. " He signed up soon after. Pierre-Henry dreams of going back there and sailing at high latitudes. " I came back less tired than when I left. The soul and the body were rested. The South Seas are the grand opera. And I love opera! "

However, nothing appeared to have prepared Pierre-Henry for his decision to sail around the globe and take part in the inaugural Global Solo Challenge. Born on December 21, 1958, in Mazamet, France, he grew up in the Tarn, a charming department in the southwest of the country but far from the sea and the horizon. " I was lucky enough to be able to live between 3 and 4 months every year on the Costa Brava in Spain when I was a child. That's where I started sailing. "

When he was only 5 years old, his parents bought him a Sportyak with wooden oars. Pierre-Henry navigated — he likes the word "navigate" — as often as he could along the coast of Playa de Aro. Pierre-Henry is what we call self-taught; the sea was his only teacher. " I learned how to sail by hitting the boom and lowering the sails when it got windy. Fortunately, I have always been a good rower ". At the age of 14, he convinced his parents to buy a sailboat, a 27-footer, to go on a family cruise. The young skipper did rather well. So much so that the family decided to buy a larger model, a Puma 34, with Pierre-Henry still at the helm. In 1976, at the age of 17, he made his first major crossing as a captain on the route to Sicily. This was the trigger. Since then, he has had the desire to go further and further over the horizon.

Continue reading the full article here...

Related Articles

"It's a page I had to fill"
Global Solo Challenge sailor has experience in the Southern Seas French sailor Philippe Delamare will be at the starting line of the first edition of the Global Solo Challenge, which begins in September in A Coruña, Spain. Posted on 23 May
Global Solo Challenge update
Curt Morlock will be one of the last to set off American Curt Morlock will be on the starting line of the first edition of the Global Solo Challenge, with the first start scheduled for next August in A Coruña, Spain, followed by a sequence of staggered starts according to boat performance. Posted on 18 May
Roaring Forties and Furious Fifties?
Terms used to describe the intense westerly winds that blow across the southern hemisphere The Roaring Forties and Furious Fifties are terms used to describe the intense westerly winds that blow across the southern hemisphere, between the latitudes of 40 and 50 degrees. Posted on 6 May
How to modify a boat for a solo circumnavigation?
The story of the refit of Effraie 2 for the Global Solo Challenge The Global Solo Challenge has an innovative format: a few essential principles encourage virtuous use of resources and prioritise the re-use of existing boats and resources. Posted on 29 Apr
Global Solo Challenge: Parallel destinies
Two great men and their journeys around the world When I found out about the Global Solo Challenge (GSC) and its innovative format that favours the use of existing boats and no specific class, I went in search of the designs of the vessels used by the pioneers of single-handed sailing around the globe. Posted on 11 Apr
'Imagine' sailing around the world
A secondhand Open 40 to be used for one entrant's Global Solo Challenge When I spoke to American Global Solo Challenge (GSC) entrant Peter Bourke, he told me that he had recently acquired a secondhand Finot-Conq designed Open 40 for the challenge. Posted on 31 Mar
Global Solo Challenge invites you to A Coruña
There is no need for an excuse to visit the beautiful city The staggered departures of the Global Solo Challenge, which will take place from the end of August to December 2023, present the chance to explore a location that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime: the city of A Coruña Posted on 18 Mar
Is David Linger the ideal GSC candidate?
The American entrant is set for the Global Solo Challenge When I first looked at the Global Solo Challenge (GSC) and considered the type of sailor it would attract, I could have been describing American entrant David Linger. Posted on 4 Mar
Ronnie Simpson: “Sailing Saved My Life”
A combat-wounded and retired Marine Corps veteran whose life has been changed by sailing When an entrant to the Global Solo Challenge (GSC) is announced, the organisers post a profile of the entrant, and one of the questions asked is 'Do you intend to link this personal challenge with a social message?' Posted on 15 Feb
Global Solo Challenge welcomes Curt Morlock
The American was already planning a round-the-world lap and looking for a suitable boat to do it Curt Morlock has gone all in to kick start his project, selling his house and cashing in on his retirement fund. At 64 he is convinced that "now or never" is the time to achieve his dream to complete a solo circumnavigation. Posted on 10 Feb
Rooster 2023 - Aquafleece - FOOTERSailGP_Technologies_Caro52_1456x180 BOTTOMSOUTHERN-SPARS-MISSY-FURLING-BOOMS-728-X-90 Bottom