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Global Solo Challenge sailor Philippe Delamare - It's a page I had to fill

by Mathieu Houllière 23 May 03:33 PDT
Philippe Delamare © Philippe Delamare

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.

Although he readily admits he is not a "real competitor," his experience in the Southern Seas should not be underestimated when it comes to performance and, why not, even a good result.

Ten years is a long time. Ten years ago, I was only discovering the stories of Bernard Moitessier and the world of the sea, and Marco Nannini probably didn't imagine he would one day organise a round-the-world sailing event. Yet, ten years ago, Philippe Delamare was already considering taking the plunge to fulfil his dream of sailing solo around the world. "It's a page I had to fill, and I can't wait to start. For a project like this, you need a bit of recklessness, but above all, unshakable motivation."

Philippe Delamare is a sailor who "loves being on the water," as he puts it. The Frenchman enjoys long crossings more than anything, and the idea of spending more than 150 days alone at sea does not scare him. "I don't fear it, but I remain humble. I don't know what it's like to be alone at sea for such a long time. This round-the-world journey is a mix of enormous desire and the unknown."

Approaching 60, the Global Solo Challenge participant has already sailed most of the world's seas and experienced a thousand lives. "I've never done anything for more than 8 years," he confesses. Except for sailing, that is. After studying business and working for a large American company, he started his own business, and eight years later, he decided to embark on a 5-year round-the-world trip with his wife and daughter. Their journey took them from France to Australia, through the Amazon, Patagonia, Easter Island, and the Fiji archipelago on a 43-foot aluminium boat from the Prometa shipyard.

Upon returning to land, Philippe settled in Brisbane and started a new business with a friend. They spent another eight "absolutely fabulous" years, during which he continued sailing whenever possible, delivering boats for owners twice a year. But like all good things, the friends decided to take different paths, and Philippe embarked on a new project: becoming a skipper for six months a year on a Nomad 4 for a boat owner friend. A "round-the-world" programme on a powerful boat that highlights the Frenchman's maritime skills. "It's a wonderful, exceptional boat, but very demanding," he insists.

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