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Vaikobi 2024 LEADERBOARD

Key departures at the Global Solo Challenge: the event dives deep into the action

by Margherita Pelaschier / Global Solo Challenge 13 Oct 2023 08:28 PDT
Global Solo Challenge dives deep into the action © Global Solo Challenge

In about a week the Global Solo Challenge will witness one of the most awaited moments of the event with two key departures for the fleet of sailors eager to achieve their dream of completing a solo world circumnavigation.

The creator and organiser of the GSC, Marco Nannini, commented, "With the departures on the 21st and 28th of October, the GSC fleet in navigation will comprise fifteen vessels. An extremely interesting phase will begin, and we will finally witness the grand event we've been anticipating at sea."

Meanwhile, the four sailors already crossing the ocean accumulate more miles, reach more milestones, and gather more memories in their adventure every day.

Dafydd Hughes, onboard Bendigedig, is en route to round the first major cape, Cape of Good Hope, and has so far sailed exceptionally well, making the most of the weather conditions he's encountered, despite his vessel's limited speed. It appears, reminiscent of La Fontaine's story, that the "turtle" might be more formidable than the pursuing "hares." Dafydd chose a more easterly course and skillfully decided to take a shortcut on the route, differing from the traditional path considered by the organization as a benchmark. The Welsh skipper certainly took into account his boat's performance. Bendigedig, given her smaller size, doesn't particularly feel the effects of light wind and progresses slowly but steadily, even in key sections like the Doldrums and the St. Helena High. Earlier in the week, the tracker, set with reference waypoints based on the classic route to calculate the remaining distance to the finish, did not immediately highlight the advantage gained by Dafydd. By Wednesday, the data was updated using an imaginary waypoint placed beyond the Cape of Good Hope, clearly showcasing Dafydd's skill, saving over 500 miles compared to the tracker's route. Now, his estimated arrival date has improved by several days. However, this is just a projection based on the current data, which will need to be verified throughout the remaining voyage.

Édouard De Keyser and his Solaire 34', SolarWind, which left A Coruna about a month ago, resumed sailing after a five-day anchor stop in the Cape Verde archipelago. "It's been 48 hours since we set off again," wrote the Belgian sailor on Monday. "I'm celebrating my absolute record of continuous sailing without stopping or setting foot on land, both solo and with a crew. Thinking about it, a wave of memories overwhelms me: I think of my family, our Pacific crossing in 2008, and the many sea adventures in Brittany."

Édouard now faces the Intertropical Convergence Zone: "Since departing Mindelo, the wind has been inconsistent in intensity, but it's more or less in the right direction. I chose a more westerly route than Dafydd to try and benefit from the current conditions." It seems that the philosophy driving him provides additional motivation for his journey: "I feel like an ambassador of the future. I want to prove that, with Simplicity, Efficiency, and Resilience, we can combat global warming while preserving our human values, solidarity, and a happiness capital that cannot be measured in money."

Read the full article here...

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