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Juan Merediz retires from the Global Solo Challenge

by Margherita Pelaschier / Global Solo Challenge 14 Nov 2023 06:18 PST 14 November 2023
Juan Merediz - Sorolla - Global Solo Challenge 2023 © GSC / Pep Portas

Juan Merediz officially announced his withdrawal from the Global Solo Challenge on November 11th due to autopilot issues. The skipper had already directed the bow of his Class40 Sorolla towards the Mediterranean three days earlier, hinting at his decision.

After departing on October 29th for his solo round-the-world sailing journey, along with six other skippers, in challenging sea and wind conditions, he began sailing at a good pace. Only two days in, he had moved to the front of the group that had started together, but soon his boat began experiencing technical problems, mainly with the mainsail halyard and autopilot.

After stopping at anchor in Sagres and in the bay of Lagos, it seemed he had solved the halyard issue and made one of the two autopilots on board operational, a crucial aid for solo navigation.

"We are back on course. After three days of work to fix the autopilot and mainsail halyard, which were the most important in the long list of repairs, I believe that now almost everything is in order. It remains to test and see if the solutions I applied to the pilot, where I made one out of two pilots and two rams, are effective. The mainsail halyard is now fixed, so... we were wounded, but not dead.

"I am here, strong and determined, Sorolla is here and we continue to sail towards the Canary Islands. Come on, Sorolla! I have done everything possible, now it remains to be seen if it will be enough. Safety is my priority. Let's see how the pilot responds and if it goes well, then forward, because without it, we cannot proceed," Juan Merediz shared.

Sorolla resumed the competition, albeit weakened. On November 5th, the organization confirmed that, along with Cole Brauer's First Light and Philippe Delamare's Mowgli, it was among the fastest boats of the previous 24 hours. Merediz was in third place with 190 miles covered, an excellent daily run.

However, just two days later, the autopilot of Sorolla failed again, forcing Merediz to make the difficult decision to withdraw.

Continue reading the full article here...

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