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Journey of discovery of emotions and perspectives of Global Solo Challenge skippers

by Margherita Pelaschier / Global Solo Challenge 1 Dec 2023 02:46 PST 1 December 2023
Cole Brauer - First Light © Cole Brauer Ocean Racing

Days pass quickly at the GSC, but for the skippers, each hour and day is filled with novelty and surprises: some pleasant, others more challenging to face.

The ocean, relentless, delves deep into the souls of the sailors. The saltwater, wind, and waves that stress and wear down the equipment of the boats in the great adventure of the GSC, act in the same way on the sailors. Facing the challenges scattered along their route, they discover countless hidden aspects of their personality and find the resources, to rise again after each difficulty, that they never thought they had.

Dafydd Hughes: Emotions on the high seas

Dafydd Hughes aboard Bendigedig, the first to set off and sailing for over three months, shares that in his round-the-world trip, he is experiencing every sort of emotion. From one extreme to the other, from joy to despair. These feelings emerge and vary depending on whether he is admiring a sunset or if he has heard a "strange noise" coming from the boat, perhaps a prelude to an imminent technical problem. For Dafydd, as for many other competitors, anxiety is a constant travel companion, triggered mainly by the fear of a technical failure or the approach of a violent storm, unforeseen events that could end their dream of circumnavigating the world in a moment. Dafydd says that he can never relax completely. However, as he reaches new milestones and accumulates miles, the situation improves, and the tension loosens. He is now close to reaching the halfway point of his journey, a milestone that fills him with enthusiasm, as it symbolically represents the beginning of his "return home."

Unfortunately, what Dafydd feared the most has happened: yesterday, Thursday, November 30, he announced that he is forced to head towards Hobart, due to a malfunction of the rudder angle sensor of his autopilot.

Comfort in the open sea routine: Philippe Delamare, François Gouin, and David Linger

Amidst the chaos of events and the changeability of weather, some skippers find comfort and serenity in their daily routine. Simple activities like washing, eating, and sleeping a sufficient number of hours, whichare taken for granted by those living on land, are described and reported in the skippers' blogs as significant achievements.

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