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Entries open for the Global Solo Challenge 2027-2028

by Marco Nannini / Global Solo Challenge 4 Jun 08:51 PDT
Peter Bourke - Imagine - Finot-Conq Open 40 © Peter Bourke

We are thrilled to announce the opening of entries for the Global Solo Challenge (GSC) 2027-2028!

The GSC offers a framework for non-elite sailors to achieve a common dream of completing a solo nonstop circumnavigation via the three great capes. Its unique format makes the challenge financially sustainable and inclusive. The second edition's start and finish line will be hosted in the vibrant city of Vigo, Spain, promising greater community engagement in a historic location.

While the final competitor of the first edition, Louis Robein, is on his last leg from the equator to the finish, the GSC is already looking to the future.

New venue: Vigo, Spain

Vigo, renowned for its rich maritime history and picturesque coastal scenery, will provide the perfect backdrop for the GSC. The city's strategic location, protected waters and the involvement of local institutions promise a significant boost in media coverage and public engagement. The Real Club Náutico de Vigo, with its extensive facilities, will serve as the event's home base, ensuring seamless logistics and a warm welcome for all participants.

Entries now open

Over 80 inquiries have already been received for the GSC 2027-2028. We are now officially opening entries and are pleased to announce the first five entrants, each bringing their unique stories and experience to the challenge, representing a very wide spectrum of boats, all eligible for participation, from a Taling 32 a former IMOCA Open 60, a self built 11m blue water cruiser to racing Open40. Chris Stanmore-Major and Peter Bourke are returning to the event having been unable to start in 2023 but have never given up on their project.

Meet the first five entrants

Chris Stanmore-Major

Chris Stanmore-Major, born in 1977, is a seasoned sailor with over 340,000 nautical miles sailed. He resides in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada, and is participating in the Global Solo Challenge aboard the boat "#VisitNovaScotia," a Finot-Conq Open 60. His passion for sailing began in 1996 when he volunteered on the tall ship 'Ji Fung' at the Hong Kong Outward Bound school. This experience fostered his love for the independence, physical endurance, and mental agility required for ocean crossing.Chris has extensive sailing experience, having skippered both crewed and solo campaigns around the world. He appreciates the simplicity and challenges of single-handed sailing, valuing the independence and the variety of roles it demands. His entry into the Global Solo Challenge was inspired by his Patreon supporter Kevin Le Poidevin, and he is particularly drawn to the pursuit race format, which promises an engaging and unique challenge.

His boat is an Open 60 with great all round performance, including upwind, with a robust build and a notable racing history, including holding the solo 24-hour distance record in 2000.

His sailing resume includes seven Caribbean 600 races, three Annapolis to Bermuda races, three Newport Bermuda races, three Fastnet races, three RORC Transats, three China Sea races, the Hong Kong-Vietnam Race, the Middle Sea Race, the ARC Transat, the 09-10 Clipper Round the World Race, and the 10-11 Velux 5 Oceans Race, alongside 34 Atlantic crossings.

Jonathan Massingill

Jonathan Massingill, born in 1983, lives in Lahaina, Hawaii, USA. His passion for sailing began as a young boy, dreaming of reaching remote tropical destinations only accessible by boat. At 17, he started working on charter sailboats in Lahaina, fostering a deep love for sailing and the ocean.Jonathan has been actively sailing for over 24 years, primarily in local waters around Hawaii. Although he has no special sailing achievements, his recent two-year racing experience was abruptly halted by the fires of August 8th, which destroyed his racing sailboat and the rest of the fleet. Despite this setback, his dedication to the sport remains strong.

His passion for single-handed sailing stems from the challenge of problem-solving and the solitude it offers, similar to solo hiking in the mountains. Over the years, sailing has taught him patience, perseverance, humility, and the pure contentment of being present in the moment.

Inspired by a friend's suggestion and fellow racer Ronnie Simpson, Jonathan decided to participate in the Global Solo Challenge. The realization that life is short and action must be taken to achieve one's dreams further motivated him to pursue this challenge.

To prepare for the event, Jonathan plans to purchase a suitable boat within the next 6 to 12 months and get thoroughly acquainted with it. He aims to compete in the Single Handed Transpac 2025 and spend significant time training in Hawaii. In the spring of 2027, he intends to move the boat to Europe for additional events leading up to the Global Solo Challenge. His preparation also includes expanding his knowledge of maritime weather and building mental resilience for the journey.

Jonathan acknowledges that reaching the starting line is a significant challenge due to his non-professional status and limited budget. He understands the uncertainties of circumnavigation, where preparation, luck, and good fortune are crucial. His dream is to successfully complete the circumnavigation and fulfill his long-held ambition.

He is interested in Class 40 boats, particularly older designs that are more budget-friendly. Although he has identified a few options on the market, he has yet to make a formal selection.

Marek Lipinski

Marek Lipinski, born in 1963, is a seasoned sailor with over 30,000 nautical miles sailed. He lives in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and will participate aboard his boat "Kowalski," a Taling 32. Marek's passion for sailing was instilled by his father, whose extensive collection of books about the sea and sailing deeply influenced him. This passion was ever-present, long before he first set foot on a boat.Merek's sailing journey began at the age of 14 when he sailed solo for the first time. Initially drawn to single-handed sailing, he later expanded his experience by sailing with crews. Through his extensive sailing, he has adopted the philosophy of staying true to oneself, a lesson he echoes with the words of Sting: "Be yourself no matter what they say."

His decision to enter the Global Solo Challenge is driven by two main factors: the event's financial feasibility and its inclusive nature, reminiscent of the 1968 Golden Globe Race. The event's rules ensure safety without imposing restrictive measures, making it accessible to sailors like him.

To prepare for the challenge, Marek outlined a meticulous plan: he purchased his boat in 2023, aims to familiarize himself with it in 2024, complete a qualification trip in 2025, and spend 2026 preparing the boat for the race. His training will also include necessary medical courses required by the event.

Marek identifies the biggest challenges as navigating the South Ocean's demanding conditions and the mental fortitude required to reach the starting line and persevere to the finish. His boat, Kowalski, a 1980 Taling 32 designed by Car Taal, is a robust long keeler built to withstand very heavy weather. Though he once aspired to sail high-speed boats like Open 40s, he now appreciates the resilience and reliability of his current vessel.

Peter Bourke

Peter Bourke, born in 1951, resides in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, and is a full entry in the Global Solo Challenge aboard his boat "Imagine," a 2000 Finot-Conq Open 40. Bourke's passion for sailing was sparked by his early transatlantic and transpacific passages on ships, leaving a lasting impression of the sea. Although these initial experiences were not on sailboats, they fueled his interest in learning to sail, which he pursued later in life.

Peter has been an avid reader of sailing literature since childhood, inspired by his English grandmother's gift of a book on racing dinghies. He was particularly captivated by the stories of legendary single-handers like Joshua Slocum and Naomi James, which instilled a sense of challenge and beauty associated with ocean passages.

His decision to participate follows the unfortunate circumstances that prevented him to be on the start line in 2023 when a medical issue prevented him from starting, but this setback has only strengthened his resolve and preparation for the 2027 race. Peter views his previous disappointment as an opportunity to be better prepared for the upcoming challenge.

Preparation for the event is a meticulous process for Bourke, focusing on ensuring both he and his boat are fully sorted out. He acknowledges that the biggest challenge will be reaching the starting line with everything in order, believing that the challenges at sea can be met once this initial hurdle is overcome.

Bourke's boat, Imagine, is a 2000 Finot-Conq Open 40, which he found in Trinidad during the winter of 2022. The boat needed extensive work, and Bourke's transition from a cruising boat sailor to handling a high-performance racing yacht has been a steep learning curve. Despite the challenges, this experience has been rewarding.

His sailing resume includes around 50,000 nautical miles, with approximately 6,000 miles on Imagine, which has been in refit mode for much of his ownership. His racing experience includes a class win in the Bermuda 1-2 race and participation in the 2009 OSTAR transatlantic race on his previous boat, an Outbound 44. Despite limited racing credits, these experiences have prepared him for the Global Solo Challenge.

Piotr Czarniecki

Piotr Czarniecki, born in 1973, lives in Warsaw, Poland, and will participate in the Global Solo Challenge with his self-built boat "Atom," a Pasja 10. Piotr's passion for sailing began in his childhood when he frequented sailing clubs on the river, mesmerized by boats that seemed like spaceships to him. During tough times in Poland, he built his first open-deck boat at a young age, marking the beginning of his sailing journey.Piotr believes sailing is the best school of life, teaching lessons of precision and harmony between man and vessel. His love for single-handed sailing stems from the profound connection it fosters with the boat and the ocean, allowing him to fully control and immerse in the experience.

The desire to participate in the Global Solo Challenge is driven by his dream of circumnavigating the world non-stop on a boat he built himself. The event represents an opportunity to accomplish this dream properly.

In preparation for the challenge, Piotr plans to launch Atom in 2024, partially prepared to meet GSC requirements. In 2025, he will sail around the Atlantic, covering many thousand miles and completing the qualification trip. This will allow him to refine his preparations and ensure his boat is in optimal condition.

Piotr identifies the biggest challenges as the extensive preparation required for self-sufficiency and managing responsibilities left at home. Navigating the Southern Ocean and balancing home life will be significant hurdles.

His boat, Atom, is a ten-meter-long vessel built by Piotr himself, featuring a sandwich construction with an Airex core for lightness and strength. Atom represents his dream, and he aims for a smooth sailing experience.

Piotr is passionate about inspiring others, having previously sailed across the Atlantic in 2016 on a five-meter plywood boat he built. He now helps others build and prepare their boats for ocean sailing, emphasizing the importance of pursuing meaningful endeavors.

His sailing resume includes extensive experience on the Baltic Sea and a solo Atlantic crossing in 2016. He has been sailing for 35 years, covering several tens of thousands of miles and building numerous boats.

More information at globalsolochallenge.com

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