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Global Solo Challenge and Ocean Globe Race updates, SailGP news - Sail-World.com USA newsletter

26/09/2023


Global Solo Challenge and Ocean Globe Race updates, SailGP news

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Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team helmed by Ben Ainslie in action on Race Day 1 of the ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix in Taranto, Italy - photo © Bob Martin for SailGP


Dear Recipient Name

As the season's first atmospheric river starts to gain steam here in the Pacific Northwest, I find myself daydreaming about the two around-the-world races that are currently unfurling. While the two events provide fantastic opportunities for sailors to work with nature to circumnavigate our lovely, lonely planet, they are sufficiently different in their nature to provide some interesting contrasts, especially given the other two big (hydrofoil-borne) events that are driving the news cycle.

The Global Solo Challenge began in late August off of A Coruña, Spain, with singlehanded sailors taking to the sea aboard any kind of vessel they like, so long as it measures at least 32', stem to stern. If you're envisioning quick rides like Class 40s, Open 50s, and IMOCAs, you're on the right track, at least eventually.

 
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Global Solo Challenge route - photo © Global Solo Challenge
Global Solo Challenge route - photo © Global Solo Challenge

The Global Solo Challenge employs a pursuit-style starting format, where the tortoises start before the hares. The first starter, Dafydd Hughes, of Talybont, West Wales, United Kingdom, began racing on Saturday, August 26, aboard Bendigedig, his 1971 Sparkman & Stephen 34. He was joined at sea on September 17, when skipper Édouard De Keyser, of Brussels, Belgium, began sailing SolarWind, his Solaire 34.

Belgian skipper Edouard de Keyser starts the Global Solo Challenge aboard his Solaire 34 'SolarWind' - photo © GlobalSoloChallenge
Belgian skipper Edouard de Keyser starts the Global Solo Challenge aboard his Solaire 34 'SolarWind' - photo © GlobalSoloChallenge

 
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Big picture, as of this writing: Hughes was well to the east of Recife, Brazil, while De Keyser was west of Agadir, Morocco.

The next starter, Phillipe Delamare, of Le Mans, France, is set to begin sailing on September 30 aboard his 2012 Actual 36, while skipper Pavlin Nadvorni, of Varna, Bulgaria, is set to begin racing on October 12 aboard his 1997 Farr 45.

North American interests are being represented by five sailors.

Cole Brauer - photo © Cole Brauer Ocean Racing
Cole Brauer - photo © Cole Brauer Ocean Racing

Three sailors are expected to start on October 28 aboard Class 40s, namely David Linger, of Seattle, Washington, Cole Brauer, of Boothbay, Maine, and Peter Rourke, of Newport, Rhode Island.

Ronnie Simpson, of Honolulu, Hawaii, is also set to start racing his Open 50 on October 28. Simpson is easily one of the most experienced offshore sailors participating in this event, and is expected to be a force to be reckoned with as the fleet laps the planet.

Ronnie Simpson and the Open 50 Sparrow complete 2,000 mile qualification sail to qualify for Global Solo Challenge race - photo © Ronnie Simpson
Ronnie Simpson and the Open 50 Sparrow complete 2,000 mile qualification sail to qualify for Global Solo Challenge race - photo © Ronnie Simpson

 
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Finally, Curt Morlock, from the sailing Mecca of New Castle, Colorado, will begin racing his IMOCA 60 on December 9. It should be noted that Morlock declined to state how many offshore miles he has sailed.

By comparison, Linger has sailed 20,000+ miles, Brauer has logged 50,000+ miles, Rourke has 50,000+ miles under his keel, and Simpson has a whopping 130,000+ miles to his credit.

One can only hope that Mr Morlock knowns what he's getting himself into, and that his time in the United States Marine Corps has given him the strength, resources, and common sense to get himself back to dry land. (Better still, I hope that Mr Morlock gives me reason to eat these words - I will happily do so if and when his IMOCA 60 crosses the finishing line.)

Circa 1973: Start of the first Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race with Chay Blyth's 'Great Britain II' leading Eric Tabarly's French entry 'Pen Duick VI' - photo © Bob Fisher / PPL
Circa 1973: Start of the first Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race with Chay Blyth's 'Great Britain II' leading Eric Tabarly's French entry 'Pen Duick VI' - photo © Bob Fisher / PPL

Meanwhile, the Ocean Globe Race began on September 10 on the waters off of Southampton, United Kingdom. This "retro race" seeks to recreate the challenges of the 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race, and, as such, sailors much compete aboard production yachts that were built before 1988. The rules also stipulate that crews cannot use modern sails, equipment, or technology (read: electronics), so navigators can look forward to using their sextants in the Southern Ocean (and everywhere else).

News recently broke that crew member Stéphane Raguenes, who was sailing aboard the French-flagged Triana, a Swan 53, slipped on deck and badly lacerated the back of his leg last week. As a result, Raguenes was successfully rescued, via helicopter, over the weekend.

The crew of French OGR entrant Triana (66) FR assisted Stéphane Raguenes into the liferaft before being winched onboard the helicopter and flown to Madeira for medical attention - photo © OGR 2023 / Margault Demasles
The crew of French OGR entrant Triana (66) FR assisted Stéphane Raguenes into the liferaft before being winched onboard the helicopter and flown to Madeira for medical attention - photo © OGR 2023 / Margault Demasles

 
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As of this writing, skipper Marie Tabarly, racing aboard Pen Duick VI, is in the pole position, followed by skipper Jussi Paavoseppä, racing aboard Spirit of Helsinki, roughly 160 nautical miles astern; skipper Heathers Thomas, racing with an all-female crew aboard Maiden, is in third place, some 170 nautical miles astern of Pen Duick VI.

Marie Tabarly at the helm of Pen Duick VI OGR 2023 Flyer Class Entry - photo © Martin Keruzoré
Marie Tabarly at the helm of Pen Duick VI OGR 2023 Flyer Class Entry - photo © Martin Keruzoré

Unlike the Global Solo Challenge, which is a non-stop around-the-world race, the Ocean Globe Race employs a series of global stopovers, just like the original Whitbread Race. Leg One of the OGR will take the fleet to Cape Town, South Africa, and as of this writing, there was roughly 3,900 miles of brine separating Pen Duick VI from the race's first finishing line.

As mentioned, these around-the-world events are being juxtaposed in the sailing media against the two other bright, shiny objects on the international sailing stage, namely next year's America's Cup and the traveling foiling circus (I mean that in a complimentary way) called SailGP.

American Magic celebrate - America's Cup Preliminary Regatta - Day 3 - Vilanova - September 17, 2023 - photo © America's Cup Media
American Magic celebrate - America's Cup Preliminary Regatta - Day 3 - Vilanova - September 17, 2023 - photo © America's Cup Media

 
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Cup junkies got their first taste of the 37th America's Cup during the first Preliminary Regatta of this cycle on September 14-17, which unfurled on the waters off of Vilanova i La Geltrú, Spain. American Magic foiled away on their AC40 with a narrow win over Emirates Team New Zealand.

The next Preliminary Regatta is expected to unfurl on the waters off of Jeddah, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, from November 29 to December 2. The last of these regattas is expected to take place off of Barcelona, Spain, next August.

The SailGP calendar is also in full swing and is in the middle of its three Season 4 European stopovers. The first of these took place from September 9-10, off of Saint-Tropez, France, followed by last weekend's racing (September 23-24) on the waters off of Taranto, Italy; the final European event is set to take place off of Cadiz, Spain, from October 14-15.

The Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team celebrate in the Adrenaline Lounge in Castello Aragonese after Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team win the ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix in Taranto, Italy - photo © Ricardo Pinto for SailGP
The Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team celebrate in the Adrenaline Lounge in Castello Aragonese after Emirates Great Britain SailGP Team win the ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix in Taranto, Italy - photo © Ricardo Pinto for SailGP

Impressively, Ben Ainslie's Emirates GBR SailGP Team took the win at both San Tropez and Taranto, making them the only SailGP squad to have nailed two regatta wins this season.

While the New Zealand-flagged team (in)famously destroyed their wing at the Saint-Tropez event and were subsequentially sidelined for the Taranto event, Season 4's leaderboard sees Australia enjoying a six-point lead over the second-placed Brits, who are tied on points with the Spanish, who are sitting in third place.

Fourth-place Denmark is only two leaderboard points astern of the Brits and the Spanish, meaning that Season 4's state-of-play is very much a live wire.

 
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Austin Colpaert, Andres Guerra, and skipper Chris Poole celebrate after their win at the 2023 U.S. Match Racing Championship - photo © Lexi Pline / US Sailing
Austin Colpaert, Andres Guerra, and skipper Chris Poole celebrate after their win at the 2023 U.S. Match Racing Championship - photo © Lexi Pline / US Sailing

Also in sailing news, skipper Chris Poole, along with Andres Guerra and Austin Colpaert, took top honors at the U.S. Match Racing Championships, skipper Brian Keane, along with Conor Harding, Thomas Barrows and Ronald Weed, won the J/70 North Americans, and Max Kohlhoff and Ole Burzinski won the Star Worlds.

Finally, word recently hit that the 2024 Vic-Maui International Yacht Race has been cancelled due to the devastating wildfires that recently ravaged Lahaina, Maui.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt
Sail-World.com North American Editor

 
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Global Team Racing Regatta 2023 hosted by the Royal Thames Yacht Club - Overall
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Cup Spy Sept 25: Luna Rossa resume testing, Swiss expected to shift to AC75 soon.
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5O5 Pre-Worlds and North American Championship at St. Francis Yacht Club
Racing concluded on Sunday, September 24, for the 2023 5O5 Pre-Worlds and North American Championships at St. Francis Yacht Club.

5.5 Metre World Championship at Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Porto Cervo - Day 1
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McIntyre Ocean Globe dodging dreaded doldrums
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Cape Horn Hall of Fame inductees 2023
Les Sables d'Olonne home to the Cape Horn Hall of Fame witnessed the induction of 6 new names to its honours board during the opening of a new clubhouse dedicated to the history of this most famous of all Capes and the sailors who have rounded it.

UK Sailors donate equipment to SVG Sailing
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Fin1Racing with Allan Norregaard, Janne Jarvinen, Iago Lopez first Eurosaf 69F European Champions
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SailGP: Kiwis hope to be back for Spain SailGP in Cadiz
Emirates GBR has picked up its second consecutive event win after the Rockwool Italy Sail Grand Prix in Taranto three-boat final against Australia and the United States was terminated due to light winds on Sunday.

2023 KDY Women's Match Race Overall
Sweden's WINGS match racing team led by Anna Östling have been crowned 2023 Women's World Match Racing Tour champions after winning the final stage of the tour at the KDY Women's Match Race in Skovshoved Harbour.

 
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Cup Spy Sept 22-23: Swiss coy about new flight control
The week ended with several America's Cup team members competing in the Italy SailGP, with AC co-helms finishing in the top four places on the leaderboard. The testing continued off Barcelona, with the Swiss and Brits testing sails and foils.

Barton Marine launch Outboard Motor Sling
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2023 J/70 North American Championship at Chicago Yacht Club
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Cancellation of the 2024 Vic-Maui International Yacht Race
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Chris Poole wins U.S. Match Racing Championship at Rochester Yacht Club
Chris Poole and his team of Andres Guerra and Austin Colpaert clinched their first U.S. Match Racing Championship title on Sunday, sailing on Sonars out of Rochester Yacht Club.

2023 Formula Kite European Championships in Portsmouth - Overall
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T Clewring One Design - 2   Mackay 250
 
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Recently, over on our sister site Powerboat.World, we ran an Editorial entitled, Upcycling your Recycling. It looked at how the carbon fibre mould for a Volvo 70 was to become a stabilised monohull for long distance, super-efficient cruising.

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2023 Star World Championship at Marina di Scarlino, Tuscany, Italy - Overall
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2023 5.5m Scandinavian Gold Cup at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda - Overall
On a day that delivered far more than was promised, The Jean Genie (GBR 43, Peter Morton, Andrew Palfrey, Ruairadh Scott) has won the 2023 Scandinavian Gold Cup on Sunday at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Porto Cervo.

USA rallies for first Season 4 podium finish at the ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix in Taranto
Motivated by a message to "go out there and crush it" from injured teammate Hans Henken, the United States SailGP Team sailed its best day yet with third- and first-place fleet racing finishes at the ROCKWOOL Italy Sail Grand Prix in Taranto

Emirates Great Britain secure back to back wins for the European leg of SailGP
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Free equipment transport for competitors at the Caribbean Foiling Championships
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American team wins Oceanbridge NZ Youth World Match Racing Trials & Auckland Championships
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Platoon win 2023 52 SUPER SERIES season title on tiebreak
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Cup Spy Sept 21: Brits show off new wing foil - with 'fences'. Swiss set up for the high dive.
Two Cup teams sailed - with American Magic focused on boat maneuvers, while the British tried a new style of wingfoil - equipped with 'Fences' designed to impede foil ventilation. Alinghi Red Bull Racing have repurposed their AC75 as a high dive platform.

SailGP: Kiwis awarded redress for being unable to compete in Taranto
NZSailGP Skipper Peter Burling said he was disappointed the decision was based on average points across the fleet, rather than the team's performance so far this season.

America's Cup: AC75 used as a high diving platform at Alinghi Red Bull Racing base opening
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The FD Future Youth Regatta
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2024 Fireball Worlds - Act fast!
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Cup Spy Sept 18-20: Questions asked of Cup Challengers
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An interview with Richard Wade about the Flying Scot Wife Husband Championship
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