Australian Willi Fantom from Hobart is currently circumnavigating Australia promoting his campaign Solo Sailor For The Disabled in the faithful company of his live-aboard dog Capt Mistchief. They have been at sea together for the last three years becoming inseparable. After this charitable tour of Australia Willi will start preparations for the Global Solo Challenge by modifying the boat as required by the regulations and setting off from Western Australia bound for Cape of Good Hope then Europe to be at the departure of the GSC in September 2023. A plan which will require extensive studying of prevailing winds and seasonal weather patterns to sail half the distance in reverse towards La Coruña. Test
Where does your passion for sailing come from?
Life independence and adventure led me to choosing to sail three years ago. I was lost and not sure what to do with myself, I was surfing the web and come across a You Tube channel Sailing Nadji and from that moment onward I was hooked. I had to buy a yacht and set sail for reason other then my own, just over 14,000 nautical miles and three yachts later I am never going back to land I have found my home among the seas. Protected by Stella Maris.
What lessons have you learnt from sailing?
Interesting Question as this could not be an easy answer! Apart from weather patterns sailing techniques and celestial navigation which I have been teaching myself through trial and error and listening to those who have sound sailing experience, I have learnt more about who I am inside my soul and spiritual self, what makes me feel, what sets my anxiety off and being at peace alone among strange waters bound by the true elements of nature, a complete sense of freedom. I have never felt bound by Maritime Law. A true real sense of worth, confidence in my ability to deal with what ever life throws at me and self reliance which I have lived akin to my heart. I have learnt and taught myself everything I know through life experience and hands on and this sailing is very hands on I love it and can’t wait to set ready for the race.
What brought you to like single-handed sailing?
I would have to say it is as in the same as what I have said in the above its just me and Capt Mistchief my dog … perfect for a Solo Sailor who lives with Anxiety and Agoraphobia…
What prompted you to sign up for this event?
Its what I have been trying to do ever since I started sailing. I am on a minimum ten year sail around the world and Australia , New Zealand promoting my campaign Solo Sailor For The Disabled, and to do this effectively and safely a race would be just perfect for me to be able to achieve my heart felt desires. And you are willing to allow me to race with my dog.
How do you plan to prepare for this event?
I have a to be honest this will be a work in progress. The event is not till 2023 Sept… I have to say I am as of now preparing and getting ready with things such as boat modifications, sponsorship and the like. But first finish sailing around Australia and get to the start line at the very least.
What do you think will be the biggest challenge?
The whole race will be one big challenge after the other. In my case race sailing with a dog will up it by a whole new level of challenges. And the most difficult part is that it will all be to be learnt from experience.
Tell us about your boat or the boat you would like to have.
SV Skeese was first built in England in 1996 and went through three British owners until a young couple sailed her to Australia when she was named Newtsville. I purchased Skeese last year September 2020, she is my third yacht. A very nice Colvic Countess Cutter Rig Sloop Red pin strip and white with teak decks and a centre cockpit built tough and for long passages making way in harsh conditions in comfort.
Do you intend to link this personal challenge with a social message?
Yes see this link: Solo Sailor For The Disabled.
Three years of self sailing and never raced apart from myself and getting as much as I can out of my rig and sails.
About the boat
Boat name: SV Skeese
Boat model: Colvic Countess 37 Cutter Rig Sloop
Boat designer: Colvic Craft England
Displacement (kgs): 3700kgs
Story Courtesy of Global Solo Challenge