GSC – The unforgiving waters of the Southern Oceans

By Marco Nannini / Global Solo Challenge

The latest week in the Global Solo Challenge has seen the majority of the skippers at sea confront, some for the first time, the relentless and dynamic Southern Ocean. As the fleet that has reached the South spreads from Tristan da Cunha to South of Australia, each skipper faces unique trials, embodying the spirit of solo sailing.

Cole Brauer: A Sweet Surge in the Rankings

On ‘First Light’, Cole Brauer shared a touching story of “the Good, the Bad and the Ugly” that have led to her participation in the Global Solo Challenge, now aiming to become the first female American sailor to sail solo non-stop around the world. Deemed to be too “small” during a “The Ocean Race” selection a year ago, Cole has put in an impressive performance so far, that saw her reclaim second place in the expected arrival virtual rankings as well as confirm she is standing “tall” in the challenges of the Southern Oceans. This extraordinary feat demonstrates the raw determination and skill required to take on the challenge to sail these unpredictable seas that make no “height” or indeed “gender” distinctions. 

Philippe Delamare: A Journey of Ten Thousand Miles

Philippe Delamare on ‘Mowgli’ reached a significant milestone, having sailed 10,000 nautical miles. His journey through the Indian Ocean towards Cape Leeuwin is a testament to his meticulous preparations, impeccable navigation and boat conduct so far. With 15,000 miles still to go, including 8,000 in the harsh southern seas, Philippe’s voyage is far from over. Upon entering his first deep low of the South Atlantic he had suffered two knock-downs in following breaking cross-seas. Since then […]

Dafydd Hughes: Two of Three Capes Ticked

First to start on August 26 and slowest boat on paper, Dafydd Hughes kept his 1971 designed Sparkman & Stephens Bendigedig marching on day after day like a little Duracell bunny […]

The Growing Fleet and Their Varied Experiences

The fleet, now comprising fifteen sailors, each brings their own story to the vast expanse of the ocean. From Kevin Le Poidevin‘s recent departure to the experienced Andrea Mura on ‘Vento di Sardegna’, the range of skills and strategies on display is as varied as the ocean itself. Kevin was forced to delay his departure by nearly a month, from 28th October to 24th November due to a back injury and […]

The Gateway to the Southern Ocean is filled with challenges

Reaching the autobahn of the south can sometimes be easier said than done. Many boats in the fleet have been experiencing on-off winds transitioning from the South Atlantic south easterly trade winds to the latitudes influenced by low pressure systems of the South. [..] Whilst some were affected more than others, the group composed by William MacBrien, Riccardo Tosetto, Francois Gouin and David Linger are unlikely to be able to keep ahead of a high pressure system moving their way, which could cause a significant separation with the boats ahead sailed by Ari Känsäkoski, Pavlin Nadvorni, Cole Brauer and Ronnie Simpson. The latter, however, will have to keep his foot on the gas to avoid being swallowed by the high pressure. Those behind […]

Adapting to the Southern Ocean’s Might

The Southern Ocean is notorious for its carousel of low pressure systems with skippers reaching higher latitudes reporting strong winds and their first taste of the formidable roaring conditions. These bring not only high speeds but also exhausting conditions, a mix of harsh weather, and significant navigational challenges. Except for Alessandro Tosetti, still sailing in the southeasterly trades and the duo of latest starters, Andrea Mura and Kevin Le Poidevin, all skippers had at least a first taste of the South Atlantic. Riccardo Tosetto was somewhat caught out by a very shift 120 degrees wind shift after the passage of a cold front, which caused […]

Equipment preservation, emotional roller coasters and pitstops

Pavlin Nadvorni on Espresso Martini made it clear he had no intention to take any risks in his first proper South Atlantic blow and sailed very cautiously. However […]

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