Updates from the 7 skippers at sea in the GSC

By Margherita Pelaschier / Global Solo Challenge

While eight competitors prepare to set sail from A Coruna on October 28th, the seven sailors at sea are making great strides on the route of their dreams, with a few minor setbacks along the way.

Dafydd Hughes, who set the course for the Global Solo Challenge fleet with his departure on August 26th, achieved another significant milestone on October 23rd, after nearly two months at sea: crossing the first major cape, Cape of Good Hope, the virtual gateway to the Deep South. The Welsh skipper demonstrated great skill in navigation on his Bendigedig, an S&S34, skillfully overcoming Atlantic challenges such as the Intertropical Convergence Zone and the high pressure of St. Helena.

Dafydd Hughes has reached “another milestone to rejoice in, but my attention has already shifted to the next goal: the Kerguelen Islands archipelago, before reaching Cape Leeuwin, south of Australia,” Dafydd shares. “I am doing well both mentally and physically. Bendigedig continues to take exceptional care of me, and I try to do the same for her. My focus is solely on how to navigate best. I’m pleased to have crossed the Cape of Good Hope, a performance few sailors have achieved solo. We are now sailing in the full southern ocean, and it’s interesting because all the wind patterns have changed.”


Philippe Delamare, aboard the Actual 46′ Mowgli, maintains a narrow lead in terms of estimated arrival time. On the afternoon of Friday, October 20th, he crossed the equator, the seventh time for this experienced French sailor, celebrating with a toast to Neptune and a small aperitif with crisps reserved for special moments. Delamare is sailing in the final section of the southeast trade winds, which will gradually rotate eastward. Before finding the favorable winds of the southern ocean, he will face another transition zone and could experience a slowdown for a few days.

Philippe shared in a message on Monday: “Since crossing the Equator, and even a day or two before, my position has shifted from the northern hemisphere to southern! I sail close-hauled, maintaining as straight a course as possible, pacing my days between reefing and shaking out reefs depending on the wind intensity. In reality, the wind is relatively stable, but I am right on the edge of the reef wind strength zone.”


Édouard De Keyser on board his SolarWind, after successfully passing the equator on Friday 20th October in the late afternoon, had to make the difficult decision to head to Brazil to try to resolve the countless failures he is experiencing onboard. Yesterday afternoon, the Belgian skipper reached the Marina di Jacaré in Cabedelo, near João Pessoa. He immediately stocked up on water because his watermaker had stopped working and is organizing repairs he couldn’t make while at sea. In this case, under the GSC’s regulations, Édouard will have to leave Cabedelo by 18th November to still have enough time to round Cape Horn before 31st March 2024 before the worsening autumn conditions.


Louis Robein, onboard Le souffle de la Mer III, is tackling the intertropical convergence zone which, at this time of year, is located between 5-7 degrees north. Louis, at 6° north, is in the middle and works tirelessly to get his boat to move in the light airs and inconsistent winds. For him, this challenging passage should end soon as he enters the favorable southeast trade wind zone.


As for the three competitors who set off last Saturday, the three skippers are keeping a good pace, and while MacBrien chose to head further west to reach the cold front and find the northwest following winds, Nadvorni and Känsäkoski opted to remain on a south-southwest course.

Pavlin quickly fell into a good rhythm of life at sea, tuning into the breath of the ocean, which resonates so well with his way of feeling and being. Here are his first impressions: “What a relief to be back at sea! After spending so much time on endless work lists, worries, and trying to balance work, boat, and family. At one point, I even doubted my decision to leave. But when I arrived in A Coruna and heard Marco Nannini, the organizer of the GSC, announce over the radio: “Started!”, I felt a huge relief.


Continue to the GSC website…

Start dates

SkipperBoat NameBoatTCCStart
Dafydd HughesBendigedigS&S 340.890STARTED 26/08/23
Ivan DimovBlue IbisEndurance 370.890DNS
Édouard De KeyserSolarWindSolaire 341.010STARTED 17/09/23
Louis RobeinLe Souffle de la Mer IIIX-371.020STARTED 30/09/23
Philippe DelamareMowgliActual 461.089STARTED 30/09/23
Pavlin NadvorniEspresso MartiniFarr 451.188STARTED 21/10/23
Ari KänsäkoskiFujiClass401.208STARTED 21/10/23
William MacBrienPhoenixClass401.210STARTED 21/10/23
David LingerKoloa MaoliClass401.21528/10/23 NEXT
Juan MeredizWaypointClass401.22528/10/23 NEXT
Cole BrauerFirst LightClass401.22528/10/23 NEXT
François GouinKawan 3Class401.22528/10/23 NEXT
Riccardo TosettoObportusClass401.23028/10/23 NEXT
Kevin Le PoidevinRoaring FortyOpen 401.24028/10/23 NEXT
Peter BourkeImagineOpen 401.250RTD Medical
Ronnie SimpsonSparrowOpen 501.25028/10/23 NEXT
Alessandro TosettiAspraULDB 651.25028/10/23 NEXT
Andrea MuraVento di SardegnaOpen 501.37018/11/23
Curt Morlock6 Lazy KOpen 601.47009/12/23
Volkan Kaan YemlihaoğluBlack BettyVolvo Open 701.64006/01/24

Global Solo Challenge: a unique format

The format is unlike any other round the world solo sailing event and will make it fair and exciting for the Skippers as well as easy and engaging for the public and sponsors to follow:

  • wide range of boats can enter which must be over 32ft
  • Boats will be grouped by performance characteristics and set off in successive departures over 3 months with the first start on August 26, 2023.
  • Once at sea, there are no classes. All boats will be sailing the same event. The faster boats will have to try to catch up with the slower boats, the pursuit factor creating competitive interest aboard and a fascinating event for the public and sponsors.
  • The first boat to cross the finish line wins. The performance differential between the boats is taken into account in staggering the departures, eliminating the need to calculate corrected times.
Jeanneau JY60
NAV at Home
Cyclops Marine
Jeanneau JY60
M.O.S.S Australia
West Systems