About The skipper



Years Old

Lives: Grez-Doiceau, Belgium

Miles sailed: 35.000+ miles

Group: TBA

Status: Full Entry

Where does your passion for sailing come from?

Since adolescence with windsurfing and dinghy sailing. I was fortunate enough to meet a remarkable offshore sailing instructor when I was 18, moreover, he remained a friend. After my military service in 1981 I embarked as a teammate for a transatlantic race which was extended over time (24 months) including a crossing of the Pacific to Australia. An adventure that marked me. A Transat des Alizés in 1986 and a family tour of the Atlantic between 2004 and 2006 reinforced my desire to set out again for long journeys.

What lessons have you learnt from sailing?

Certainly humility in the face of the elements. You can’t have everything under control and despite the best preparations, the unexpected is still part of the game. Also the need sometimes to be able to count just yourself. And on your lucky star! The need to combine (in chronological order) preparation, anticipation and ultimately improvisation.

What brought you to like single-handed sailing?

The desire to explore my limits, to be confronted with these. The search for moments of connection with oneself, far from the frenzy of everyday life. The challenge of loneliness.

What prompted you to sign up for this event?

Like many others that registered, I suppose the Vendée Globe is the ultimate dream. It remains out of reach, however, if you did not start ocean racing at a younger age. The Global Solo Challenge offers the possibility of doing this great tour by the 3 capes alone for a reasonable budget while also offering the (relative) safety offered by flotilla navigation and with professional supervision.

How do you plan to prepare for this event?

Physical preparation on the one hand and a lot of solo sailing to become one with the boat. Preparation of the boat to strengthen it for the Great South. Hoping that what must break, breaks before departure. If the schedule allows it, a single-handed return Transat to test myself. Also a preparation for weather interpretation and sleep management.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge?

First of all being on the starting line. The management of efforts and sleep with regard to the man. No doubt also the management of certain moments of anguish, one should not hide from it. It will also be a question of preserving the materials which will inevitably wear out a lot.

Tell us about your boat or the boat you would like to have.

It is a 1990 Open 50 (G.Auzepy-Brenneur).

Do you intend to link this personal challenge with a social message?

Nothing is decided but I think about it.

Sailing experience

35.000+ miles.

4 Transats, crossing of the Pacific, sailing in the English Channel.

About The Boat

Sail Number: BEL 0711

Boat design: Open 50 (G.Auzepy-Brenneur)

Year built: 1990

Group: TBA

LOA: 50ft

Upwind sail area: 145m²