The Roaring Forties and Furious Fifties are terms used to describe the intense westerly winds that blow across the southern hemisphere, between the latitudes of 40 and 50 degrees. These winds are known for their strength and consistency, making them a crucial meteorological phenomena for the southern oceans and for skippers in the Global Solo Challenge. The Roaring Forties and Furious Fifties are caused by the combination of the Earth’s rotation and the lack of land masses in the southern hemisphere. The Earth’s rotation causes the winds to blow towards the east, while the lack of land masses allows them to build up speed and strength. These winds can reach speeds in excess of 100 km/h and are known to cause large waves and rough seas. These terms were first used by sailors in the 19th century while sailing around the southern oceans in reference to the loud noise made by the wind as it blew across the seas and against the ships’ sails and rigging. These winds can be unpredictable and dangerous, and sailors must be well-prepared and experienced in order to tackle them safely. Strong winds and heavy seas can cause damage to yachts and equipment, and
Rogue waves, also known as freak waves or monster waves, are unexpected and extremely large waves that can occur on the open ocean. They can reach heights of up to 30 meters or more and can be extremely dangerous for ships and sailors. Rogue waves form due to a phenomenon known as constructive interference that occurs when two or more waves meet and their crests (the highest point of a wave) align, causing the wave height to increase. This can happen with waves generated by different sources, such as wind and currents, or with waves traveling over a long distance and wavelengths becoming similar. Rogue waves can also form when a large wave encounters an obstacle, such as a reef or rising seabed, and the wave’s energy is reflected back onto itself, causing the wave height to increase and creating a large, steep wave that can be difficult for a ship to handle. The frequency of rogue waves is not well understood and is difficult to predict. They are rare events that can occur at any time, in any location, caused by a combination of factors such as wind, currents, and water depth. However, they are more likely to
Pasaje Drake ©Instituto Nacional del Agua, INA When I found out about the Global Solo Challenge (GSC) and its innovative format that favours the use of existing boats and no specific class, I went in search of the designs of the vessels used by the pioneers of single-handed sailing around the globe. In my “sea library” I found Sir Francis Chichester’s “Gipsy Moth Circles the World”. In 1967, Chichester was the first to circumnavigate the globe solo via the three great capes, stopping only once; it took him nine months and one day. While looking for the third annex to the Italian edition in which he detailed the Gipsy Moth IV’s sail plan, I stumbled upon a chapter written by his wife Sheila Chichester. So often, beside every great man there’s a great woman. Sheila Chichester’s story made me think of the similarities between two great seafarers who each wrote a chapter of sailing history: Francis Drake and Francis Chichester. To cope with the separation from her husband during his solo sailing adventure, Sheila, a strong believer in positive thinking and prayer, had little cards printed out with the prayer attributed to Drake and gave them to friends and family.
©Turismo A Coruña The staggered departures of the Global Solo Challenge, which will take place from the end of August to December 2023, present the chance to explore a location that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime: the city of A Coruña, the start and finish port of this round-the-world challenge. There is no need for an excuse to visit the beautiful A Coruña, but as host of a non-stop solo round-the-world sailing event — the Global Solo Challenge — it is even more inviting. What more can you ask for from a city bathed in the untamed Atlantic, which combines the greenery of its surroundings with the blue of the sea and has an urban centre full of magic? Well, much more than anyone can imagine. The city, where no one feels like a stranger, offers spectacular landscapes and views of the Atlantic Ocean that will help you disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether arriving by car, plane, or after a pleasant sea journey, this city with a salty taste never disappoints. The 30 sailors expected to take part in the Global Solo Challenge already have the opportunity to enjoy their new