What is the biggest challenge in a single-handed circumnavigation?

Class40 Cape Horn

Preparing boat and skipper for a non-stop single-handed circumnavigation by the three great capes is no easy task. Many are the challenges during preparation, financial, practical, as well as during the navigation itself. Getting to the start and sailing in the sourthern ocean are the recurring thoughts of many of our skippers. We asked them what they thought was the biggest challenge in taking part in the Global Solo Challenge. Here a selection of answers.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge?

Javier Lapresa

Honestly, I think the most difficult thing will be to be able to get good financial or material support from a sponsor to be able to bring new electronics and sails and be on the starting line with the best chances of completing the event with the fewest possible problems and of course, the southern areas will be a challenge that will be taken with great enthusiasm but where it will be necessary to be very cautious and forward-looking. I will miss being away from my son who is now 8 months old.

Amaury de Jamblinne

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.

William Croxford

My biggest challenge will be the southern ocean as this is completely different to anything I have/ will have experienced before with new hazards. Another challenge will be making sure I can manage my ulcerative colitis for the duration of the event.

Pierre-Etienne Rault

Face storms one by one in the deep south. And to endure loneliness for so many months.

Antoine Douguet

The biggest challenge is to maintain concentration, speed and state of the boat and sails for such a long period of time.

Brian Pattinson

The Southern ocean. We ocean race out through the Bass Strait every race, and sometimes below Tasmania. It can be, the worst seas I have ever been through, we are trained and expect the worst. It keeps us realistic about what can happen.

Maxine Noury

Remember it is a “race” and trying to make the best possible time instead of just enjoying being alone at sea.

Laurence Warner

Getting the boat ready is going to be a huge challenge…it has been sitting in a shipyard in Ireland since 2006 and has not had any maintenance in that time. Managing my rheumatoid arthritis at sea will be difficult, but I believe that this will be as much a mental challenge as physical. Remaining psychologically strong will be critical to push through the difficult times. During the race, I think attrition will be a big factor for all competitors, so not pushing too hard is, in my mind, going to be crucial, because finishing the race is the most important thing.

Neil Payter

For me the biggest challenge is wear and tear, chafe and maintenance, to try to keep the boat in one piece.

Peter Bourke

I should probably list the southern ocean as the greatest challenge, but at this point I consider getting to the start line with all the checklists completed as the main challenge.

Frédéric Switala

Strong winds, heavy seas and cold weather in Indian and Pacific Oceans, but you know that Cape Horn will be the reward.