About The skipper



Years Old

Lives: Cedar Park, Texas, United States

Miles sailed: 50000

Group: TBA

Status: Retired Entry

Where does your passion for sailing come from?

My Father, Frank, was in the Royal Navy, so I grew up and lived by the sea. As children my siblings and I would go the the Navy Base in Singapore and take our Piccolos (basically a flat wood raft with a sail) and sail around the ships at anchor in the Straits.

When I had a young family we did the Sunsail bareboat thing in Greece and Turkey, and a started thinking about sailing around the world.

When my Father died, I bought my boat, renamed it after him and sailed her from England to my home in Texas.

I feel quite at home in a small sailboat in a vast sea.

What lessons have you learnt from sailing?

There are many better sailors than me, and often they let me know it, or it is readily apparent to all. Surprisingly few, however, are willing, to go it alone, despite having the abilities. It’s the same in business: I do startups in IT. It seems easier and safer to be employed, but in truth we are all sailing our own boat. Trust the boat. Sat in the cockpit with the seas towering above you, you are more likely to let the boat down than she you. Halyards yearn to be free – seizing wire is your friend.

The engine is auxiliary, not primary. When I lost my engine west of Grand Cayman, I just kept going and despite some intense surfing through the Yucatan Straight, it was stressless. I did have solar panels, mind you.

Mostly, I learned about myself: I can do it. There’s a big difference between being alone and being lonely. One can be lonely in company and quite content alone.

That last tin of peaches is a feast.

What brought you to like single-handed sailing?

There’s a feeling of being in harmony with boat and weather and sea which is different when shared with a crew.

To appease my sister, I had originally planned to “do” the ARC from the Canaries to St Lucia, with my brother-in-law. I’d assumed that I had to have a crew member.

Fortunately, he went off in a huff one day and I was so relieved that I was going to do it solo, even if it meant skipping the ARC, which requires a minimum of two crew.

We start with assumptions and we must challenge them.

I adore the solitude and the challenge of single-handed sailing.

What prompted you to sign up for this event?

I read about it in Sailing Magazine (the only read that I subscribe to) and wondered if I could afford it. The biggest cost is time – opportunity cost – but having to raise thousands to enter such an event is a massive barrier to circumnavigating the globe. Suddenly, here is an opportunity, and the timing looks right.

How do you plan to prepare for this event?

I have all the gear – satnav, safety gear, radar, boat, spares.

I am slowly fettling the boat, and have been since I arrived in Texas in February 2016, so I’ll get on with getting her ship shape.

The real prep will be the sail to Coruña from Texas, so I’d assume that would be Spring of 2023.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge?

Selling it to my wife.

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

Frank. Sadler 34. Blue water boat, double-skinned, proven long range cruiser. Easy to sail single-handed. Yanmar 39hp 3 Cylinder, which I had rebuilt. She is happy to sail at 5-7 kts, dry cockpit and well equipped. I had the keel dropped and reset when I arrived in Texas. Named her after my Father – it was the only way I could get her to Texas. The offset prop makes for interesting reversing in tight spaces.

Sailing experience

I came last in the regatta after a Sunsail holiday in Turkey. I had a 40+foot Beneteau and the wind was non-existent.

As I drifted across the finish line, everyone headed in for lunch, and then the wind came up (those katabatibc winds just after noon) so I had a fantastic sail, rails in the water. So I came last but had the best sail. That will do it for me.

About The Boat

Colin Bastable

Upwind sail area: TBA

Downwind sail area: TBA

Sail Number: 1437C

Boat design: Sadler 344 (David Sadler & Son.)

Year built: 1985

Group: TBA