Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s words in support of Dafydd Hughes’ GSC campaign

Dafydd Hughes

Dafydd Hughes was one of the first entries in the Global Solo Challenge 2023/2024 when it was first announced in late 2020. Since then he has acquired a Sparkman & Stephens 34 for the event, renamed Bendigedig, which had been sitting in a shed for over a decade.

The boat was in need of a total refit and Dafydd has taken on the project with total dedication, with the slogan “dream, commit, conquer”. His often humorous and entertaining updates and videos have highlighted his natural media skills which are nowadays a complementing part of any offshore sailor sailing campaign. He has been one of the most vocal and prolific entries in the event and as organisers we are very pleased with his enthusiasm and talent in sharing his story with the public.

Dafydd is no stranger to adventure and sailing challenges, as a past Clipper Crew Member he has sailed around the world and in the southern Oceans on board “Glasgow” in 2007. It is then that he met for the first time Sir Robin Knox-Johnston who shared with us a note in support of his campaign.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston needs little introduction as one of the most famous sailors of all times, in 1969 he became the first person to complete a solo circumnavigation on his sailboat Suhaili. His achievements throughout his life are staggering and for more information you can consult his extensive Wikipedia profile page.

In 1996, Knox-Johnston established the first Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and has since worked with the Clipper Ventures company as chairman. He is also Patron of the revival of the Golden Globe Race, re-established in 2018 by Don McIntyre.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s note of support:

“It is always with great delight, when I hear of a past Clipper Crew member taking on further, challenging adventures in life. I have seen many past crew and skippers go on to reach new goals. This time it is ex-crew member Dafydd Hughes, completely committed to the ultimate sailing test, a solo circumnavigation, with his entry, “Bendigedig” an S&S34 in the Global Solo Challenge 2023/24.

I first met Dafydd in 2007, when he was crew member of Glasgow in 07/08 edition of the Clipper Race. Not only did he complete the race, but he did so as a Round the World Watch Leader, helping to guide Glasgow to an overall podium position. Since completing Clipper 07/08 Dafydd has gained his RYA Yachtmaster, and climbed Mt Blanc, now he’s off round the world again.

Dafydd’s campaign for the Global Solo Challenge is progressing well. He has spent the last 12 months completely refitting “Bendigedig”, carrying out most of the work himself. One thing for sure he will know every single inch of that boat, the ideal way to prepare for this adventure. During this campaign Dafydd has so far secured three sponsors. It is fabulous to see that one of these is also past Clipper Crew, Edwin Harrison, Glasgow 07/08, in the form of Curious Roo Coffee Roasters.

When undertaking such a challenge, it often said, that getting your boat, ready, funded and fully prepared is far harder than the actual sailing part. Many have fallen by the wayside just trying to get to the start line. I understand that there are sponsorship opportunities available, for further details please contact Dafydd directly at bendigedig@bendigedig.net . Please do what you can to support him and his partner charity Coed Lleol. Dafydd tells me that Coed Lleol (Small Woods Wales) is the name for the Small Woods Association in Wales. They help to improve the health and wellbeing of people across Wales through woodland and nature based activities. Dafydd adds “This is something that I’m passionate about, as it was working in the woods that helped my recovery from my own mental health issues”.

Unfortunately I’m unable to attend the re-launch on the 3rd April 2022, therefore I’ll take this opportunity to wish him well, and hopefully catch up before he leaves for A Coruña, Northern Spain in late summer 2023″.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston