2 + 2 Italians at the GSC: The inspiring tales of Riccardo, Alessandro, Patrick, and Ivan

As the sun sets over the horizon, casting an orange glow on the rippling waves, four men stand poised at the helm of their vessels, their sights set on an adventure that will push their endurance to the limit. Their story is one of passion, dedication, resilience, and the shared pursuit of a monumental goal – to compete in the Global Solo Challenge. This isn’t just about a sailing competition; it’s a testament to the human spirit’s ability to triumph over adversity, to turn dreams into reality.

Four remarkable sailors, Riccardo Tosetto, Alessandro Tosetti, Patrick Phelipon, and Ivan Dimov, each unique in their backgrounds and experiences, yet united in their love for the sea. These men aren’t just sailors; they’re visionaries, determined to transform their passion into a message for the world. A message of cleaner seas, unity, peace, social beauty, cross-cultural integration, and sustainable living. 

Whilst Riccardo and Alessandro were born in Italy. Ivan and Patrick have made the country their home, originally from Bulgaria and France respectively they both have lived in Italy for decades and are personal friends as well as the very first two entrants still on the entry list.

Join us as we delve into their stories, exploring their journey from their first encounter with the sea to their preparations for the Global Solo Challenge. Get ready to be inspired by their rich sailing histories, extensive preparation, and the invaluable lessons they’ve learned along the way. Meet the men who will risk it all to face the unknown, venturing into the vast, uncharted waters to make their mark on the world stage. 

Will they triumph over the challenges that lie ahead? Will they achieve their goals? Only the waves will tell. But one thing is certain: their stories are sure to inspire and ignite the spirit of adventure within you. So come aboard and let’s set sail into their fascinating journeys.


Riccardo Tosetto

©Riccardo Tosetto


Riccardo Tosetto is a dedicated Italian sailor, who is known for his passion for the sea and a professional approach to his maritime projects. Currently, he is gearing up for the Global Solo Challenge, a solo round-the-world sailing trip, aboard his Class 40, Obportus. Tosetto has a rich sailing history dating back to his childhood and has learned the art of sailing from mentors like Angelo Preden, who competed in the 1976 OSTAR.

Tosetto’s love for the sea isn’t confined to navigation alone; he is also deeply concerned about its health and marine pollution. Hence, during his Global Solo Challenge, he aims to spread a message for cleaner seas. He has partnered with sponsor IMilani, an Italian company that recycles and reuses post-consumer plastic waste, aligning with Tosetto’s cause. 

Preparation for his upcoming adventure is exhaustive and includes physical and mental readiness, comprehensive boat checks, and route study. He also plans to train by sailing between the Azores and Madeira. Despite the uncertainty about the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Tosetto is enthusiastic and his primary goal is to complete the round-the-world trip.


Alessandro Tosetti

Alessandro Tosetti Aspra
©Alessandro Tosetti


Alessandro Tosetti, an Italian architect hailing from Turin, is an official entrant in the upcoming Global Solo Challenge (GSC). With a lifelong passion for sailing that began during his childhood, Tosetti has significant experience sailing in the Mediterranean and the ocean. He has even earned a certification from the US Coast Guard, enabling him to transport passengers on vessels up to 100 tons.

In the GSC, Tosetti aims to showcase the harmony and unity that sailing brings, uniting diverse individuals in a common goal. Moreover, he plans to spread a message of peace, social beauty, and cross-cultural integration. Tosetti’s journey to the GSC involved training and undertaking his solo qualifying passage in winter 2021, before dedicating himself to the preparation and refitting of the boat.

In addition to his passion for sailing, Tosetti is also a dedicated architect. He has contributed to residential, cultural, and urban planning projects, and has a particular interest in designing lighting installations with natural luminescence and no electricity consumption.

As for his vessel for the GSC, Tosetti will be using ASPRA, his first and only owned boat that he built from the molds of a ULDB ’65ft designed by the Vallicelli studio. The boat has sailed more than 50,000 miles since her launch in 2002.


Patrick Phelipon

©Patrick Phelipon – Pen Duick VI Crew. From left to right: Éric Tabarly, 42; Patrick Phelipon, 20; Jean-Philippe Chaboud, 32; Pierre Montsaingeon, 29; Beranard Rubinstein, 27; Patrick Tabarly, 30; Marc Pajot, 20; Antoine Croyere, 24; Patrick Meulemeester, 21; Jean-Pierre Dagues, 27; Pierre Leboutet, 23; Olivier de Kersauson, 29


French-born Patrick Phelipon from La Rochelle has called Italy his home for decades and is well known in the Italian sailing circuit and should also be mentioned here. Patrick Phelipon is a sailor and yacht designer and first skipper to register as “Full Entry” for the Global Solo Challenge. He has spent five decades at sea. His deep connection with the ocean has inspired him to dream of a solo circumnavigation, which he regards as the potential crowning achievement of his career. Phelipon’s previous sailing feats include participating in the first edition of the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973-1974 with Éric Tabarly, whom he considers a significant influence.

Despite his achievements, Phelipon remains determined to compete and win rather than merely participate in races. His upcoming participation in the Global Solo Challenge is the realization of a long-held dream, one that he believes reflects his inherent independence and somewhat introverted character. In preparation, Phelipon is devoting significant time and energy to prepare the boat and study the race, with a focus on the route and weather. He will compete with his yacht, Effraie 2, a vessel that he had built in the 80’s that has returned to him after various ownerships.

Phelipon, whose experiences include sailing an equivalent of four circumnavigations, hopes to inspire others through his adventure. He believes in the power of determination and the value of a positive mindset. With an innovative approach to cooking and reliance on natural resources like fishing, he aims to sustain himself during the months-long journey. As a memento and source of comfort, he plans to carry personal items, including a picture from Sister Teresa of Lisieux and a notebook prepared by his partner Nicoletta and his late mother.

In sum, Patrick Phelipon represents a man whose love for the sea and sailing continues to guide his life, pushing him towards achieving his dream of a solo circumnavigation. His story embodies the values of determination, resilience, and the power of dreams, inspiring others to pursue their passions and strive for their goals.


Ivan Dimov

©Ivan Dimov


Ivan Dimov, a Bulgarian sailor, has led an adventurous life that seems straight out of a novel. Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, Dimov discovered the sea at a young age while traveling with his father. Despite the many challenges he faced, such as being stranded at sea for three days at the age of seven and living a homeless life in Italy, Dimov’s resilience and determination have kept him pursuing his dream of circumnavigating the globe. Just like Patrick Phelipon, a close friend of his, Ivan has been calling Italy home for several decades and lives and works in Tuscany.

Dimov’s life journey has been marked by various ups and downs. As a young man, after working as a chef in Cape Town he was forced to return to Bulgaria. Dimov then decided to leave the country to move to Italy, where he initially led a homeless life before finding work in restaurants and later as a bricklayer. 

Later in life, he served an English parliamentarian’s family for fifteen years, sailing between the UK and the Bahamas. Despite being offered a permanent move to the UK, Dimov chose to stay in Italy with his partner. 

His dream of circumnavigating the globe led him to modify a Coco 6.50, “Minnie,” for a first attempt in 2018. However, due to issues with the boat, he had to abandon this project. When Marco Nannini created the Global Solo Challenge, Dimov saw it as a second chance to realise his dream. He will participate in the Challenge aboard an Endurance 37, built, coincidentally, in South Africa.