Journey of Discovery of Emotions and Perspectives of GSC Skippers

©Cole Brauer

Days pass quickly at the GSC, but for the skippers, each hour and day is filled with novelty and surprises: some pleasant, others more challenging to face. The ocean, relentless, delves deep into the souls of the sailors. The saltwater, wind, and waves that stress and wear down the equipment of the boats in the great adventure of the GSC, act in the same way on the sailors. Facing the challenges scattered along their route, they discover countless hidden aspects of their personality and find the resources, to rise again after each difficulty, that they never thought they had.


Dafydd Hughes: Emotions on the High Seas

Dafydd Hughes aboard Bendigedig, the first to set off and sailing for over three months, shares that in his round-the-world trip, he is experiencing every sort of emotion. From one extreme to the other, from joy to despair. These feelings emerge and vary depending on whether he is admiring a sunset or if he has heard a “strange noise” coming from the boat, perhaps a prelude to an imminent technical problem. For Dafydd, as for many other competitors, anxiety is a constant travel companion, triggered mainly by the fear of a technical failure or the approach of a violent storm, unforeseen events that could end their dream of circumnavigating the world in a moment. Dafydd says that he can never relax completely. However, as he reaches new milestones and accumulates miles, the situation improves, and the tension loosens. He is now close to reaching the halfway point of his journey, a milestone that fills him with enthusiasm, as it symbolically represents the beginning of his “return home.”

Unfortunately, what Dafydd feared the most has happened: yesterday, Thursday, November 30, he announced that he is forced to head towards Hobart, due to a malfunction of the rudder angle sensor of his autopilot.

©Dafydd Hughes


Comfort in the Open Sea Routine: Philippe Delamare, François Gouin, and David Linger

Amidst the chaos of events and the changeability of weather, some skippers find comfort and serenity in their daily routine. Simple activities like washing, eating, and sleeping a sufficient number of hours, whichare taken for granted by those living on land, are described and reported in the skippers’ blogs as significant achievements.

Philippe Delamare aboard Mowgli, who is performing extremely well, has expressed from the start his desire to live his beautiful sea adventure. These days he is facing a great depression and told the organization that, in general, he tries not to stress at the idea of bad weather coming. He knows that over the next two months in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, he will experience a succession of low pressures; therefore, he prefers to think that it is normal. He emphasizes that sea conditions, more than the strength of the wind, represent the real difficulty.

For Francois Gouin aboard Kawan3, the routine is marked by small appointments with “land,” focused on educational programs and promoting “adapted” physical activity in the prevention and treatment of cancer. He organizes weekly videoconference meetings with the classes of his teacher friends, Muriel and Mireille, and participates in exchanges with students from the Moevai middle school in Tahiti, in collaboration with the Te Mana o Te Moana association for turtle protection. Every Wednesday, he speaks to children hospitalized in Lyon at the Léon Bérard Center, where he usually works. François finds it very pleasant to interact directly with the kids, and the days fly by between managing the boat, daily maintenance work, and all these activities.

David Linger, aboard Koloa Maoli, shares in a video that he recently took advantage of the calm, which slowed his navigation, to dedicate himself to maintenance work of the equipment and a regular eating regime. He ate every three hours to recover energy after his recent kidney stone issue. This quiet and rhythmic routine proved to be of great help.

©François Gouin


Between Technique and Tests of Character: Alessandro Tosetti’s Journey on Aspra

Emotions can help us if faced with a proactive attitude, as explained by Alessandro Tosetti aboard Aspra, discussing fear, courage, and patience.

Alessandro Tosetti shared yesterday his great satisfaction in having resolved an annoying creaking noise of the rudder of his boat, Aspra, that had been haunting him for a week and that made him fear not being able to solve the problem at sea. Talking about his preparation to face the difficulties of the southern seas that await him, he mentions that he is asking other competitors ahead of him on the course. He describes the fear that is sometimes felt, not as an obstacle that blocks, but as an ally that protects.

©Alessandro Tosetti


Ronnie Simpson and Shipyard Brewing: His Sporting Challenge Combined with a Message of Solidarity

Ronnie Simpson, sailing aboard Shipyard Brewing under a beautiful full moon with albatrosses flying over his boat, spoke in a video about his support for US Patriot Sailing. A veteran of the war in Iraq, Ronnie suffered an injury in 2004 while on duty. Sailing, discovered during his recovery, not only helped him save his directionless life but also led him to a new path. Ronnie, now competing in the GSC, is realizing his dream. At the end of his round-the-world trip, he wishes to continue sailing for US Patriot Sailing with the aim of sharing the benefits of sailing with other veterans.


Beyond Adversity: Kevin Le Poidevin and His Humanitarian Commitment at Sea

After a difficult start and preparation for the GSC, Kevin Le Poidevin, aboard Roaring Forty, has crossed the latitude of Madeira. Like Ronnie Simpson, Kevin also reflects on the importance of not sailing just for himself but linking his challenge to the support of two established and reliable charitable organizations: Brain Tumour Alliance Australia and Soldiers On. He thinks of those who are less fortunate, hoping that his adventure can offer them temporary relief from life’s challenges.

In the first days after leaving A Coruña, Kevin was overwhelmed by a whirlwind of emotions: from frustration due to the adverse weather conditions, which should have been favorable (“Am I the victim of a spell?”, he jokingly wondered), to gratitude towards everyone who helped him reach the starting line.

©Kevin Le Poidevin


De Keyser, a World Tour Marked by Sustainability

Whether it’s for a solidarity project or environmental protection, having a reason gives strength. Edouard de Keyser, currently stopping in Cape Town to address some technical issues, recently participated via videoconference in the Brussels sea festival, “Into the Blue.” During the event, he shared his exciting adventure with the audience and expressed his hope to restart soon, aiming to fulfill his dream of circumnavigating the world without using fossil fuels.


Pavlin Nadvorni, Chronicles from the Ocean and Reflections on Solitude

Pavlin Nadvorni, aboard Espresso Martini, has stood out from the beginning for his prolific narration of the adventures he is experiencing at sea. He has chosen to openly share the difficulties encountered, similar to those of other skippers. The round-the-world navigation confronts him with personal challenges, not only technical but also psychological. Pavlin, by nature a sociable person, recently reflected on solitude and longing for his family. He noticed that he checks his emails more frequently, looking for news from friends and family. Despite previous experiences away from home, missing his family weighs on him particularly. However, as long as he can answer “yes” every morning to the question he asks himself, “are you happy with what you are doing?” and as long as his mental integrity is not put to the test, he will continue resolutely to pursue his dream of sailing around the world.

©William MacBrien


Sail Issues for William MacBrien and Ari Känsäkoski

Ari Känsäkoski, following the recent depression that severely tested both him and his boat, causing damage to the mainsail car and sails, has been unable to resolve all the technical problems on board. On Wednesday evening, he announced the need for a stop in Cape Town to carry out urgent repairs. William McBrien, aboard Phoenix, had suffered some minor damage to the sails but managed to fix them independently. William is in good spirits and physically fit.


Cole Brauer: Unexpected Challenges Aboard First Light

Cole Brauer, the young and talented American skipper aboard First Light, shared her decision to participate in the GSC and sail solo as a way to assert herself in the world of sailing, demonstrating her real abilities. In the past, she had been discriminated against because of her stature and other stereotypes. Now seeking vindication, she is putting on a strong performance with decisive and courageous choices, such as the decision to head south, almost to the ice limit, to take advantage of strong but favorable winds towards the Cape of Good Hope. In a video sent a few days ago, Cole showed how her boat had suffered a knockdown that laid the boat at 90 degrees. The skipper handled the situation skillfully, although she did not hide that she was spooked.