French skipper Maxine Noury from Fouesnant is the first female entry in the Global Solo Challenge finally bringing “a little of girl power in this world of brutes”, she says jokingly, but we have all been warned! We are extremely please as organisers of Maxine’s decision to be part of the event bringing such positive vibes.
We can only encourage more female participation as we know the value it brings enriching the experience for all. With entry criteria that allow a wide range of boats to participate, a website translated in 4 languages, efforts to help entries in their preparations, inclusion, diversity and the creation of a space to achieve goals and personal ambitions have been GSC’s core values from the start.
With a further confirmed entry to be announced over the next few days, the Global Solo Challenge is just one short of 20 confirmed entries. An incredible result considering this new event was launched just over 4 months ago, with a unique format that is proving very popular. We are still over 2 years away from the start but over 225 skippers have already registered their interest, 150 of these already own a boat. If things carry on at this rate, this could become the single-handed round-the-world non-stop sailing event by the three great capes with the most entries ever. Only time will tell, but we hold our breath and are both pleased and excited.
Where does your passion for sailing come from?
I believe it comes from having had the luck to have grandparents living on Belle Ile en Mer, an Island in French Brittany where I spent all my summer as a child, this is where I got on my grandfather’s wooden small sail fishing boat. He taught me to row single handed to get out of the harbour…. later, from optimists to caravels and 420’s at the local yacht club…. But when I began to really love it is when I discovered funboards, which allowed me to meet my love for swimming as well as playing with the wind… I even decided to go back to live on the island all year long to sail winter time. It is only in my late twenties that I discovered high sea sailboats, crewing a 52 foot catamaran in Saint Martin FWI.
What lessons have you learnt from sailing?
Be prepared, have back up equipment…. It is okay to be afraid before a storm, stay calm when it is on you if you haven’t managed to avoid it! The sea decides.
What brought you to like single-handed sailing?
I believe it goes back to my adolescent years reading, but it became crystal clear during a transatlantic, whenever alone on deck, enjoying the rising sun, I still had that feeling that it was a perfect moment… but it would be even better to be totally alone on board! And the call keeps coming when I go surfing and see all the others wishing for the best wave to go back ashore….. and I think “but what I want is to go the other way…. far offshore, when there is no more land in sight” and it is the goal I have set for my life.
What prompted you to sign up for this event?
I have seen the guys coming back from “La Longue Route” 50 years after Moitessier…. and thought “too bad I wasn’t ready.” Now, I am. I am looking for a boat to sail “a few times” around the globe for the rest of my life (except if, someday, I found a place a wished to stay) and when I saw the announcement of the Global Solo Challenge…. well…. it felt like the perfect opportunity to get my revenge!
How do you plan to prepare for this event?
1- Find what I will see as “the perfect boat for me “2- Prepare her 3- Train, train, train…. and train again !
What do you think will be the biggest challenge?
Remember it is a “race” and trying to make the best possible time instead of just enjoying being alone at sea.
Tell us about your boat or the boat you would like to have.
I am essentially looking for a strong, reliable boat. Maybe not the quickest, but a safe one and in this respect, the different safety requirements of the Global Solo Challenge are a reassurance. I also want a boat that is as self sufficient as possible. My dream boat would have an electric engine, a watermaker, and enough room to grow some greens! She shoud have the least negative impact on the environment possible.
Do you intend to link this personal challenge with a social message?
Yes, preservation of oceans and self reliance. A little of girl power in this world of brutes? (joking…. maybe)
Is there anything you’d like to add
Yes, even if the Global Solo Challenge will be my first time around alone, it will definitely not be the only one… there are too many latitudes to explore!
3 years crewing on charter boats in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean, based on the French Islands of Saint Martin and Mayotte.
An Atlantic crossing, from St Martin to Toulon via the Azores and Gibraltar.
A little trip from False Bay (South Africa) to Luderitz (Namibia).