News Articles

Marco Nannini

Waiting for the “second winner” of the Global Solo Challenge

Cole Brauer – First Light @colebraueroceanracing   After the first to cross the finish line of the Global Solo Challenge, French Philippe Delamare on Mowgli,  we’re getting ready to welcome the second winner, the young Ms. Cole Brauer on First Light. Let me explain. Cole Brauer on crossing the finish line will become the first American female to ever complete a solo non stop circumnavigation by the three great capes and will therefore write her very own page in history. She will join an elite of less than 200 men and women that have ever achieved this incredible feat. In 1969, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston became the first ever person to complete a solo circumnavigation by sail without stopping in a time of 313 days on his 32ft Suhaili. It was not until nearly 20 years later in 1988 that Australian Kay Cottee became the first female to succeed in achieving the goal on board her 37ft Blackmores First Lady.   Since then and including Kay, a total of only 17 women ever managed to gain an entry in the solo (non-stop) circumnavigators register which is maintained by the International Association of Cape Horners (IACH) whose president is the very Sir

Marco Nannini

An immense Philippe Delamare wins the Global Solo Challenge 2023-2024

Philippe Delamare – Mowgli @globalsolochallenge   On Saturday February 24th at 3 minutes past 3 pm, local time, Philippe Delamare crossed the finish line by the breakwater of the Galician city of A Coruña winning the first edition of the Global Solo Challenge on Mowgli, 147 days and 1 hour after leaving for his circumnavigation on September 30th 2023. His arrival was triumphant, epic and emotional. Huge waves were smashing by the Tower of Hercules, the iconic outpost that marks the western end of the bay of A Coruña, the oldest lighthouse still in function, built nearly two millennia ago. Even driving a rigid work power boat we had to head out towards Philippe very slowly, and zig-zag to avoid breaking waves. When we spotted a white sail behind the crests it was initially difficult to keep visual contact, was it him? The sail kept approaching and disappearing behind walls of water, when we saw a first glimpse of Mowgli’s distinctive orange hull we all gasped: it was him!   Philippe was sailing with just a partially furled headsail, two days before he had broken his boom and could not use the mainsail. The staysail halyard had ripped off the

Marco Nannini

The war of attrition in the Global Solo Challenge has not come to an end yet

Kevin Le Poidevin – Roaring Forty @Royal Australian Air Force   A  circumnavigation by sail is one of the most extreme and difficult sporting feats to bring to a successful conclusion and less than 200 people ever managed to do it solo and non stop. Of the 16 starters in the Global Solo Challenge half have retired and only 5 are the boats that have not had to stop for emergency repairs. The statistics appear terrible, and it may be tempting to think that something is not right. Unfortunately, a 40-60% success rate on a similar voyage is pretty normal. In recent years only the top pro category of IMOCA 60 footers sailing in the Vendée Globe has managed to raise the bar in terms of completion rate, thanks to years of work within the class that led, for example, to standardised keels and masts for all boats, greatly reducing the number of dismastings and keel losses. An event like the Global Solo Challenge does not have boats all conforming to a set of Class rules. The event has a set of regulations which very closely mirror the World Sailing best practices contained in the Offshore Special Regulations for Category

Marco Nannini

A treacherous winter storm on Philippe Delamare’s route to the finish

Philippe Delamare – Mowgli @globalsolochallenge   Philippe Delamare is charging on towards A Coruña and the end is in sight. His distance to finish is now approximately the same as a Fastnet, Sydney to Hobart or Middle Sea Race, just over 600 nautical miles. These are the classic long distance races that are the highlight of many sailors’ racing seasons. For Philippe it is just the final run home, after sailing more than 25,000. However, the oceans once more decided to prepare one last farewell storm for him. The weather forecast is absolutely unforgiving, and worrying.   Having arrived on sunday in A Coruña to prepare to welcome Philippe, I mentioned the nice weather to the taxi driver and his immediate reaction was “this is a false spring breakout, just wait for the storm at the weekend, it will be one of the worst this winter”. The weather charts seem to agree with the knowledgeable taxi driver, very strong north westerly winds will blow for days and pump up waves in excess of 10 meters in the north Atlantic and even A Coruña will be hit by 9 meter seas. To give you an idea, this is when the port