Roaring Forty #2 – Preparations and spreading the GSC message

As I don’t have Roaring Forty in Australia, I am kept busy retirement
planning and maintaining my Sigma 36. In future posts I will describe some
of the work I have undertaken so far on Roaring Forty when I was preparing
her for a passage back to Australia from The Netherlands, before the GSC
came to light. But for now I will keep you informed of other Australian
based happenings, and in particular my 1983 Sigma 36, Rogue Wave.

There’s plenty of planning for the training and preparation for the many
events leading up to the GSC in 2023; including talking with potential
partners to discuss opportunities much like I suspect everyone is doing. But
just as important is for the skippers as competitors, we need to support
each other and also Marco as the organizer. The more we follow and support
each-others journey, the more we can enjoy and share our adventure and
maximise our time in port prior to the start.

I follow Dafyyd’s cheery updates as he merrily chips away task by task,
although going sailing and drinking beer probably doesn’t quite meet the
‘kidnapped’ criteria and I had a good laugh watching him in his rubber
chicken exposure suit ..couldn’t help myself sorry Dafyyd! Whilst watching
him progress his refit I find myself grinning to myself that it’s not me
crawling around the bilges…that was me in 2018/19. I bet the UK summer has
helped that epoxy go off a fair bit quicker Dafyyd!

Reading Manu’s posts about his passion and love of his trusty and seaworthy
yacht Celeste, makes me wonder if the French have a class at school that
ignites a connection with the sea to draw out emotions that only the French
seem to display.

Brian Pattinson lives down in Melbourne and we have been having catchups to
keep each other motivated. And then there’s Will Fantom, who unfortunately
ran aground and lost his yacht. The public has rallied and it looks like he
will be back on the water with a some real life lessons on fatigue

There’s an interesting bunch of competitors assembling now and whilst all
may not make the start, know that I am committed to my life-long goal of a
solo, non-stop and unassisted circumnavigation that I can now realise
through the GSC.

Last year, I took my lovely Rogue Wave off the market as without Roaring
Forty in Australia I would have been boatless…and that honestly did not
sit well with me at all. I have owned her since 2009 and set her up for solo
offshore racing back in 2012.

In 2014, I competed in my first major event the Solo Trans-Tasman Challenge
from New Zealand to Mooloolaba Queensland Australia. The delivery passage to
NZ is at the end of the cyclone season and it can get pretty rough, so
that’s why I cannot stress enough that getting to the start line is a major
hurdle/victory in itself. Everything after that is a bonus.

In 2019, I pulled together my crew of old Rogues together and we tackled our
first Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (RSHYR). We completed the race with no
injuries and only a couple of minor damage like battens and an alternator
issue. A litre bottle of rum was also damaged in Hobart, however the crew
were bit hazy as to how that happened. The passage back home to Port
Stephens was solo as the weather window was late and crew have commitments.
During a big southerly change, my #2 had a catastrophic failure and
exploded, so from Batemans Bay to home I was under #4 Heavy Weather jib and
reefed main and still doing 9-10 knots.

This year is the first time the RSHYR will have a Double Handed Division,
and my keen-as-mustard co-skipper Daz will joining me for his first big
offshore shorthanded adventure after years of training. We have been sailing
together since 2012 so he knows the boat well and I am excited to be able to
grow the next generation of solo sailors. Daz is based in Adelaide South
Australia, which is a longish sort of day trip of about 1700km, and with
COVID border closures training is off the cards. We may get to do a
qualifying passage or it may just be a waiver and a case of just get to the
start line from Port Stephens.

Rogue Wave will racing for our two charities which I will talk more about in
another post as I will also carry them through the GSC event.

We will also brand the hull with some Global Solo Challenge decals during
the RSHYR to promote our event and potentially open a few doors as we gain
worldwide media exposure in the iconic 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Rogue Wave Video links: Rogue Racing (

Roaring Forty Video links: <>
Roaring Forty -1997 Lutra Open 40 (

Until next time,