A new round-the-world solo sailing challenge is born, the GSC Global Solo Challenge
The Global Solo Challenge has been launched, an incredible personal sailing challenge: a single-handed circumnavigation, without stops, on production boats.
Many are those with a passion for offshore sailing, professionals with thousands of miles under their keel who often can’t sign up and compete in main offshore sailing events due to the enormous costs involved nowadays. The Global Solo Challenge seeks to bridge that gap. The boats admitted in the event are widely available production boats of about 35 to 45 feet built in a minimum series of 20 and launched before 2005.
There are other limitations regarding displacement/length ratio that effectively cut out boats that are too expensive, open designs, custom builds – all with a view to containing the budget and creating an event that is truly unique in its format. Here you can find out how it works.
The choice of widely available series boats is also made with the environment in mind as it follows the guiding principles of a “circular economy”, where available resources are re-used respecting the sea and the planet.
The Global Solo Challenge is an event created by sailors for sailors. The Event Director, Marco Nannini, has a palmares that includes participation in the OSTAR, the Route du Rhum and the Global Ocean Race. The latter is an around-the-world double-handed race in stages on Class40s, where he took second place overall, earning him the title of Italian Sailor of the Year 2012 and a Medal for his Merits awarded by the Presidency of the Senate of the Republic of Italy.
For five years, Marco managed an offshore training and sailing centre in Italy, which aggregated the biggest fleet of Mini 650 in one location in the Mediterranean. There he organised frequent training races. His degree in Economics and Finance from the University of York and his previous career in Finance add value to the management side of the event.
“The Global Solo Challenge is the result of an in-depth study on how to offer a sailing event where it is not just the budget that makes the difference. The event format is new and unique,” explained Marco.
“The safety of participants is an absolute imperative: skippers must demonstrate that they are prepared with a 2000-mile qualifier in challenging and varied sea state conditions on the boat they wish to enter in the event, a qualifier that will be monitored by the organisers. Several starts are scheduled for the participants, with the goal of keeping the fleet as close together as possible especially at the crucial time of the roundings of Cape Horn, in case of problems or technical difficulties. Smaller and slower boats will get a head start and week after week, in groups of boats of similar speed, all boats will set off with the fastest leaving last. Once started, however, the event is held in real time without time correction and hence the first boat home will win. Thanks to the format, slower boats will also have a chance to win and won’t be cut out.”
The various starts of the Global Solo Challenge will take place in September 2023 from the Canaries. The course is a traditional East about round-the-world circumnavigation by the three great capes: Cape Good Hope, Cape Lleeuwin and Cape Horn, leaving the Antarctic region and all known ice to starboard.
The event has already received the interest of over 40 skippers from all over the world in its first week alone. Skipper Ivan Dimov, originally from Bulgaria but long a resident of Italy, has been the first to sign up for the challenge.