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RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

German Philipp Hympendahl is the 50th entry in the Global Solo Challenge

by Global Solo Challenge 21 Jul 20:40 BST
Philipp Hympendahl © Global Solo Challenge

Philipp is the first German entry in the Global Solo Challenge, bringing the total number of nationalities represented by skippers to 15.

The core values of the GSC, reaffirmed through the partnership with TÜV Thüringen Italia, are those of inclusion, financial and environmental sustainability. We are very please to have created an event with such a vast appeal. These same values stuck a chord with Philipp who had long been dreaming of a solo nonstop circumnavigation.

As a photographer and filmmaker he will certainly bring the event to life with fascinating pictures and footage of this once in a lifetime adventure. We are very proud to have hit the incredible milestone of 50 entries and we're not sure we've seen the end of it, we already have a 51st entry to announce from the US and others who are in the process of finalising their decision.

The first hurdle for all skippers is to align time, family, finances and preparation to make it to the start line, there will certainly be some who won't be able have all planets align, but with such a strong entry list it is already a record breaking event, considering it is a solo, unassisted, nonstop, circumnavigation!


Where does your passion for sailing come from?

I started as a kid. My father circumnavigated the world and although family and kids changed priorities for a while. Sailing never got out of my head.

What lessons have you learned from sailing?

Alone on the ocean things count and decisions matter. Being respectful and humble to your environment, playing with the elements and accepting the rules, you will be rewarded by a universe of great moments.

What brought you to like single-handed sailing?

It is the most intense experience of nature and your own emotions, not filtered by someone else.

Nothing is more sublime, nothing makes me feel more alive and happy. The more I sailed single handed the more I love it.

What prompted you to sign up for this event?

I was dreaming of a nonstop circumnavigation for a long time. Now it seems the right time for me and the event fits to my sailing philosophy. Plus, I like the idea of a budget and environmental friendly solution.

How do you plan to prepare for this event?

Get a good boat, prepare the boat and do anything I can to be the best version of myself on the starting line.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge?

Besides the stressful next year, it will be the last days in the marina before departure, I hate waiting. From my experience, before a big challenge everything that can happen goes through your imagination, but you can't do anything. In the event, things can also go wrong, but you are able to react and find solutions.

Tell us about your boat or the boat you would like to have.

I will sail with a similar boat than the one I had the last 7 years, just bigger. I have a Sigma 36 or a Oyster 41 I will soon purchase. I will keep the systems as simple as possible, technology always fails, it is just a question of time. To finish you have to have a very reliable boat, that is what I aim for.

Do you intend to link your personal challenge to a social cause?

As I have the environmental issues on my personal agenda since I was young, my personal message is: Growth kills, use less! That is why I like the idea of the race to prefer older boats instead of building new ones.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

A project like this is unrealistic without help. I am proud to have a small team that supports me and I still need some sponsorship to get to the starting line. As the only German entrant and being totally committed I am positive to be successful. As a photographer and filmmaker I am not just begging for money. I am confident to be able to give a lot back to those who support me. Thanks to my team, hoping to see it grow from now on.

Sailing experience

A long time in my life I was a cyclist and became a ultra cyclist, going on long distance events and races. Besides endurance that taught me the confidence to go through tough times, knowing it will get better again.

I sailed a lot with my father when I was young. Sailed from Guatemala to Tahiti in my twenties, I was part of the Lapita Voyage Expedition 2008.

I owned a Mini 6.50, did some regattas and since seven years have my beloved half-tonner AFRICAN QUEEN. I did a winter journey round Denmark recently, sailed to France, England and just come back from a big north sea circle journey, all single handed.

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