Please select your home edition
Leaderboard FD July August September 2023
Product Feature
Ocean Safety Jon Buoy Recovery Module
Ocean Safety Jon Buoy Recovery Module

Global Solo Challenge updates, Transat Jacques Vabre finishes, Ocean Globe Race news

by David Schmidt 21 Nov 2023 20:00 GMT November 21, 2023
Andrea Mura - Open 50' Vento di Sardegna © Global Solo Challenge

These must be heady days for singlehanded skipper Andrea Mura. The Italian sailor set out from A Coruña, Spain, on Saturday aboard his Open 50, with nothing but wide-open horizon in front of his bow. That, and the 13 other skippers who began the pursuit-style Global Solo Challenge ahead of him. As of this writing (Monday morning, U.S. West Coast time), Mura was roughly off the coast of southern Portugal, making six-plus knots of VMG.

"I was aiming for the Vendée Globe because I wanted to push myself beyond the competitions I had already won," said Mura of his circumnavigation attempt in an official race report. "Unfortunately, that project did not come to fruition. Now, the Global Solo Challenge offers me the opportunity to sail around the world with my 23-year-old boat."

While Mura might be just finding his sea legs, others have been at this game for months. Skipper Dafydd Hughes (UK) departed from A Coruña on August 26 aboard his 1971 S&S 34, and is currently skimming the northern barrier of the race's ice exclusion zone to the west and south of Perth, Australia.

Only Hughes and Philippe Delamare (FRA), sailing aboard his Actual 36, have made it past the Cape of Good Hope, but, given the pursuit-style nature of this race, both race leaders know that they are being stalked from astern by faster competitors.

The exact opposite is true for sailors who are still competing in the Transat Jacques Varbre, which takes doublehanded crews from Le Harve, France, to Martinique. Here, the hares (read: Ultim trimarans) started first, and were pursued (once storm Ciaran sufficiently passed and the race organizers allowed the rest of the fleet to begin racing) by the IMOCA 60s, Ocean Fifty trimarans, and Class 40s.

After 14 days, 10 hours, 14 minutes, and 50 seconds, skippers Armel Le'Cleach and Sebastian Josse, sailing aboard the Ultim Maxi Banque Populaire XI, took top honors. They were followed by skippers Francois Gabart and Tom Laperche, sailing aboard SVR Lazartigue, and Charles Caudrelier and Erwan Isreal, sailing aboard Maxi Edmond de Rothschild.

In the Ocean Fifty class, skippers Thibaut Vauchel-Camus and Quentin Vlamynck, sailing aboard Solidaires en Peloton, took the bullet. They were followed across the finishing line by Fabrice Cahierc and Aymeric Chappellier, sailing aboard Realities, and Pierre Quiroga and Ronan Treussart, sailing aboard Viabilis Oceans.

History was made in the IMOCA class as skippers Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagraviere, sailing aboard For People, took top honors. For Ruyant, this win was his third consecutive transatlantic win (two were doublehanded victories, one was singlehanded), which is a new record.

But, rather than bask in post-racing glory, Ruyant was already focusing on his next goal, which is the singlehanded Vendée Globe Race.

"We work to win," Ryant said in a TJV communication. "I know I've won the last three transatlantic races, but the Vendée Globe isn't a transatlantic race and there are other competitors. That's the goal and the whole group is working towards it. In the back of our minds, we're making our boat more reliable for the Vendée Globe. You can't write the history of the Vendée Globe in advance, but that's our goal."

Ruyant and Lagraviere were followed across the finishing line by Yoann Richomme and Yann Elies, sailing aboard Paprec Arkea, and by Sam Goodchild and Antoine Koch, sailing aboard For The Planet.

The leaderboard is still being contested amongst the Class 40s. As of this writing, Xavier Macaire and Pierre Leboucher, sailing aboard Groupe Snef, were in the pole position, with ballpark 500 nautical miles to go. They were being chased, some 60 nautical miles astern, by Ian Lipinksi and Antoine Carpentier, sailing aboard Credit Mutuel, and Ambrogio Beccaria and Nicolas Andrieu, sailing aboard Alla Grande Pirelli

Meanwhile, in the fully crewed and retro-style Ocean Globe Race 2023, race leaders have now cleared the halfway point between Cape Town, South Africa, and Auckland, New Zealand. As of this writing, skipper Marie Tabarly and her Pen Duick VI team were leading the charge, followed by co-skippers Marco Trombetti and Vittorio Malingri and their Translated 9 crew, and by skipper Heather Thomas's Maiden.

According to reports, crews are enjoying long-period Southern Ocean waves that are ideal for surfing.

"This place is just amazing," said Jean-Christophe Petit, who is the skipper of the Swan 57 White Shadow, in an official race report. "None of us can refrain from saying it day and night. Everyone is having such pleasure navigating here. You almost have a feeling of exclusivity because you know it takes a lot of effort to get here, not only to participate in the Ocean Globe Race but you have to cross a lot of oceans to get here. It's a long trip, but really, really perfect."

While we're not there, we suspect that sentiments are different aboard skipper Taylor Grieger's Godspeed/Skeleton Crew. Word recently broke that the team has dropped out of the race after equipment damage and complications that further hampered their efforts.

Also, the crews of All Spice Yachting and Explorer have been dealing with unexpected headaches, but as of this writing, Explorer's bow was once again moving eastwards.

Sail-World wishes all Global Solo Challenge, TJV, and Ocean Globe Race competitors safe and speedy passage on their respective racecourses.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt North American Editor

Related Articles

From Hvar to Paris 2024
The Olympic Games are unique The Olympic Games are unique. Coming once every four years, it can be a once in a lifetime sporting opportunity. For the small Croatian island of Hvar, Paris 2024 is a first, as the island's first-ever Olympian will be competing, and he's a sailor. Posted on 23 Jul
Never again! (Except for next time…)
What's it like to take a Cruiser/Racer racing? And not just any old race What's it like to take a Cruiser/Racer racing? Not just any racing, mind you, but two of the world's most famous courses. The Transpac and the Hobart. This was the premise presented to Charles Ettienne-Devanneaux ahead of our most recent chat. Posted on 17 Jul
Whisper it quietly..
Don't say it too loudly, but the Youth Sailing Worlds are taking place next week Don't say it too loudly, but the Youth Sailing World Championships are taking place at Lake Garda in under a week's time. Posted on 9 Jul
It's upon us
Paris 2024 happens this month. Little wonder it seems like it has come back around quickly Paris 2024 happens this month. Little wonder it seems like it has come back around quickly, when this current quadrennial actually started in 2021. Still. Is what it is… 12 sailors comprise the Australian Olympic Sailing Team. Posted on 2 Jul
Make mine a Magnum
50 year old International Moth design gets a 21st century make-over In almost every respect, 'Magnum' was a 1970s classic, but 50 years on the Magnum Moth is about to get a 21st century make-over. Sailors wanting to join the growing Lowrider Moth fleet just have to ask themselves, "Do you feel lucky?" Posted on 27 Jun
Performance vs. Participation
Or Correlation vs. Causation? I've heard many a time that one of the reasons for a fall in participation in sailing is the increased performance of boats. Effectively, the skill level and athleticism required in high performance boats excludes a range of people from participating. Posted on 25 Jun
The latest kit for summer boating, rain or shine
Our pick of the latest kit Summer's finally here and the season is in full swing. Here's our pick of the latest kit for racing, cruising and enjoying the water, rain or shine. Posted on 19 Jun
It's just a stick
It was just like watching an enthusiastic kid It was just like watching an enthusiastic kid. Alinghi's Silvio Arrivabene was totally in the 'nothing to see here' mode, and moreover, was keener to get into the ‘maybe exceeding them' remarks about their targets. Did someone say, ‘Spinal Tap'? Posted on 17 Jun
Corinthian Spirit
The inaugural Corinthian J70 Worlds had a superb entry of 109 boats Sailing has gone through phases of being professional and Corinthian. Originally a pastime for the rich, then becoming a sport for everyone during the boom in the 1960s and 1970s. Posted on 11 Jun
Para, Inclusive and Open RS Venture Connect
We find out more ahead of the upcoming World Championship at Rutland, UK We speak to Dan Jaspers, who is responsible for International Sales and Business Development at the RS Marine Group, about the RS Venture Connect. Posted on 6 Jun