HomeGlobal Solo ChallengeGlobal Solo Challenge Official Start Dates Announced

Global Solo Challenge Official Start Dates Announced

The Global Solo Challenge (GSC), the unique around-the-world, non-stop, solo sailing event, is pleased to announce the start dates for all participants. A thrilling mix of individuals and boats will commence their solo circumnavigation from A Coruña, Spain, between August 26, 2023, and January 6, 2024, embarking on a journey that promises to be as challenging as it is thrilling.

The GSC has been designed to provide sailors with an affordable and well-organised event, which prizes safety above all else. The challenge draws in a wide range of boats and participants, including solo sailors keen to test their mettle and display their competitive edge. It offers a unique, exhilarating spectacle for audiences worldwide, as well as an opportunity for sailors to test their skills.

The event format sees the boats grouped by performance characteristics and released in successive departures over several months, from August 26 to January 6. The aim is to create an engaging and dramatic competition where all entrants stand a fair chance of victory, with the first boat to cross the finish line declared the winner. The excitement lies in the pursuit: faster boats will attempt to catch up with slower ones, offering nail-biting suspense until the very end.

©David Linger


The Global Solo Challenge is open to a broad spectrum of vessels, from 32ft classic long keel cruisers to more contemporary cruiser/racers, including one-off open designs and racing boats such as Class40s, Open 50s, and Open 60s. To create a spirit of inclusivity and respect for the environment, the organizers of the event have discouraged the construction of boats specifically for the event.

Based on the boats’ ratings, the event’s schedule begins on August 26th, 2023, with boats expected to take around 202 days to complete their circumnavigation. Meanwhile, the fastest boats will depart 133 days later on January 6th, 2024, as they are anticipated to be able to complete their journey in just 69 days. Within these extremes, the largest group of participants, comprising Class 40s and Open 40s, is predicted to set sail on October 28th, 2023, aiming to finish in approximately 139 days. Remarkably, all these differing timelines converge towards a shared goal – every boat is, in theory, set to finish their circumnavigation on March 15th, 2024, offering a dramatic finale to this unique event.

The first entrants to depart, Dafydd Hughes, aboard his S&S 34, Bendigedig, and Ivan Dimov on his Endurance 37, Blue Ibis, will start their journey on August 26th, 2023, at 1300 UTC. The last skipper to depart, Volkan Kaan Yemlihaoğlu on his Open 70, Black Betty, will set sail on January 6, 2024. In total, twenty participants from around the world will take part in this extraordinary event.

©Édouard De Keyser


The Global Solo Challenge truly embodies the spirit of international sportsmanship, with the diverse roster of skippers hailing from around the world. Representing a vast array of nationalities, including the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Belgium, France, Finland, the United States, Canada, Spain, Italy, and Turkey, these skippers bring a unique blend of sailing traditions, tactics, and cultural richness to the event. Their shared passion for sailing unites them as they prepare for the challenge, irrespective of their geographical origins, fostering a global community bound by the love of solo circumnavigation.

The GSC may be a competition for some, but it is primarily a platform for participants to accomplish a dream many sailors share. The race format allows sailors to take part in an ambitious single-handed circumnavigation while benefiting from the solidarity and camaraderie that comes from being part of a global event.

For more details about the event and to see the full list of participants and start dates visit: https://globalsolochallenge.com/start-dates/


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