We are pleased to announce the entry of Andrea Mura into the Global Solo Challenge with his Open 50 “Vento di Sardegna” (literally “Wind of Sardinia”, his native Italian region). Andrea, with over 200,000 nautical miles under his keel, has had a career spanning from Olympic sailing classes to the America’s Cup to offshore racing. He will join the fleet of twenty sailors who are preparing to face solitude and the vastness of the oceans in a round-the-world journey by sail, solo, non-stop via the three great capes: Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin, and the legendary Cape Horn.
The Global Solo Challenge adopts a unique staggered start format based on the characteristics of each boat. Andrea’s departure on his faithful boat “Vento di Sardegna” is scheduled for November 18, 2023, after the Class40s and before the Open 60s and 70s.
Andrea Mura has had a long career as a sailor, with a passion for the sea that dates back to his childhood in Sardinia. He has achieved exceptional results over the years, including two European titles in the 420 class, a Junior World Championship title in the 470 class, two 470 Olympic campaigns and one on Tornados, as well as eleven Italian titles in various classes. In 1989, he was selected to be part of the America’s Cup Italian team “Il Moro di Venezia” which then won the Louis Vuitton Cup.
In 2007, Mura purchased from Pasquale de Gregorio the Open 50 “Wind Express”, designed by Felci Yacht Design, renaming it “Vento di Sardegna” and began participating in national and international offshore races with a long sequence of victories including 4 editions of the “Roma x 2” (double-handed) and 2 of the “Roma x 1” (single-handed), an edition of the Middle Sea Race, a victory in the Route du Rhum in 2010 which also earned him the title of Italian Sailor of the Year followed by a second place in RDR 2014. He also won the Twostar 2012, the Quebec St. Malo 2012, and the 2013 and 2017 editions of the OSTAR.
In 2014, Andrea had already come close to the dream, taking on the challenge of a solo circumnavigation by purchasing the Verdier-designed Imoca 60 sistership to Banque Populaire to participate in the Vendée Globe 2016: the boat built by Persico in Italy was a state of the art racing boat. However, shortly after its launch and at the end of the initial sea trials, it was regretfully sold due to lack of resources.
Andrea has received numerous accolades for his achievements, including the Gold Medal of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), the highest Italian sports award in sailing. His participation in the Global Solo Challenge marks an exciting new chapter in his remarkable career.
Looking forward to Andrea’s participation in the GSC, we asked him a few brief questions.
Where did your passion for sailing come from?
From the “Golfo degli Angeli” in Cagliari, Sardinia, an extraordinary place to sail all year round.
What lessons have you learned from sailing?
Sailing is the training ground for life.
Do you intend to tie this personal challenge to a social cause?
I have always helped people with disabilities by taking them aboard my Open 50 ‘Vento di Sardegna’ for therapeutic outings.
What led you to solo sailing?
After 55 years of sailing around the cans in three Olympic campaigns, in one-design and offshore races on maxis, supermaxis, and the America’s Cup on “Moro di Venezia” as a trimmer for Paul Cayard, I decided to venture into solo offshore sailing where I could put to fruition all the experience gained in a lifetime dedicated to both competitive and cruising sailing.
What drives you to sign up for this event?
In 2008, I purchased my Open 50 (formerly IMOCA 50), launched in 2000, as a stepping stone to moving to the IMOCA 60 class with a view to participate in the Vendée Globe. Participating in the Global Solo Challenge today is a unique and unrepeatable opportunity for me to compete in a solo non-stop round-the-world race on my 23-year-old boat.
How do you plan to prepare for this event?
As with all oceanic races, 80% of the campaign’s success is achieved ashore through meticulous preparation of the boat and the skipper. Therefore, I am investing all the available time getting ready.
What do you think will be the biggest challenge?
Having the boat ready, not forgetting anything, and knowing how to manage all the onboard resources to go as fast as possible safely to achieve a result, i.e first of all completing the race.
- Eight years in the Italian National Sailing Federation team from 1980 to 1988
- Two European titles in the 420 Class in 1981 and 1982
- One Junior World title in the 470 Class in 1984
- Eleven Italian titles in various classes, both Olympic and Offshore Sailing
- Two Olympic campaigns in the 470 Class and one in the Tornado Class
- One America’s Cup campaign as trimmer for “Il Moro Di Venezia” from 1989 to 1992
- Two World titles (America’s Cup and 50-foot class “Abracadabra”)
- 1st place at the Louis Vuitton Cup – 1992
- 1st place Roma x 2 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010
- 1st place Corsica x 2 2006
- 1st place Middle Sea Race in doppio 2009
- 1st place Route du Rhum 2010
- 1st place Twostar 2012
- 1st place Québec 2012
- 1st place OSTAR 2013, 2017
- 3rd place Transat Jacques Vabre – 2013
- 2nd place Route du Rhum 2014
- 1st place Roma x 1 2016, 202