One man’s solo voyage around the world
Unlike the skippers competing in the Golden Globe Race, who have to sail using equipment from 1968 or earlier, Andy Press is taking three laptops and three tablets with him on his non-stop solo circumnavigation around the world this summer.
The 41 year old from Weston-supermare is planning to leave in his 38year-old Warrior 35 Greenfingers on 14 July from Uphill Beach in the Bristol Channel, home of the Weston Bay Yacht Club.
Fewer than 250 sailors have ever circumnavigated solo and non-stop around the world.
Speaking to YM ahead of his departure, Press explained why he was undertaking the voyage: ‘The challenge will be great to achieve but it’s more to go out and have a nice long sail. I love the ocean, and being out there on the odd three-week holiday from work isn’t enough.’
Press began sailing as a young child and has regularly made solo trips to the west coast of France. The furthest he has sailed is from Exmouth to the Charente river, Rochefort.
Although it is coincidence that he is starting just weeks after the retro Golden Globe Race, he said the tales of pioneers like Sir Robin Knox-johnston and Sir Francis Chichester have left their mark.
‘I’ve read the books and my father told me about Chichester, so there is definitely some influence there, particularly the journeys of Chay Blyth and Bernard Moitessier, who are my two biggest sailing heroes,’ he said, adding that sailing past Cape Horn will be his biggest highlight.
Press, who is single, has made lots of modifications to Greenfingers. The standing rigging has been replaced; he has installed self-steering gear and has rewired the boat. He has also had plenty of help from members of Weston Bay Yacht Club.
‘I’m not sure how she’ll handle in the Southern Ocean, though
I have made some preparations, like having a fourth reef in the main for a makeshift try sail. On the suggestion of a club member, I will take a dinghy sail to run off the backstay as a makeshift mizzen and I have a military parachute to act as a sea anchor. I also have plenty of rope of course. My plan is to try out all of these different methods of storm tactics to find out what works best. I love the idea Moitessier endorses of just running rather than heaving to. I will try out all of these things and see what works,’ said Press.
He is hoping to return to the UK within 10 months and will be providing weekly updates to the club. His voyage can be followed at www.wbyc.co.uk.
Andy Press plans to return to the Bristol Channel in 10 months time