One man’s solo voy­age around the world

Yachting Monthly - - NEWS -

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

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