Amaury de Jamblinne from Grez-Doiceau in Belgium dreams of participating in a Vendée Globe, but he is aware it is an event that is out of reach for most, unless you have been thrown into ocean racing since a younger age and became a top sailing professional. The Global Solo Challenge offers the possibility of setting off for a circumnavigation by the three great capes single-handed for a reasonable budget while also offering the (relative) added safety of sailing within a fleet in the framework of an organised event.
Amaury is the is the 30th entry in the Global Solo Challenge, a milestone that, as organisers, we are absolutely thrilled with and didn’t expect to reach this early or perhaps even at all. With more than 2 years to go to the start of the event and enquiries still rolling in regularly, the interest for this challenge and the momentum are truly amazing. There are many other skippers in the background whose intention is to announce their participation in the coming months. We expect the total number of entries to grow further, possibly giving rise to one of the most popular round the world sailing events ever staged, only time will tell. Even making it to the start line is part of the challenge and requires relentless dedication and focus on preparation and training. When we launched the GSC we couldn’t have hoped for a better response, the format of the event is unique and didn’t know how it would be taken but it seems to have drawn the attention of a very wide and global audience of experienced skippers from many countries.
Where does your passion for sailing come from?
Since adolescence with windsurfing and dinghy sailing. I was fortunate enough to meet a remarkable offshore sailing instructor when I was 18, moreover, he remained a friend. After my military service in 1981 I embarked as a teammate for a transatlantic race which was extended over time (24 months) including a crossing of the Pacific to Australia. An adventure that marked me. A Transat des Alizés in 1986 and a family tour of the Atlantic between 2004 and 2006 reinforced my desire to set out again for long journeys.
What lessons have you learnt from sailing?
Certainly humility in the face of the elements. You can’t have everything under control and despite the best preparations, the unexpected is still part of the game. Also the need sometimes to be able to count just yourself. And on your lucky star! The need to combine (in chronological order) preparation, anticipation and ultimately improvisation.
What brought you to like single-handed sailing?
The desire to explore my limits, to be confronted with these. The search for moments of connection with oneself, far from the frenzy of everyday life. The challenge of loneliness.
What prompted you to sign up for this event?
Like many others that registered, I suppose the Vendée Globe is the ultimate dream. It remains out of reach, however, if you did not start ocean racing at a younger age. The Global Solo Challenge offers the possibility of doing this great tour by the 3 capes alone for a reasonable budget while also offering the (relative) safety offered by flotilla navigation and with professional supervision.
How do you plan to prepare for this event?
Physical preparation on the one hand and a lot of solo sailing to become one with the boat. Preparation of the boat to strengthen it for the Great South. Hoping that what must break, breaks before departure. If the schedule allows it, a single-handed return Transat to test myself. Also a preparation for weather interpretation and sleep management.
What do you think will be the biggest challenge?
First of all being on the starting line. The management of efforts and sleep with regard to the man. No doubt also the management of certain moments of anguish, one should not hide from it. It will also be a question of preserving the materials which will inevitably wear out a lot.
Tell us about your boat or the boat you would like to have.
It is a 2008 Pogo 40, race-cruise version. It has everything of the original Pogo 40 but is a little more ballasted and has a draft of 2.20m instead of 3.00m. This makes it easier to navigate in the North Sea where the boat is based.
Do you intend to link this personal challenge with a social message?
Nothing is decided but I think about it.
Sailing experience - 35.000+ miles.
4 Transats, crossing of the Pacific, sailing in the English Channel.
About the boat - Name of the boat: Black Pearl
Boat design: Pogo 40 (Finot-Conq)
Sail number: TBA
Year built: 2008
Upwind sail area: 115m2
Downwind sail area: 230m2
Text and image courtesy of Global Solo Challenge