-- Steve White - solo round the world the 'wrong way'

Steve White - solo round the world the 'wrong way'    

'Steve White - came late to sailing'    .
Dee Caffari has done it, now Steve White is setting out to do it too.

He's going to sail solo, round the world, non-stop and unassisted, AND the 'wrong way', AND break the current record.

The 'wrong way'? It just means that the world's wind in the Southern Ocean, where one must venture to round the globe without stopping, are all westerlies, so the logical way to go is to run before the wind, travelling ever to the east. Those who either have masochistic tendencies, are bored with their past circumnavigations or who just have something to prove to themselves, occasionally do it the other way.

Now the 37-year-old father of four, who has become arguably one of the world's greatest long distance sailors with his competitive sailing, finishing eighth in the last Vendee Globe solo round the world race, is bent on that most grueling solo journey of all, against the wind and the current, travelling west.

Steve didn't even sail as a child, and has garnered much praise for his unaided meteoric rise as a solo sailor. He started out, amazingly enough, as a jockey, then moved on to restoring classic cars. Then he worked in a small boatyard, and developed an ambition to compete in the big ocean races. With no backing, he was obliged to mortgage his house no less than three times to further his ambitions.

His intended 22,000-mile circumnavigation will have Steve single-handedly sailing a Volvo Open 70, a state of the art 70 foot long monohull which would usually be crewed by ten people. These boats are at the cutting edge of modern technology, and currently hold the record for the fastest 24 hour run at 596.6 miles at an average speed of 24.4 knots, topping out at 39 knots! The boat is made from carbon fibre, has a canting keel and was purpose designed for downwind sailing. It seems a great challenge even to sail it solo, and upwind, and he'll be doing it for many months.
The Ocean 70 - normally sailed by 10 crew -  .. .  

The current 'westabout' solo round-the-world record was set in 2004. It is held by Frenchman Jean Luc Van Den Heede who made it in 122 days, 14 hours and four minutes. White, who acknowledges his is 'obsessive' about the projects that he embarks on, will be trying to break that record.

Steve will sail across the historic Ushant – Lizard start line, then down to Cape Horn before turning right underneath it and into the Southern Ocean, where he will spend up to sixty days battling into the wind and against the current in some of the harshest conditions on the planet before turning right again one last time below the Cape of Good Hope, to head North and home to the finish line.

Due to the extreme nature of this record, only five sailors have made this attempt in the past forty years, including Dee. Sailing legend Sir Chay Blyth was the first to set the record onboard 'British Steel', in what was referred to by The Times in 1970 as the 'Impossible Voyage'.

Interviewed by CNN earlier this month, he described the coming voyage as 'like running up a downhill escalator, only much wetter.'

Follow Steve's record attempt over the next year at his website?nid=74535

by Nancy Knudsen
- 1:20 AM Sat 11 Sep 2010 GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.
If you want to send this story to a friend, please use link below

Based on your current download speed Sail-World has delivered large images (660 pixels long side.)  If you would like to see only small images (300 pixels long side) click here .  For medium sized images (500 pixels long side) click here .  If you would prefer to see text only (without pictures) click here

Click for further information on
Adventure Sailing

Related News Stories:
09 Jul 2013  Sailor Jeanne Socrates, world's oldest non-stop female circumnavigator
22 Jan 2013  Young Endeavour: 25-year celebration and you are invited!
17 Jan 2013  UK Sailmakers gives Yassine a new mast for 150nm Laser sail record
14 Apr 2012  Southernmost sailing voyages - who really has the record?
01 Apr 2012  And the most southerly-sailing boat ever is...
22 Jan 2012  Laura Dekker completes solo circumnavigation at 16 years and 123 days
05 Jan 2007  Solo Tasmanian Past the Horn
14 Jul 2006  Dream on Hold for Australian Solo Sailor
20 Jun 2006  Female solo sailor narrowly averts disaster
02 Jun 2006  2nd June start - Solo Sailor’s 2nd Aussie Record Attempt

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





Privacy Policy



Cookie Policy



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT