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French Stéphane Girolata is the 49th entry in the GSC 2023/24

Stéphane has discovered the sea and sailing almost by chance, whilst running a mushroom farming business he wanted to get a boating licence to reach out to new potential clients anchored in the bay of Saint-Tropez.

It was a turning point that led him to become a professional boat captain, taking clients out to experience sailing. Stéphane wants to do something for himself, something that he didn’t even dare dream of, sailing solo around the world.

All the planets have aligned for him and he now wants this dream to come true. As organizers, we welcome Stéphane as the 49th entry in the Global Solo Challenge, just one short of 50, a milestone that we still expect to achieve and that we could never have hoped for just a year ago.

Interview

Where does your passion for sailing come from?

As crazy as it sounds, mushrooms made me meet sailing. Landlocked and underground, I was producing and processing mushrooms in the upper Var region, when I wanted to distribute my products to boats anchored in the bay of Saint-Tropez.

I signed up to get a boating license, and there everything changed for me, the sea took over me, and that was it. The following month I bought a sailboat, an aloa 21, a second life, I discover myself… Sailing welcomes me, and I go along with it…

What lessons have you learned from sailing?

In sailing, I found what I expected to experience without knowing it: dealing with contraints and using them to move forward.

What brought you to like single-handed sailing?

Single-handed I started sailing and learning, nowadays, as a professional, I take people sailing in search of their nautical dreams. In company, but alone, I sail.

What prompted you to sign up for this event?

To accomplish for the first time in my life something for me, something I didn’t even dare dream of; a solo round-the-world yacht race. The planets have lined up for me. I’ll follow them.

How do you plan to prepare for this event?

I don’t know, I think I’ll let this dream permeate me, make it rest within me, and give it its whole place in my life.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge?

It will certainly be to overcome my faults; dreamer, not always very rigorous, I will have to adapt and work, to evolve.

Tell us about your boat or the boat you would like to have.

Adrénaline, an Océanis 50, was the first sailboat I piloted professionally, and with it, immense joys filled six years of rebirth life. In 2019 an Océanis 50 ran aground on rocks, the same year, same configuration, and especially the same name; Adrénaline. Here again, the planets line up,

I met with the surveyors, and the bank followed me on the recommissioning of the boat, and everything happened almost without difficulty.

I sail with her since 2021, the Global Solo Challenge is on the horizon, and a client will be backing me in my dream and financing a large part of the project.

Do you intend to link your personal challenge to a social cause?

My sponsorship file is entitled “Une voile Locale, Autour du Monde”, because I would like to create dynamics around this project, by making the local nautical professionals of Bormes-Les-Mimosas and the Lavandou work on the project, by leading workshops to prepare for navigation and talking about the experiences and the hope that one must have in life. Touching young people, and sweeping away the gloom of our modes of operation.

Sailing experience

Professional captain for 12 years.

Boat name: Adrénaline

Project: Beneteau Océanis 50 (Berret Racoupeau Yacht Design)

Sail number: TBA

Year: 2006

LOA: 50ft

Displacement: 13000kgs

Upwind sail area: 118 m2

Downwind sail area: 203 m2

GLOBAL

Source : Solo Challenge

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