Port Stephens sailor takes on circumnavigation attempt

Kevin onboard Roaring Forty. Photo: Philipp Hympendahl.

SETTING sail from A Coruña, Spain, Port Stephens Yacht Club member Kevin Le Poidevin will attempt to achieve his dream of circumnavigating the globe non-stop and single-handed.

Sailing around the globe solo and non-stop is undoubtedly a daring feat, one usually the domain of elite ocean sailors with multi-million-dollar campaigns.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way anymore.

The Global Solo Challenge (GSC), in which Kevin is partaking, aspires at being as inclusive as possible, allowing skippers with a wide range of boats and budgets to take part in the event.

The only restriction is that the boats must satisfy strict safety regulations to sail in the extreme southern oceans.

Kevin, sailing on Roaring Forty, was forced to start nearly a month after his assigned start date due to an injury.

Having finally set off on 23 November, Kevin has been unlucky so far with weather and has not yet reached the north-east trade winds.

He’s expected to so imminently and the next weeks of sailing for him will be in pleasant downwind conditions in the north east trades, then crossing the doldrums and negotiating a passage through the equatorial calms before finding the southeast trades, which will accompany the skipper until the latitude of Trinidad.

Kevin gave 31 years of dedicated service in the Royal Australian Air Force and, once retired, chose to dedicate himself to adventures on the sea.

“The need to be close to the sea is in my DNA,” Kevin said.

“I believe that military life and navigation are complementary.

“Both require discipline, patience, mental agility, and endurance.

“Moreover, maintaining good physical fitness, motivation, and applying critical thinking to analyse and evaluate one’s own abilities and those of others is essential,” he said.

Kevin’s motivation is undoubtedly the desire to test himself in an adventurous environment where his actions have limited influence.

In an interview, he expressed his affinity with the words of the English explorer Ernest Shackleton, who stated, “I believe it’s in our nature to explore, to reach the unknown.

“The only real failure would be not to explore at all.”


Kevin’s circumnavigation route.

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