Global Solo Challenge?


New member
The EUR7500 per person will go really far if it continues like this, but there's something that doesn't seem right about how it's set up. The organiser seems, from his public facebook page, to live in Italy - Brescia, it states. That's somewhere in Lombardy. The company behind the organisation of the race is a Ltd company registered in the UK. I mean, I'm sure there are reasons for it but shouldn't the entity running the race, given that its management and organisation comes from within Italy, be an Italian entity? I could see why this might not be the case if this were a once off thing but the company was incorporated in 2009, looking at the publicly available information at Companies House (actually just a google  search of its name). The organiser seems to have been living in Italy since around 2012 from looking at his list of accolades and medals (amazing achievements by the way, chapeau) on the "team" page of the race's site. I would worry, if I were a competitor spending this amount of money just to enter, that the race could be stopped for reasons to do with its organisation. You see, I think the organiser just might have perhaps got it wrong and perhaps an Italian SRL (similar to a UK Ltd company) should be set up to run the race if he wants to organise and manage it from within Italy. Or alternatively, the organiser should perhaps take himself off all the pages on the internet and be an invisible organiser /manager and appoint someone else who is clearly resident in the UK (as opposed to Italy), to avoid any risks that it could be seen as just another UK Ltd company operating within Italy and bending the rules, taking advantage of the more beneficial and easier system for companies in the UK versus Italy. Having said this, competitors maybe won't care as long as they get to do the race, and they're eager and willing to already part with their cash for it, so it may well be a non-point all around. Just important to note it, I think, for anyone who wants to delve a bit deeper. I think the costs of setting up an SRL to run this race would be in the region of EUR2,500 minimum, which is nothing given the money coming from the entry fees. This way the competitors could be sure that the underlying organisation and management is solid and there are no grey areas with regard to jurisdiction. 
This is my revengeful ex wife Ella Connolly... for any question on the race, myself or organisation please feel free to contact me directly Marco Nannini, [email protected], she trolling the net publishing various posts and comments under fake names trying to tarnish my reputation and that of the event, sad to see someone fall so low.




New member
What matters here isn't who writes the post but the content of the post. I could write nothing at all, but that would possibly leave competitors open to losing their non-refundable entry fee in the event that the Italian tax authority deems the organising company Marco Nannini Ltd, with registered office in England, to be based there fictitiously, and in fact having a permanent establishment on the Italian territory after 9 years of operations in Italy. This is a worthy point to make irrespective of who makes it. That the organiser chooses to not respond, preferring to state that any questions should be directed to him in private, is simply avoiding addressing the matter in public, where it can be discussed and conclusions arrived at openly and transparently. And frankly, if the organiser doesn't respond here I would take it as an indication that he wants to ignore or hide from the possibility of the race being forced to be stopped for possible breach of Italian income tax law (specifically, art. 73 of the consolidated income tax act, which states that a foreign company, can operate on italian territory (in the sense that it is has its effective place of management there) only for 183 days before being required to be registered in Italy). NB there is no attempt here to tarnish anyone's reputation, rather, my comments are geared at saving those reputations at risk of being lost.



The organiser and his Ex washing dirty laundry in public is of no interest to me, apart from any salacious bedroom gossip ....

For me, I cant see how this event is going to work. It is either a cruise in company, or a race. If one begets the other, then its a different ball game. Amateurs who wanna be racers, but do it round the world gives me great concern for safety and experience. Make no mistake, a trip to the ice line in the Southern Ocean for days on end is no cruise in company.

The event as described does not appear to have the basic infrastructure to support such an adventure. It seems to be an idea based on the back of a fag packet and more than a few glasses of wine.

Last edited by a moderator:


So 51 entries later what are we thinking about the Global Solo Challenge..?

A revolution in RTW racing or a shit show waiting for untold disaster.

I genuinely can’t decide but hats off, the organisers look like they’ve been working hard to convince teams or lunatics…


Super Anarchist
So 51 entries later what are we thinking about the Global Solo Challenge..?

A revolution in RTW racing or a shit show waiting for untold disaster.

I genuinely can’t decide but hats off, the organisers look like they’ve been working hard to convince teams or lunatics…
51 paid entries?
51 paid entries?

I guess so..?! And apparently @ronnie_simpson too with an Open50
I think it's 51 paid entries and 14 have already retired. Should be something like 30-35 boats on the line. There are other campaigns out there, including mine.

We have just fired this operation up, but I will be racing the Open 50 'Sparrow' (ex Pegasus/ Balance Bar) in the Global Solo Challenge. I'm teamed up with a wounded veteran's sailing non profit to accept tax deductible contributions and I also raised close to $14 grand in under 24 hours on a Go Fund Me account. I am hustling super hard and pulling a lot of support together, this is legit. We are flying a team to Maine August 22-27 for initial sea trials and filming/ photo of promo material. Aiming to have a profesionally built website with professionally done campaign video, sponsor packet, business plan and multiple ways to donate by September 1.

Go Fund Me link - Please check out how we are setting things up and consider contributing if you feel inclined to support us.

Beyond stoked. LFG!!!!!!

sparrow on dock.jpeg
I’m easily confused!

@ttc546 isn’t the GGR essentially amateurs racing around the world very slowly?

@ronnie_simpson Did Sparrow do a round the world trip last year with a bloke out of the Bay area?
@Hitchhiker Sparrow sailed about 17,000 NM from California and around Hawaii, to Cape Horn, and then up to Maine. The current owner did this singlehanded. He has since decided to pass the torch and i've been fortunate enough to be next in line. One week until I meet the boat for the first time in Maine, very excited.

Ron Swanson

Los Angeles
I’m easily confused!

@ttc546 isn’t the GGR essentially amateurs racing around the world very slowly?

@ronnie_simpson Did Sparrow do a round the world trip last year with a bloke out of the Bay area?

Hitch, the GSC is no GGR. Numerous Class 40's and some Open 50's are registered in the GSC. Plenty of Class 40's around, maybe you should sign up?

BTW, I'm the bloke who left SF last year on an attempt and ended up in Maine. Didn't make it as I didn't commit myself 100% to the effort. A business, kids and a divorce got in the way but I tried anyway. No regrets as it was a remarkable experience to spend time below 50S. I hope to try again in a few years. In the meantime, I'll bet Ronnie can inspire many others.
Have you tried shopping for one lately? There’s bupkiss. Everybody and their brother seem to be fielding campaigns these days. Better luck finding a 4-leaf clover covered unicorn.
a guy just bought a super nice one here in Maine, number 15, for a very attractive price and entered the Global Solo Challenge. Boat was listed at $115k USD and went below asking price. older Class 40's represent an incredible value.
Just got back from Maine and our first week of sea trials with our newly formed Sparrow Sailing Team. Everything went great, can't wait to begin campaigning the boat down the coast very soon. Trying to get us into the Newport Boat Show in a couple weeks, and it looks like we may get there. Come by and say hi if you're near! Planning to open the boat to tours, guest sailing opportunities, a speaking gig, etc. The campaign is off to a great start, we've got some pretty polished videos and content on my instagram @captainron_official. Website and other social and YouTube channels aiming to launch September 1. Building out all that content now.

Was also nice to meet Class 40 skipper David Linger from Seattle, who is running his campaign out of Portland, Maine at Maine Yacht Center. Really nice bloke and sounds like he has done a lot of sailing. Wishing him a ton of success in the race.

Stoked to have some visits from some very good folks including the boat's owner Whitall Stokes and Vendée Globe legend Bruce Schwab. Major shout out to Maine Yacht Center and Brian Harris and his crew, they have done a very nice job re-fitting the boat after Whitall's long voyage around Cape Horn and up to Maine.

I'll be writing a front page piece for Scot soon.

All images by Sparrow Sailing Team OBR Daniel Bergey.


First sea-trial crew. L to R - Whitall Stokes, Sparrow Owner. Ronnie Simpson, Sparrow Skipper. Sean Doyle, sailing crew and technical advisor


Whitall Stokes

Screen Shot 2022-08-28 at 10.01.59 AM.jpeg

Screen Shot 2022-08-28 at 9.59.54 AM.jpeg


With the first American to finish the Vendée Globe; Bruce Schwab



Hi Ronnie ! Nice to meet you last week and I’m sure we will run into each other soon ! But not with the boats !

View attachment 537889
Aloha David! Very nice to meet you as well! I will be back out there on Monday, so I actually may see you again. Planning to depart Portland, headed south, on September 10 or thereabouts... Best of luck in your preparations

huey 2

Super Anarchist

From the Front Page​

moving right along​

EditorOctober 3, 2022

Just over a month since being handed the keys to the Open 50 Sparrow in Maine, this grassroots campaign to race solo around the world is beginning to create some real energy and momentum as we slowly work our way to the starting line. There’s still a long way to go, and this still feels like a big gamble at times, but I remain fully convinced that I’ll manage to get this boat to both the starting line and the finish line of the inaugural Global Solo Challenge race next year out of Spain.
With two delivery legs and just a number of day sails under my belt and another delivery coming up in a few days, my journey with Sparrow is still in its first chapters. Day by day, mile by mile and small repair by small repair, I am becoming one with the boat. I am learning how to sail Sparrow in a variety of conditions and beginning to anticipate when small problems may arise.
With more than 500 miles under our keel together, we’ve now welcomed onboard a number of guests, sailing journalists, military veterans, sponsors, and delivery crew and are now looking forward to this next leg from New York City to Annapolis for the boat show. Nearly three hundred miles down the coast and more than a hundred more up the Chesapeake Bay, this 400+ nautical mile leg will be our longest thus far.

On the first leg from Portland, Maine to Newport, Rhode Island I had occasional SA contributor Keith Magnussen and one of my best sailing and cruising friends Jose Castello onboard. We had an awesome 300-mile run of upwind, light reaching, and then moderate downwind sailing into Newport. While in Newport, I attended the boat show and managed to sign up several key equipment sponsors for the campaign. The second leg saw a couple of the boys from Maine Yacht Center – the yard that did Sparrow’s refit and where my journey with Sparrow began – drive down to Rhode Island and then hop on for the mostly upwind delivery to New York. For the next leg to Annapolis, I’ve got a super talented 16 year old foiling sailor from Kaneohe Yacht Club’s junior program coming to join me as well as an old buddy and delivery crew from Hawaii and the west coast. We may see our first heavy air downwind sailing in the ocean with Sparrow, as well as some moderate upwind and reaching conditions. Three-up seems to be a good number of people to deliver the boat around efficiently while also maintaining a close watch in these busy east coast shipping lanes and harbor approaches.
Once in Annapolis, we’ll be on the docks at the Annapolis Boat Show next to sailing YouTube celebrities La Vagabonde’. While at the boat show, we’ll be giving boat tours and installing new gear from several new sponsors; line from New England Ropes, sheet bags from Ronstan, shackles and accessories from Wichard and a new stack pack and sail cover from Chesapeake Sailmakers. In the afternoons during the show, we plan to take the boat out sailing with guests onboard and hope to sign on a couple of more big industry names to help us in getting the boat ready for next year’s big race. It’s definitely been an uphill battle to take an old Open 50 with no money and then turn that into a viable campaign with sponsorship and a budget, but the progress that has already been made is inspiring.
After Annapolis, current plans include basing the boat in Charleston and Florida for some winter sailing before taking on the Pineapple Cup and Caribbean 600. Then it’s a solo trip across the pond to a re-fit in France and then the race in Spain. Through this delivery and racing process, we are continuing to engage the veteran community while also looking to bring on junior sailors, female sailors and more to gain experience and opportunities on a cool boat and a neat campaign.
If you haven’t already, make sure to check out, where you can check out the campaign, donate, connect with our social feeds and more. If you’d like to arrange a tour or sail on the boat or come onboard as a donor or sponsor, please feel free to drop me a line at [email protected]. I plan to conduct yacht club speaking presentations this winter at yacht clubs on both coasts as I continue to engage donors and sponsors for this campaign.
If you or your yacht club or group would like to hear my story of how sailing and ocean racing changed my life after being severely wounded in Iraq, and how we will use the Global Solo Challenge and the Vendée Globe to inspire and benefit others, then please reach out.
Ronnie Simpson

E-mail: [email protected]
Instagram: @captainron_official and @open50sparrow
YouTube: Ronnie Simpson Racing
GoFund Me link:
US Patriot Sailing 501c3 charitable donation link:
Chris Stanmore-Major has signed up for the GSC in an older fixed-keel Open 60, and thus the race is now welcoming Open 60's. Rumor is that one more may be signing up. Here is an article with Chris:

Vendée Globe skipper Andrea Mura from Italy is supposedly going to do the race in a canting-keel Open 50, and he has released media information about his campaign, but has not officially signed up yet.

Also announced today was the identity of one of the 'anonymous' skippers in the race, which is Swiss based Australian Henry Rourke, who has a custom 53 foot canting-keel racer. The story, as I understand it, is that he bought an unfinished hull and deck and then built it out into a complete boat.

I have had multiple phone calls with the race director Marco, and am impressed with the race that he has put together. Feeling very honored to be able to take part in this round-the-world race.

Latest posts