Canadian Glenn Wakefield abandons his attempt to sail 'the wrong way' round the world 28/4/08

Canadian Glenn Wakefield, who was attempting to be the first North American to sail ‘the wrong way’ solo around the world, has rolled his boat and – after several days – made the decision to abandon his attempt in the Southern Ocean on the approach to Cape Horn.

Wakefield started his sailing journey last September, and was seven months into his trip (due to finish in July this year). The project had taken four years to plan.

When his offshore 40ft sloop – built by Cheoy Lee in Hong Kong -rolled, it sustained major damage and Glenn suffered concussion in the incident. Fortunately Glenn recovered, but the boat’s damage was severe. While still watertight and the mast still standing, the yacht had lost the dodger and a hatch cover, has discharged batteries, severely damaged self steering equipment and an inoperable engine. It had also lost its liferaft and solar panels.

The boat is extremely wet below from the roll, and water is now entering the boat through the missing hatch cover and down the companionway. At the time of the rollover the wind speed was 50 knots, in a 6-metre swell. It took Glenn several days to make the decision, at first maintaining that he could continue.

Message from the Argentina naval vessel Puerto Deseado, which announced his abandonment of the trip:

“Glenn will be transferred to a Coast Guard vessel and taken to a port in Argentina and from there to Buenos Aires and home. The fate of Kim Chow is uncertain at this point. The Navy are considering the options. Words alone can’t express his deep appreciation for the bravery and kindness of the captain and crew who stood by for 48 hours until weather and sea conditions would permit his safe transfer to their vessel. Glenn sends his heartfelt thanks to all those who played a part in seeing him safely through this difficult time.”