Grand Large Yachting World Odyssey

A human adventure around the world!

Created on the initiative of Jimmy Cornell, the Grand Large Yachting World Odyssey (GLYWO) celebrates the circumnavigation of the globe undertaken by Ferdinand de Magellan and Juan Sebastián Elcano between 1519 and 1522. For 3 years, between 2021 and 2024, 32 boats from the Grand Large Group (including Outremer for the multihulls) are taking part in a round-the-world rally. On the occasion of the Australian leg last June, five Outremer catamaran crews told us all about this nautical and, above all, human adventure.

Who: Rob and Hanneke (Ningyo), Rob and Kery (Endless Joy), Mark and Marijke (Great Circle), Kinglsey and Kathe-rine (Inky Blue), Richard and Anne (2 Canoes)
Where: Round the world rally
Multihulls: Outremer 45, 51 and 55
So why embark on such an adventure?
“The GLYWO is really the champions league of long-distance cruising”, say Rob and Hanneke from Ningyo. “At the start, a 3-year rally seemed like a very long time”. For Rob and Kery from Endless Joy, “Choosing the rally was also a way of convincing and reassuring Kery. The presence of the organization made us feel more secure”. Two crews have also chosen to take one or more crew members on board to make their daily life on board easier, like Kinglsey and Katherine from Inky Blue and Mark and Marijke from Great Circle: «We always take at least one crew member on board because Marijke doesn’t sleep well at sea. As captain, she carries a lot of responsibility and it’s important that she can count on the crew so that she can get some rest.”
The intensive experience of a rally allows you to quickly build up your navigational and organizational skills. “When we set off, to be honest, we hardly knew how to do anything,” admit Rob and Kery. At the start, we were all pretty stressed about the crossings, but not at all today. “We do less and less preparation: it’s al-most become automatic, which is a good sign,” adds the crew of Great Circle. On Endless Joy, “We just revictual and set off. The briefings are getting shorter and shorter as we become more confident. We have fewer questions than during the first ones. We’ve made so much progress in the way we sail thanks to the GLYWO. We’re so proud!”
The rally is also an opportunity to discover destinations that you wouldn’t necessarily have considered on your own. “In Vanuatu, Luc (in charge of social activities for GLYWO) did an incredible job,” recall Kingsley and Katherine “We felt like we were really interacting with the different villages, right up to the highlight of the trip: the famous Nanggol or Land Diving. We would never have been able to see all that and experi-ence all those moments otherwise: we would have missed it completely.”
“Colombia was a wonderful surprise on this trip. We hadn’t planned to stop there, but we absolutely must make this stopover compulsory”, enthuse Richard and Anne from 2 Canoes. “The Galapagos, on the other hand, is a much less welcoming place, unless you’re a diver. It’s very strict and not necessarily very friendly at first. Fiji is also very nice: it’s better to head for the lagoon rather than the west coast. Sometimes, however, the rally can be a hindrance: in New Caledonia for example, it’s better to go to the Ile du Levant alone than as part of a fleet. You have to be aware of that and organize yourselves.”
“The pace is still pretty intense, and there are a lot of places where we would have liked to have stayed longer,” admits the crew of Ningyo. “We loved Cartagena in Colombia, for example, which was a nice surprise. The San Blas are also magnificent.”
“Colombia was great, as were the Society Islands and the Marquesas Islands,» adds the crew of Endless Joy. “We were less taken with Tuamotus, although they’re a great place for diving.”
But the GLYWO is above all a human adventure, bringing together 100 crew members of 13 different nationalities. “At the start, of course, it wasn’t so easy to bond,” say Kinglsey and Katherine. “There was the language barrier. Then there were the monos on one side and the multis on the other... and in the end, as the miles went by, things just happened naturally.”
Rob, from Ningyo, praises the solidarity and mutual support between the participants, which is proving to be a source of motivation: “I had a serious heart problem in French Polynesia and had to return to Europe for treatment. At that point, we fell behind schedule, and we had to catch up with the fleet in New Zealand. Since then, I’ve been enjoying everything we’re experiencing together even more intensely.”

This group solidarity also comes into its own when one of the participants encounters a problem on board. “We had a collision in Aruba with a 67-tonne vessel,” recall Mark and Marijke. “It was obviously very fright-ening and we really thought we would have to stop there. But the fleet rallied round to help us. Jimbo, for example, Inky Blue’s crewman, came immediately to take stock of the situation. The support from the or-ganization was also incredible, and we were finally able to set off again and rejoin the fleet.” Inky Blue and her crew also had a misadventure that made them fully appreciate the spirit of camaraderie that defines the rally: “When we hit a coral reef in Polynesia, Saga immediately came to secure the boat for us. And Great Circle accompanied us all the way to Tahiti for the repairs. This rally is an adventure, but it’s one in which we’re not alone.”
Rob and Kery have also created links with other crews thanks to a new feature installed on Endless Joy. They were among the first to fit Starlink to their catamaran and now believe that this technology will soon re-place all others, particularly Iridium. “Since we installed Starlink, we’ve been very popular at anchor. Ningyo in particular likes to get right behind us!”
The crew of 2 Canoes also praises the friendships made during the adventure, adding that “The periods of free sailing also allow us to meet other crews, who aren’t taking part in the rally. It was important for us to keep this measure of freedom, because it’s also what we came here to find with this trip. The balance is perfect for us.”
Although they still have a few months to enjoy their adventure, the participants are already thinking about what comes after. While Ningyo and her crew will continue to sail, this time probably favoring shorter trips in the Atlantic, others are not about to leave the rally lifestyle behind. «We’re enjoying it so much that we’re thinking of doing the new North Atlantic Rally proposed by Grand Large, which will set off at the end of 2024,» enthuse Mark and Marijke. For their part, Kinglsey and Katherine will be bidding farewell to Inky Blue, their Outremer 51, to think bigger: «We’re waiting for our next Outremer (a 55 this time) and after this rally, we’d love to continue on to the next one in the North Atlantic. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll be ready in time!”

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