Colin Bastable of Cedar Park, Texas, USA, is the 25th GSC participant

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Global Solo Challenge: Colin Bastable from Cedar Park, Texas, USA, is the 25th participant in the GSC

by Global Solo Challenge 12 Jul 06:04 PM UTC

Colin Bastable – Global Solo Challenge © Global Solo Challenge

Colin Bastable of Cedar Park, Texas, USA, bought his boat after his father’s death and renamed it Frank in his memory. He had bought his Sadler 35 in the UK and then sailed to his home in Texas.

Where does your passion for sailing come from?

My father, Frank, was in the Royal Navy, so I grew up and lived by the sea. Children, my siblings and I would go to the Singapore Naval Base and take our Piccolos (basically a flat wooden raft with a sail) and sailed around the ships anchored in the strait.

When I had a young family, we did the Sunsail bareboat in Greece and Turkey, and we started to think about sailing around the world.

When my father died, I bought my boat, renamed it in his honor, and sailed it from England to my home in Texas.

I feel very comfortable in a small sailboat in a huge sea.

What lessons have you learned from sailing?

There are a lot of better sailors than me, and often they let me know, or it’s obvious to everyone. Surprisingly few, however, are willing to go it alone, despite their abilities. It’s the same thing in business: I do IT startups. It seems easier and safer to be employed, but in reality we all sail on our own boat. Trust the boat. Sitting in the cockpit with the sea above you, you are more likely to drop the boat than you. The halyards aspire to be free – grabbing the line is your friend.

The motor is auxiliary, not primary. When I lost my engine west of Grand Cayman I continued and despite heavy surfing in the Yucatan straight it was stress free. I had solar panels, mind you.

Most of all, I learned about myself: I can do it. There is a big difference between being alone and being alone. You can be alone in company and quite happy alone.

That last tin of peaches is a treat.

What made you love solo sailing?

There is a feeling of being at one with the boat, the weather and the sea which is different when shared with a crew.

To appease my sister, I had initially planned to “do” the Canary Islands ARC in Saint Lucia, with my brother-in-law. I had assumed I had to have a crew member.

Luckily he left one day angry and I was so relieved I was going to do it solo, even if it means jumping the ARC, which requires a minimum of two crews.

We start from assumptions and we have to question them.

I love the solitude and the challenge of solo sailing.

What prompted you to register for this event?

I read about it in Sailing Magazine (the only read I subscribed to) and wondered if I could afford it. The biggest cost is time – the opportunity cost – but having to bring together thousands of people to participate in such an event is a major obstacle around the world. Suddenly, here’s an opportunity, and the timing seems right.

How do you plan to prepare for this event?

I have all the equipment – satnav, safety equipment, radar, boat, spare parts.

I am slowly repairing the boat, and have been doing so since arriving in Texas in February 2016, so I will take care of the shaping of his boat.

The real preparation will be sailing to La Coruna from Texas, so I guess it would be spring 2023.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge?

I sell it to my wife.

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

Franc. Sadler 34. Blue water boat, double skin, proven long distance cruiser. Easy to navigate solo. Yanmar 39hp 3 cylinders, which I had redone. He is happy to sail at 5-7 kts, dry and well equipped cockpit. I dropped the pin and reset it when I got to Texas. I named her after my dad – that was the only way I could get her to Texas. The offset propeller allows interesting reverse gear in tight spaces.

Sailing experience

I arrived last in the regatta after a Sunsail vacation in Turkey. I had a Beneteau over 40 feet and the wind was nonexistent.

As I drifted over to the finish line everyone headed for lunch then the wind picked up (those katabatic winds just after noon) so I had a fantastic sail, rails in the ‘water. So I came last but I had the best sail. It will do it for me.

About the boat

Name of the boat: Franc
Sail number: 1437C
Model: Sadler 35 (David Sadler & Son.)
Year of construction: 1985
Group: To be determined
LOA: 35
Shifting: 6190 kg
Sail area upwind: To be determined
Sail area downwind: To be determined


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