I’m an enthusiast sailor and I enjoy reading about the feats of other people’s sailing. On the professional side, I am an analyst: I look at complicated problems, then try to simplify and explain them to my team. Part of this job implies data preparation, analysis and visualization. As I had a little bit of time, I thought that I could try my hand on some sailing data and settled for solo circumnavigation as I knew that some lists existed. I quickly discovered that the available data was not really good, and I started to clean, aggregate, research, google, mail, … This website is the result of this work.
Source data processing
I used these main sources of data:
|Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s list||Link|
|Joshua Slocum Society’s list||Link|
|Seven Ocean’s list (I believe it’s made by Richard Konkolski)||Link|
|Ocean cruising club’s list||Link|
If you visit these pages, you will see that they are not in a format that is easily usable by a computer to, for instance, create plots. Also, several of these sources seem to be abandoned and the last entry dating back to around 10 years. In fact, the only one that seems up to date is the one maintained by Knox-Johnston.
What I did is the following:
- Clean the format from the Knox-Johnston list. That is put it into Excel, making sure every information went into the correct column.
- Crossing this Excel with the other lists, adding the info and the trips that were not in Knox-Johnston’s list.
- Fact-checking and reading. This was a long but enjoyable part. I googled and read about most of the sailors of this list. Adding info to the list such as arrival date and additional sources.
- Adding new entries. I added some entries that were not in any list but that I had knowledge of. Mostly I found them while researching for the previous point.
- Sorting. I sorted the list by date of arrival. If I only found the year for a trip, the trip is sorted as the last of the year. The result of the sorting can be found in the column tripRank.
As stated, I believe that this list is not complete. Many reasons to this:
- Sailing solo around the world, especially with stops, is not event that makes the headlines of major newspaper. If the sailor is not communicating online actively, it’s hard to find it by chance.
- There is no definitive authority that you could rely on to keep a log. For instance, if you were to list the trips into space, you could go to just a few entities (NASA, ESA, …) and compile a complete list. No such thing exists with sailing solo around the world.
- Non-stop sailor are much more likely to be on this list than non-solo, because they are less. Also it’s often done in search of performance, so it’s communicated.
I will welcome any contribution you wish to make:
- You can contact me and point me to an error or a missing sailor in the list
- You can also contact me just to say hello or start a discussion or enquire about some data
- If you particularly enjoyed this site, you can gift me some money, this will go entirely towards site hosting
|TripRank||This is the ranking of the trip, resulting from my sorting described above. Number 1 means the first one to finish it. Keep in mind that many trips are probably missing from the list and that some dates are imprecise, so this ranking is to use with care.|
|Non-stop||If the trip was made non-stop the content is “yes”. In fact it is rather “unassisted” as some sailor did in fact anchor at some point (to rest or repair). For instance Knox-Johnston in Otago.|
|Finish date||The date of finishing the trip. If I could find it, it is the day. Sometimes I could find only the month, and many have only the year. Sometimes the day is calculated from an information I found. For instance “the sailor left for his trip on day XX and completed it YYY days later”. Also for the races like the Vendée Globe, the arrival day is harder to find than the number of days spent at sea. So the arrival date is calculated from there and can hence be off by one day.|
|Days||The number of days it took to complete the trip. This data is of interest mostly for the non-stop sailors. When there was stops, the number of days is sometimes days at sea only and sometimes including days on land. Look at column Remark for details.|
|First Name||First name of the sailor|
|Last name||Last name of the sailor|
|Country||Nationality of the sailor|
|Boat||Name of the boat of the sailor. In parenthesis is the model.|
|Feet||Size of the boat in feet.|
|RaceOrItinerary||If the trip was made during a race, the race is precised.|
VG = Vvendée Globe
Boc = Boc challenge and successors Around Alone and Velux 5 Oceans
If the trip was made outside of a race, the port of departure/arrival is indicated.
|Additionnal sources||Links to sources specific to this trip. Most are public, some are paywalled.|
|StartYear||Year of the beginning of the trip|
|RaceHours||For races, the number of hours. Used for sorting when many concurrents arrived on the same day.|
|Knox_ranking||The ranking of the trip in Knox-Johnston’s list|
|SoloCircum_ranking||The ranking of the trip in Seven Ocean’s list|
|SoloCircum_Dir.||Direction according to Seven Ocean’s list|
|SoloCircum_Antipodes||Antipodes according to Seven Ocean’s list|
|SoloCircum_First||First, or record breaking according to Seven Ocean’s list|
|Slocum_BoatMaterialSize||Boat material and size according to Joshua Slocum Society’s list|
|Slocum_BoatRig||Boat rigging according to Joshua Slocum Society’s list|
|Slocum_DirectionCapeCanals||Direction of the trip, canals used etc according to Joshua Slocum Society’s list|
|Slocum_Record||Record breaking according to Joshua Slocum Society’s list|
|Slocum_Remarks||Remarks in Joshua Slocum Society’s list|
|Sailor_ID||An ID of the sailor so that you can easily find the sailors that have made several trips.|