Port Stephens sailor Kevin Le Poidevin preparing for 2023 Global Solo Challenge

EXCITED: Williamtown-based Wing Commander Kevin Le Poidevin has entered his Lutra BOC Open 40 yacht in the 2023 Global Solo Challenge. Picture: Danielle Melnyczenko

EXCITED: Williamtown-based Wing Commander Kevin Le Poidevin has entered his Lutra BOC Open 40 yacht in the 2023 Global Solo Challenge. Picture: Danielle Melnyczenko

Kevin Le Poidevin is no stranger to solo sailing. In fact, it's one of his passions.

Sailing since 1982, Le Poidevin has about 50,000 nautical miles under his belt and in 2017 took the plunge and bought Roaring Forty, a Lutra Open 40 yacht, to fulfil his lifelong dream of cracking the solo unassisted around Australia race record and the 40ft around the world unassisted and non-stop record.

On his way to fulfilling those dreams, the experienced Port Stephens sailor and Wing Commander in the ADF has entered the new Global Solo Challenge which will start and finish in A Coruna, Spain in 2023.

"This event is a singlehanded, unassisted, non-stop circumnavigation the same as the Vendee Globe race but for ordinary folk," Le Poidevin said.

Vendee Globe requires a large budget and is aimed at top professional sailors while the Global Solo Challenge is for an non-professionals wishing to sail solo around the world with a boat they own or can afford.

Le Poidevin, based out of Williamtown RAAF Base, said the 2023 Global Solo Challenge aligned with his retirement plans.

Sailing has been a large part of Le Poidevin's life.

DISTANCE: Kevin Le Poidevin's Lutra BOC Open 40 yacht, the Roaring Forty, is currently in The Netherlands.

DISTANCE: Kevin Le Poidevin's Lutra BOC Open 40 yacht, the Roaring Forty, is currently in The Netherlands.

It has taken him all over - from Langkawi Malaysia through the Malacca and Singapore Straits, South China Sea, Indonesian archipelago, over desolate Cape York peninsula at the top of Australia, out through the Great Barrier Reef and the length of the east coast to Hobart.

"I have completed multiple trans-Tasman solo crossings to and from New Zealand, and enjoyed our local racing at Port Stephens Yacht Club," Le Poidevin said.

"I have probably close to 50,000 nm under a few different keels, with more than half doing what I enjoy the most - solo sailing."

Before setting off to complete the Global Solo Challenge, Le Poidevin plans to enter his Sigma 36 Rogue Wave in the 2021 Sydney Hobart Race, in the double handed division with RAAF Sergeant Darrell Greig.

The pair both competed in the 2019 Sydney to Hobart.

Le Poidevin is also planning to sail his third Solo Tasman Yacht Challenge, from from New Plymouth in New Zealand to Southport in Queensland, on Sigma 36 in 2022.

TEAM: Kevin Le Poidevin and his Rogue Wave crew that completed the 2019 Sydney to Hobart: Asia Pajkowska, Roger Yeo, Neil Pilz, David Simm and Darrell Greig.

TEAM: Kevin Le Poidevin and his Rogue Wave crew that completed the 2019 Sydney to Hobart: Asia Pajkowska, Roger Yeo, Neil Pilz, David Simm and Darrell Greig.

Sailing opportunities on Roaring Forty, however, are not likely anytime soon. The yacht is currently in The Netherlands.

"Planning is certainly a challenge in COVID times as Australia's international travel ban is keeping us apart," Le Poidevin said.

"Fortunately, I had already undertaken a major refit during 2018-19 so she is in a very good state.

"Whilst my sails have already lapped the planet once and new sails, and sponsor, would certainly be very welcome."