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Turkish Volkan Kaan Yemlihaoğlu is the 44th entry in the GSC 2023/2024

Volkan Kaan Yemlihaoğlu from Istambul in Turkey has a clear ambition: he wants to become the first sailor from his country to complete a single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation by the three Great Capes.

He wants to document his adventure and hopes to inspire future generations of sailors from Turkey, where sailing is not yet well developed.

We welcome Volkan to the event, increasing the tally of nationalities represented to 15, making the Global Solo Challenge one of the most inclusive and diverse events in the offshore solo sailing calendar.


Where does your passion for sailing come from?

I was a child when I started sailing, dinghies at first, then I went to yacht racing as crew at the age of seventeen.

What lessons have you learned from sailing?

Sailing has taught me to be independent and patient and that the most powerful force is nature.

What brought you to like single-handed sailing?

While I had to deliver my boat (Farr40 One Toner) from France, I couldn’t find any crew, so I sailed alone. It was a great lesson in my sailing life. I had to face some of the most dangerous weather conditions in the Mediterranean, and it was the most exciting thing in my life. I want to feel that way again and use my experience in a long route.

What prompted you to sign up for this event?

Racing around the world is my childhood dream. It is my biggest goal in my life. I would also become the first and only Turkish sailor to have achieved this.

How do you plan to prepare for this event?

I will prepare both the boat and myself with lots of training and keep my physical and mental state in check. It is essential to be in the best condition for the race.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge?

1- To be on the start line, 2- Getting through the Southern Oceans, 3- To be away from my family and dogs.

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

I will prepare my Farr designed One Toner. As a backup plan, I have two other boats in mind that I would consider. I have contacted some Turkish manufacturers looking at the latest generation of offshore racing boats.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I must say, I also have a project with a more personal meaning for this race. I plan to keep a daily journal during the race from start to finish and turn it into a book when back in my country. Despite being surrounded by the sea, sailing is not well developed in Turkey.

The life-changing experience of wild nature, tactical and technical advice, and working on psychological and sociological aspects could make for an inspiring guidebook for the next generation of sailors – from the first Turkish sailor to have raced solo, non-stop and around the world.

Sailing experience

Rolex Maxi races, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Palermo – Montecarlo Race, Rolex Middle Sea Race, İstanbul-Bodrum Offshore races.

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