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Rough seas halt solo circumnavigation

57-year-old seasoned sailor Glenn Wakefield’s attempt to sail “the wrong way” solo around the world through the Southern Ocean against prevailing winds has ended in that perilous body of water.

Wakefield’s 40-foot Cheoy Lee sloop, Kim Chow, was rolled in the Southern Ocean early last week and sustained major damage. Wakefield decided to return to land after seven months into his trip, according to a report in the online publication

The sloop rolled in 50-knot winds and 20-foot swells. While still watertight, the sloop lost its dodger and hatch cover, life raft and solar panels. The batteries and engine died and the autopilot was severely damaged. Wakefield initially thought he could go on with his mast intact, but after several days notified the coast guard in Argentina to bring him to shore, according to the report.

Wakefield says he spent five years restoring Kim Chow in preparation for this journey. His plan was to sail west from Victoria,British Columbia to the Pacfic, then sail south to New Zealand.From there he would circle Antarctica and pass Cape Horn to return home. Born and raised in Victoria,Wakefield sailed from western Canada to the Marquesas Islands in a 26-foot sailboat in 1997 and has extensive crewed racing experience, according to his Web site (

The fate of Kim Chow is uncertain at this time, but Wakefield has stated he does not want to abandon it, according to the report.

- Elizabeth Ellis