Ronnie Simpson – Global Solo Challenger Number 52

GSC – 7/9/2023 – By Hal – Ronnie Simpson from Honolulu, Hawaii is one of the most experienced sailors who entered the Global Solo Challenge to date.

Ronnie Simpson, an American, combat-wounded, and retired Marine Corps veteran, is a prominent figure in the sailing world and decided to enter the Global Solo Challenge (GSC) whilst supporting US Patriot Sailing, a veterans’ sailing non-profit organization. Simpson experienced a life-changing event during his service in Iraq when he suffered severe injuries, including the loss of half of his lung in an explosion. After his military retirement, he faced personal struggles until he discovered sailing.

Immediately taken by the sport, Simpson sold his house, bought a boat, and immersed himself in the sailing industry. Despite vision problems due to his injuries, he has accomplished much in his sailing career, including 130,000 nautical miles of sailing, 19 crossings between Hawaii and mainland USA, and participation in the Sydney to Hobart race.

For the GSC, Simpson was loaned an Open 50 yacht, ‘Sparrow,’ by Californian sailor and businessman, Whitall Stokes. Stokes has now donated ‘Sparrow’ to US Patriot Sailing, providing the organization with a vessel for its programs after Simpson completes the GSC. In preparation for the race, Simpson and his team are refitting ‘Sparrow’ in Beaufort, North Carolina.

With a strong belief in the therapeutic power of sailing, Simpson is using the GSC to raise awareness and funds for US Patriot Sailing. He said, “Sailing, literally, saved my life,” highlighting the transformative power of the sport in his life after the military.

MORE: Global Solo Challenge skipper Ronnie Simpson: “Sailing Saved My Life”

Cover photo: Courtesy of Jon Whittle, Sailing World magazine.jpg