Expedition Set to Honor First Circumnavigator

To mark the 500th anniversary of the first round-the-world voyage, Jimmy Cornell launches a new catamaran to retrace the route.

Elcano 500
Elcano 500, Jimmy Cornell's new Outremer 4X catamaran,Courtesy of Jimmy Cornell

Author, sailor and event organizer Jimmy Cornell has just launched his latest expedition sailboat, this time a fully electric Outremer 4X called Elcano 500, and next month he plans to set off from Seville, Spain, to celebrate and follow the route of the first circumnavigation, completed in 1522 by the Spanish sailor Juan Sebastian Elcano.

Elcano set off from Seville in 1519 with Ferdinand Magellan, taking command of the expedition when Magellan was killed in the Philippines, and completing the round-the-world voyage the following year.

Cornell is calling his latest adventure the Elcano Project. The boat’s name, besides paying homage to the first circumnavigator, is a play on “Electricity. Carbon. No!” The voyage will follow the original course, stopping in Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Puerto Julian and passing through the Magellan Strait. From there, Elcano will set off across the Pacific, visiting Puka Puka in the Cook Islands, Guam, and the Philippines, including the island of Mactan, where Magellan was killed. From there, Elcano will visit several other Pacific islands, cross the South Indian Ocean, round the Cape of Good Hope and return to Seville. The 30,000-mile voyage is expected to take less than a year.

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