Now or never: Silt resident embarks upon a world-wide sailing voyage with a piece of Colorado
He’s racing around the world by sailboat, and bringing a piece of Colorado on the trip.
Although Silt resident Curt Morlock has lived in the landlocked state of Colorado for decades, he grew up near the ocean and always held onto a love for sailing.
“I was raised in South Florida, so when the wind blew we were sailing,” Morlock said. “When the ocean was murky, we were fishing. When the ocean was clear we were skin diving.”
He moved to Colorado in the 1980s and spent the following years happy and satisfied with the abundance of mountain sports, but after recently being diagnosed with Leukemia, he decided to do something he had long dreamed of: racing across the world.
“Now or never is my motto,” Morlock said.
The boat he will be sailing is named the 6 Lazy K from New Castle. Morlock said he named it after his good friend Tim Kaufman’s ranch. Kaufman also runs the Kaufman and Kaufman LLC law firm in Glenwood Springs.
Morlock will be bringing Colorado with him — and enjoying confusing the other sailors at sea.
How the dream came about
Morlock said he grew up with easygoing parents compared to those of his friends, and he was allowed a lot more freedom. He never wanted to be held back by his friends’ inability to go with him, so he became very independent in his pursuit of adventure.
“If I wanted to go fishing up the coast, I would stick my thumb out and go up the (Interstate) 95 and I would sleep on the beach,” he said. “I didn’t have the restraints of normal parents. Everything I had to do, I kind of learned to do myself.”
He said that he would work hard so that during holidays or school breaks he could afford to fly by himself to an island in the Bahamas called Eleuthera where he would live on the beach.
“I would surf and live off what I found fishing, bartering or whatever it was,” he said. “I survived 10 days to two weeks at a time as a young kid at 15,16 years old.”
This continued through his life and careers, and when he was diagnosed with cancer, he decided to set to sea independently.
In the process of looking for a single-person sailing boat, he found out about the Global Solo Challenge, and decided it was a safe way to sail across the globe.
“It just seemed like a perfect opportunity,” he said. “By sailing with them, you’re sailing in numbers and if something were to happen, it’s a lot a lot easier to get assistance being a part of the event.”
The race and what he’ll need for success
Few people from the United States have been recorded sailing across the world, but surprisingly most of them over the age of 50.
The boat Morlock was able to get was once owned by a 54-year-old man who completed this trek. The boat is thin and long, and Morlock described it as like a surfboard. He said it is what he needs to complete the race properly.
The race will be in December, and will take between three and four months.
Until then, Morlock has a lot of gear and supplies to collect, along with medical and safety classes, and 2,000 miles of solo sailing to complete before he starts the race.
“The medical class is my big concern right now,” he said. “The medical course is about $3,000.”
The course involves a lot of traveling and necessary requirements for personal and fellow racer safety. If one of the sailors sends out a distress signal, the nearest competitors will sail to assist the person in need.
Gear, sails, ropes and replacement parts in case of any breakage on the trip will be needed for him to fully complete the trip. He will also need equipment for his auto-pilot if it breaks during the voyage, otherwise he will not be able to make repairs or sleep while far from land. Other helpful gear included a personal safety beacon if he gets separated from the boat.
“I am still seeking sponsorships and donations,” he said.
His friend, Julia, echoed the long list of gear, food and other necessities he will need to safely complete his trip.
“I will go no matter what,” he said, explaining that the sponsorship and funding will help him complete the trip, but he will go as far as he can and turn back if he doesn’t have the gear he needs to complete the race.
There are also places where he thinks he can benefit other companies to sponsor him like Verizon and Starlink, which could use his journey to test their services in the most remote locations in the world.
He already plans to use both companies and plans to livestream the entire trip, but he said he would be open to using any company willing to help sponsor his trip.
Testing for microplastics in the water is another aspect he is offering for interested scientists. While he’s in some of the most remote places in the world, he can help benefit research.
He’s already put on 1,250 nautical miles, and left last week from to begin completing all of his pre-required tasks.
Marking his celebration points
At 64 years old, he’s positive he has the know-how and will, not only to get him through the race, but to win it. The only thing holding him back is the lack of sponsors and funding right now.
The race is a world-wide affair with many competitors around the globe. Sponsorship would be seen worldwide. He plans to offer any trade of funding or gear for sponsorship recognition.
He will also be logging in to celebrate with the people following his journey.
“I look forward to the Southern Ocean,” he said, “The Southern Ocean is where most people are fearful, and I think it’s because there can be 30 foot waves and 60 mile an hour winds in the most remote place on the planet.”
Point Nemo is another location he plans to celebrate.
“It’s a made up name for the most remote place in the ocean,” he said. “If the Space Station were to fly over, it would be closer than the nearest land. I will be at Point Nemo at some point in my journey.”
Others will start in A Coruña, Spain, then the equator, the tip of Africa at the Cape of Good Hope, Nemo, Antarctica and then Cape Horn in South America.
After the final celebration point in South America, he will be heading home and hopefully winning, completing one of the most challenging journeys on Earth.
If you want to donate or sponsor Morlock, email him at email@example.com or go to his website at https://www.globalsolochallenge84.us where he has a link for his GoFundMe.
Post Independent reporter Cassandra Ballard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-384-9131.
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