Ronnie Simpson

Ronnie Simpson is a 39-year-old professional racing sailor from the United States of America who aims to sail in the 2028 Vendee Globe. Recently, Ronnie was the skipper of the Open 50 Shipyard Brewing which competed in the first-ever Global Solo Challenge in 2023-24. Sailing in a strong third place for most of the race, Ronnie unfortunately dismasted off of Argentina in February 2024 and Shipyard Brewing was lost at sea. Having completed 80% of a singlehanded racing circumnavigation and rounding all of the three great capes including Cape Horn, Ronnie’s resolve to race the Vendee Globe is now only stronger.

As a combat-wounded and medically retired US Marine and Iraq war veteran who has sailed more than 170,000 miles at sea, Ronnie is proud to use his sailing efforts to raise both funds and awareness for US Patriot Sailing, a 501c3 Veterans’ sailing non-profit organization. Ronnie credits sailing with saving his life and believes in the inspirational and therapeutic benefit of finding purpose through sailing.

Since discovering sailing at the age of 23, Ronnie has found a livelihood and a lifestyle through the sport. Ronnie has worked professionally as a racing sailor, delivery captain, charter captain, sailboat rigger and racing yacht preparateur. He also has an extensive career and experience as an award-winning sailing journalist, writer, media professional and drone pilot who has covered yacht races around the world. As well as racing and working in the industry for more than 15 years, Ronnie has lived on a handful of sailboats and has cruised to the South Pacific on multiple occasions, including a two-year stint living and working in Fiji.

Career Sailing Achievements

  • Years sailing: 16
  • Offshore Miles Sailed: 170,000+
  • 19 crossings between Hawaii and US Mainland
  • 1 Trans-Atlantic crossing
  • Rounded Cape Horn Solo in Global Solo Challenge 2023-24
  • 80% of a solo racing circumnavigation in Global Solo Challenge 2023-24 *dismasted after Cape Horn*
  • 6 races to Hawaii; 2 solo and 4 crewed
  • 1 division win in Singlehanded Transpac and 1 division win in Transpac
  • 1 participation in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart
  • Significant other offshore, inshore and coastal races.
  • Sailed a 34’ monohull about 14,000 miles solo around the Pacific, between Hawaii and Fiji, and back.
  • Sailed a 27’ engineless monohull about 10,000 miles solo from West Coast USA to Hawaii to Fiji to New Zealand.
  • Offshore crossings on racing monohulls up to canting-keel 100’ supermaxis.
  • Experience on bigger racing and cruising monohulls up to 100′.
  • Experience on racing and cruising multihulls up to 100′.
  • USCG Captain’s License – 50 ton master
  • Professional experience as a racing sailor, delivery captain, charter captain, yacht rigger and racing yacht preparateur.

The Vendée Globe

The Vendee Globe is a singlehanded, non-stop sailing race around the world. Since it’s inception in 1989, it has become the world’s premier singlehanded offshore sailing race. Only two Americans have ever completed the Vendee Globe. Ronnie Simpson aims to become the third. A race that takes place every four years, the Vendee Globe has become a global sporting phenomenon that unites fans, sailors and sponsors alike to tackle the ‘Everest of the Seas’. Taking place in high-tech and cutting edge 60-foot carbon-fiber racing yachts called IMOCA 60s, competing on the IMOCA Globe Series and in the Vendee Globe requires a well-funded and professional sporting program with a 4-year commitment. Such a sailing project requires a large budget, and thus, Ronnie will need to find significant sponsorship to be on the starting line of the Vendee Globe 2028.