Christo Velkov is Sailor of the Year and wins Cor Caroli Cup
Christo Velkov has won the Cor Caroli award for 2011, a Bulgarian honour for the year’s greatest sailing achievement.
Velkov set off on an extended voyage on board his yacht Sérénité from Marmatis (Turkey), to arrive in Cairns (Australia). On his voyage he covered 17 473 nautical miles in total, of which 5147 as a solo navigator. He crossed the Mediterranean Sea and arrived in Gibraltar in late 2008. In 2009 he crossed the Atlantic Ocean making landfall in Guadeloupe. After visiting several islands in the Caribbean, he crossed the Panama Canal. Leaving Panama he spent 31 days at sea, to arrive in Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands. He continued sailing West, making stops in Apia (Western Samoa), Suva and Vunda Point (Fiji), and Port Vila (Vanuatu) before completing his voyage in Australia. Along the way he participated in several regattas.
Christo started to sail on the North Sea, off the coasts of Belgium and the Netherlands. The first sailing club of which he was a member is the Hofstade Royal Sailing Club. After sailing on the North Sea and in the English Channel for several years, he moved on to the Mediterranean. He crossed the Mediterranean Sea several times, spending longer periods in Turkey and Tunisia.
Sinners and Serenity: the Southern Seas is the name of the book covering Christo’s adventures. It will be published in spring 2014.
Velkov, born in Madan, Bulgaria in 1966, now lives in Brussels and has devoted his professional career to philanthropic causes. He is an INSEAD alumnus, an amateur musician, and former paratrooper.
The annual prize Cor Caroli is established to commemorate the life of Captain Georgi Georgiev, the first Bulgarian to complete a solo circumnavigation, and bears the name of his yacht. Cor Caroli is the name of a star, in honour of Charlemagne.