No announcement yet.

Golden Globe Race Ushers In July

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Golden Globe Race Ushers In July

    16 Single Handed Competitors pushed off the docks of les Sables d'Olonee with no electronic navigation
    and 24913 nm ahead.

    Dateline Les Sables d'Olonne France: 1 July 2018
    They have 30,000 miles to sail over the next 9-10 months, but judging from the start today of the 2018 Golden Globe solo non-stop around the world yacht race from Les Sables d’Olonne, the leaders will be fighting over every mile.

    First to cross the line at Noon (CEST) was the fiercely competitive Frenchman Philippe Péché aboard his Rustler 36 PRB. He has ensured that she is one of the lightest in the 18-strong fleet, and carrying a huge lightweight genoa, Péché pulled out a 100 metre lead within minutes of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, winner of the first GGR 50 years before, had fired the canon from the deck of his historic yacht Suhaili.

    Behind him, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, who has five previous circumnavigations to his credit and at 73, is the oldest skipper in this Race, appeared to tangle with Tapio Lehtinen’s Finnish yacht Asteria, and one hour after the start were still locked in a 3-way tie with Dutchman Mark Slats (Ohpen Maverick) for third place. Their regatta style tactics allowed Russia’s Igor Zaretskiy to sail his Endurance 35 Esmeralda quietly into second place.

    Another in the mix was Are Wiig’s 32ft Norwegian double-ender Olleanna along with Indian Navy pilot Abhilash Tomy sailing a wooden replica of Sir Robin’s Suhaili.

    By contrast, Britain’s Susie Goodall, who raised by far the biggest send-off from the dock, kept her Rustler 36 DHL Starlight well clear of other yachts and made a good mid fleet start in line with Istvan Kopar’s American yacht Puffin, fellow British entrant Ertan Bescardes (Lazy Otter) and Antoine Cousot’s French Biscay 36 Métier Intérim.

    Philippe Péché aboard his Rustler 36 PRB gets a head start alongside Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) and his Endurance 35 Esmeralda. ahead of Tapio Lehtinen’s Finnish yacht Asteria, Istvan Kopar (USA) Puffin and Are Wiig's Norwegian yacht Olleanna. Bernard Moitessier's historic GGR yacht JOSHUA (far right) marked one end of the line and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's Suhaili, which won the first GGR 50 years ago, marked the other. Photo: Tim Bishop

    The dark horse within the fleet appears to be Nabil Amra’s Palestinian flagged Biscay 36 Liberty II, which was one of the last boats across the line but last night was flying through the fleet at 4.6knots as apposed to 4.2 for the leaders. Like Igor Zaretskiy, he is taking a more southerly route towards Cape Finistere while others were heading well out into the Bay of Biscay in the hope of finding stronger winds.

    One skipper, Italy’s Francesco Cappelletti, remains in port preparing his Endurance 35 007. The yacht has still to pass safety inspection and Cappelletti has yet to complete 3 days of solo sailing trials. He has until Noon next Saturday to beat the deadline to join the race.

    The leading yachts are expected to reach the first ‘gate’ set off Lanzarote in the Canaries around 11th July to hand across film and letters. The Race is expected to take 9-10 months with the leaders taking between 240-250 days to complete the voyage unaided.

    Today, technical partner announced that they would provide a £5,000 cash prize the for the fastest skipper around the world – the same amount that the Sunday Times newspaper posted for its race 50 years ago.

    All photos © christophe favreau o0 tim bishop/GGR

    Stepping back to the Golden Age of solo sailing
    18 sailors…30,000 miles non-stop…Alone…With no outside assistance
    To celebrate Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s historic 1968/9 world first solo non-stop circumnavigation in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Yacht Race, a new Golden Globe Race will be staged to mark the 50th Anniversary of that epic, starting from Falmouth on June 14th, 2018. Like the original Sunday Times event,the 2018 Golden Globe Race is very simple. Depart Les Sables-d’Olonne, France on July 1st, 2018 and sail solo, non-stop around the world, via the five Great Capes and return to Les Sables-d’Olonne. Entrants are limited to sailing similar yachts and equipment to what was available to Sir Robin in that first race. That means sailing without modern technology or benefit of satellite based navigation aids.

    Competitors must sail in production boats between 32ft and 36ft overall (9.75 – 10.97m) designed prior to 1988 that have a full-length keel with rudder attached to their trailing edge. These yachts are heavily built, strong and sturdy, similar in concept to Sir Robin’s 32ft vessel Suhaili. In contrast to the current professional world of elite ocean racing, this edition travels back to a time known as the ‘Golden Age’ of solo sailing. Suhaili was a slow, sturdy 32ft double-ended ketch based on a William Atkins ERIC design. She was heavily built of teak and carried no computers, GPS, satellite phone nor water-maker, and Robin completed the challenge with no outside assistance or aid of modern day shore-based weather routing advice. He had only a wind-up chronometer and a barograph to face the world alone, and caught rainwater to survive. But he was at one with the ocean, able to contemplate and absorb all that this epic voyage had to offer.

    This anniversary edition of the Golden Globe Race is a celebration of the original event, the winner, his boat and that significant world-first achievement. Competitors in this race will be sailing simple boats using basic equipment to guarantee a satisfying and personal experience. The challenge is pure and very raw, placing adventure ahead of winning at all costs. It is for ‘those who dare’, just as it was for Sir Robin. They will be navigating with sextant on paper charts, without electronic instruments or autopilots. They will hand-write their logs and determine the weather for themselves. Only occasionally will they talk to loved ones and the outside world when long-range high frequency and ham radios allow. It is now possible to race a monohull solo around the world in under 80 days, but sailors entered in this race will spend around 300 days at sea in little boats, challenging themselves and each other. The 2018 Golden Globe Race will be a fitting tribute to the first edition and it’s winner, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

    Don McIntyre, Race Founder and Chairman – about the 2018 Golden Globe Race:
    “I was first exposed to the inaugural 1982 BOC Challenge Around Alone Race during the Sydney stopover, working on Aries wind vanes used by competitors. I spent time with them all. We laughed together and I heard their stories. I met my boyhood champion, Robin Knox-Johnston and was hooked. I decided to compete in the 1986 event, but with a part built boat, I ran out of time, so had to be content in the roll of Sydney BOC Race Chairman that year.

    Competing in the 1990-91 BOC Challenge was one of the highlights in my life. On reflection, I always considered myself luck as, in my opinion, it was the last of the ‘Adventure events’. Each future race became increasingly performance orientated, sailed by elite sportsmen and women in ever more extreme yachts, focused on winning at all costs. Nothing wrong with that, in fact it was and still is incredibly exciting, but it was simply a lot more of an adventure in 1990. My dream to sail solo around the world was borne of inspiration gained while following the solo voyages of Francis Chichester, Robin Knox-Johnston and Bernard Moitessier, and reading about Chay Blyth, Blondie Hasler and others from the ‘Golden Age’ of solo sailing.

    That was an exciting period! In 2008, I saw Sir Robin Knox Johnston speaking on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of his record setting 1968 non-stop circumnavigation. Referring to the current space-age building materials, high tech satellite systems and computers supporting today’s solo sailors, he simply said (by comparison to his own expe*rience back then) “This takes the spice out of it!” Well the 2018 Golden Globe Race very definitely puts the spice back into it and by world standards, offers a very unique and demanding challenge to any sailor who’s up for it. That same year, Robin was asked: “What would you say to sailors thinking of circumnavigating?” His response: “My advice to them would be quite simply this. If you’ve got the idea, and you want to do it, then do it. Don’t let ANYTHING get in the way. Far too many people sit in yacht clubs talking about it but then never do it. DO IT! You’ll never regret it.” He’s right of course. I am looking forward to stepping back and doing it again myself, the “Spicy” way, in the 2022 Golden Globe Race. Over the years I have personally supported many young solo sailors, men and women, to achieve their dreams. I hope this event will let many more and maybe you achieve yours! I look forward to meeting you at the start”

    To create a unique ‘RETRO’ non-stop solo around the world yacht race, in the image of the original Sunday Times Golden Globe that draws sailors back to the Golden Age of ‘one sailor, one boat’ facing the great oceans of the world.
    To organise a race where adventure takes precedence over winning at all costs.
    To professionally manage an event where the sailors skill and traditional seamanship alone, rather than modern technology or support crews, gets them home and where the achievement truly belongs to the skipper.
    To give sailors of all ages an opportunity to race solo around the world safely, in a fleet of similar and affordable yachts in the spirit of Suhaili


    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    Light And Sunny $th For Globesters

    Golden Globe Race
    3 hrs ·
    LATEST NEWS. Uku Randmaa has made the easiest course and continues to plod along into a good position to get around Cape Finistere and out of the Bay of Biscay. Head winds continue to dictate each day for the fleet and Philippe Péché has taken an extreme inshore option where seas should be a lot less that Jean Luc Vandenheede is experiencing now. There is huge contrast in speed and course and all indications are that all skippers are frustrated but enjoying the ride, some in pleasant conditions. Игорь Зарецкий leads a small fleet that have been cross tacking and in VHF radio range including Susie Goodall Gregor McGuckin Empowered by Hanley Energy Loïc Lepage and Antoine Cousot...most entrants do not know where the others are and Loic is worried he is the last in the fleet but he is far from it and doing very well. Tapio Lehtinen and Are Wiig are also well placed to make the most of the breeze when it swings a little shortly after rounding the corner. The next 36hrs show frustrating light wind to continue. All entrants are in good shape! #GGR2018


    LATEST MESSAGES from Entrants today..

    22 Gregor..SLEEPING AROUND 18HRS A DAY AND SNOOZING THE REST! Position: 45' 02.918 N 006' 52.606 W at 06:07 UTC
    85 Philippe…ALL GOOD Position: 43' 54.398 N 007' 11.036 W at 07:36 UT
    Nabil…ALL IS WELL CROWDED OUTHERE.SENT MSG FROM WROG DEVICE Position: 44' 26.121 N 006' 37.818 W at 08:05 UTC
    LOIC ….HELLO EVERYBODY! Position: 44' 54.058 N 006' 55.602 W at 08:58 UTC
    68 Mark Slats…THE GODS ARE WITH US BEAUTIFUL SAILIMG STARTINGTOGETARITME Position: 44' 21.590 N 008' 03.701 W at 09:56 UTC
    JL VDH…FORCE 2/3 MATMUT EN ROUTE POURLE CAP FINISTERO.TVB Position: 44' 33.479 N 007' 55.254 W at 10:09 UTC
    94 Ertan…Boat is good, no problems Position: 44' 41.842 N 006' 40.513 W at 11:29 U
    88 COCONUT!!... BECALMED WAITING FOR WIND TO RETURN, YERY PEACEFUL Position: 44' 03.136 N 005' 19.583 W at 05:32 UTC
    88..Coconut..MIDDAY THUNDERSTORMS CAUGHT 5LTRS RAINWATER IN MAINSAIL Position: 43' 58.349 N 005' 48.971 W at 13:04 UTC
    73 Susie..FRUSTRATINGLY SLOW BUT ALL WELL ONBOARD Position: 44' 56.698 N 006' 45.677 W at 05:16 UTC
    73 Susie BEATING INTO SW WIND AT LEAST ITS SUNNY Position: 44' 46.503 N 007' 18.794 W at 12:59 UTC
    UKU…ONE AND ALL IS HAPPY, Position: 43' 59.027 N 008' 03.469 W at 13:58 UTC
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


    • #3
      2 Skippers Retired From Golden Globe

      Mark Slats holds 3-mile lead over Philippe Péché
      Francesco Cappelletti withdraws from the Race
      Slow going for first 4 days of Golden Globe Race
      Dateline Les Sables d’Olonne, 5 July 2018

      ENGLISH : Sadly we have recieved the following message from Ertan Beskardes today...

      Due to personal reasons I have decided to retire from the GGR 2018. Thank you for your support during the last few months.

      Lazy Otter's Skipper Ertan Beskardes

      Francesco Cappelletti withdraws from the Golden Globe Race but joins the independent CAROZZO sailors.

      Entrants in the 2018 Golden Globe Race have set out from Les Sables d’Olonne, France on a solo, non-stop un-assisted circumnavigation without the aid of modern electronic navigation aids including GPS. If any competitors breech one rule of the Race, such as stop-over for assistance, or use the emergency GPS stowed in a sealed case for emergencies, they are moved to the Chichester Class as if, like Sir Francis Chichester in 1966/7, they have made one stop during their solo circumnavigation. Those in the Chichester Class become ineligible for any GGR trophies or rankings, but remain in the event.

      Should skippers breech the rules for a second time, they are no longer part of the GGR Event and the organisers have no responsibility or obligation to them. They will however continue to be tracked as independent CAROZZO sailors. This is in deference to Alex Carozzo, the Italian entrant in the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race who left Cowes on 31st October 1968 (the last day allowed within the Rules) and then sat in isolation on a mooring for a further five days finalising preparations on his boat before setting sail. Alex later suffered an ulcer and was forced to stop in Lisbon to seek medical attention.

      Today, fellow Italian Francesco Cappelletti has accepted that his Endurance 35 007 will not be ready before the the closing date for starting the 2018 GGR at 13.30hrs on Saturday 7th July. Instead, he will now sail as a CAROZZO sailor giving GGR sailors the opportunity to continue to follow their own dream of making a solo circumnavigation as a personal challenge with no restrictions on navigation equipment or gear including the use of GPS and their sat phone. Their positions will be maintained on the GGR tracker and occasional reports may be given by the GGR organisers.

      Cappelletti must set out from Les Sables d’Olonne by 13.30hrs on 21st July and his retirement from the main event reduces the entry list in the 2018 Golden Globe Race to 17 skippers.

      Don McIntyre, Chairman of the Golden Globe Race said today: “We are very sorry to lose Francesco. He is not now part of the GGR event but remains part of the adventure and will doubtless continue to stay in communication with the other GGR sailors. We hope he will return to Les Sables d’Olonne in time to attend the GGR prize-giving April 22"

      The first four days of light, variable winds appear to have played into the hands of Golden Globe Race leader Mark Slats, the Dutch transatlantic rowing record-holder and his secret weapon – a pair of giant sculling oars.

      Slats overtook the initial fleet leader Philippe Péché during their first night at sea after leaving Les Sables d’Olonne last Sunday and has been a consistent front-runner since. At 06:00 UTC today the Dutchman held a 3 mile lead on second placed Péché as the leaders rounded Cape Finisterre and began their run south towards the Canaries and their first ‘gate’ off Lanzarote.

      The fleet is now spread out over a 100 mile distance with Australian Mark Sinclair currently trapped in very light airs close into the North Spanish coast and wishing perhaps that he too had an oar.

      The first four skippers, Slats, Péché, Estonian Uku Randmaa and French veteran Jean-Luc Van Den Heede have all shared the lead during this first week at sea and significantly perhaps, are all sailing Rustler 36 yachts. 12 miles is all that divides them today.

      The forecast does not bode well for the tail-enders with calms continuing in the Finisterre region over the weekend while the leaders can expect favourable 10 increasing to 20knot northerly winds as they run down the Portuguese coast.

      Francesco Cappelletti withdraws from the Race
      Back in Les Sables d’Olonne, Italian Francesco Cappelletti, whose late preparations delayed his departure with the rest of the fleet last Sunday, has announced his withdrawal from the Race. He had until 13:30 on Saturday 7th July to beat the race deadline for late starters, but the uphill struggle to complete safety inspections and a 360 mile solo trial sail has proved too great.

      The Rules allow for one breach of the strict solo, non-stop un-assisted circumnavigation without the aid of modern electronic navigation aids regulations that make this Race unique. Those that do, move down to the Chichester Class as if, like Sir Francis Chichester in 1966/7, they have made one stop during their solo circumnavigation.
      Those who breach the rules for a second time are deemed to have retired from the GGR Event and the organisers have no responsibility or obligation to them. They will however continue to be tracked as independent CAROZZO sailors. This is in deference to Alex Carozzo, the Italian entrant in the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race who left Cowes on 31st October 1968 (the last day allowed within the Rules) and then sat in isolation on a mooring for a further five days finalising preparations on his boat before setting sail. Alex later suffered an ulcer and was forced to stop in Lisbon to seek medical attention.

      Francesco has elected to continue this round the globe adventure as an independent Carozzo sailor, and no longer constrained by the GGR Rules, can carry modern navigation aids including GPS and satellite phone. His positions will also be maintained on the GGR tracker and the GGR organisers may give occasional reports.

      “This is the best solution for me” Cappelletti said in Les Sables d’Olonne today, adding. “I am very pleased to continue in the tradition of the Golden Globe Race and stay in radio contact with the other skippers.”

      Don McIntyre, Chairman of the Golden Globe Race said today: “We are very sorry to lose Francesco. He is not now part of the GGR event but remains part of the adventure and will doubtless continue to stay in communication with the other GGR sailors. We hope he will return to Les Sables d’Olonne in time to attend the GGR prize-giving April 22 next year.”

      GGR Leader board: 06:00 UTC 05.08.18

      Mark Slats (NED) Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick
      Philippe Péché (FRA) Rustler 36 PRB
      Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All
      Jean-Luc Van Den Heede (FRA) Rustler 36 Matmut
      Are Wiig (NOR) OE 32 Olleanna
      Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria
      Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Endurance 35 Esmeralda
      Loïc Lepage (FRA) Nicholson 32 Laaland
      Gregor McGuckin (IRE) Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance
      Antoine Cousot (FRA) Biscay 36 Métier Intérim
      Susie Goodall (GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight
      Abhilash Tomy (IND) Suhaili replica Thuriya
      Nabil Amra (PAL) Biscay 36 Liberty II
      Ertan Beskardes (GBR) Rustler 36 Lazy Otter
      Istvan Kopar (USA) Tradewind 35 Puffin
      Kevin Farebrother (AUS) Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha
      Mark Sinclair (Aus) Lello 34 Coconut

      LATEST SATELITE TEXTS...the leaders are now breaking into a favourable wind flow and speeds will slowly increase for them as they break away from the rest of the fleet, still bogged down in variable winds. This will all change in the next 24 hours to see all yachts start moving in consistant winds.

      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


      • #4
        Philippe Péché strengthens lead over top four GGR sailors


        Skippers undergo cloud cover that prevents them from using their sextant for several days. Navigation is at the moment at the compass and it will be interesting to see, if this cover is maintained, with what precision the skippers of the grh 2018 will move closer to the canary islands and the wet buoy off the Marina Rubicon , mandatory crossing point for all competitors. Baptized "drop point", these track marks are used to retrieve images on board, in super 8 format or in pictures on film..

        The height of the Canary Islands should help them find their way.
        Classification Side, no upheaval during the night. It should be noted, however, that itsván and recovered a little more wind from the coast. Igor and loïc also impress on their less performing boats... the weather forecasts, which showed yesterday a fall of the wind at the approach of the canary islands announced this morning a constant breeze to the archipelago. The first competitors could join the first crossing point (to leave between the wet buoy off the Marina Rubicon and the coast) on Thursday. Part of the team 2018 team will be on site to host them and collect images of their passage. Live videos and photos of all boats are on the program... their arrival in Lanzarote will be in mid-afternoon today!
        The entire fleet of the 2018 continues to grow south. Leaders always show the most fast, Philippe sin firmly hung at over 5 knots of average and 155 miles travelled in the last 24 hours. It is expected at the canary crossing point early Thursday morning.

        Behind, vdh confesses a lot, the fault of an irregular wind. Other skippers like antoine cousot or abhilash tomy reported the strong presence of flying fish while tapio lethinen reported an infected injury to the hand that forced him to take antibiotics. Bobo side, mechanical this time, Igor Zaretskiy entrusts that he is repairing the spi of his endurance 35, particularly speed in recent days. Are Wiig and Susie Goodall seem to have returned to a good pace, as has been seen at his expense uku randmaa, who got caught up.

        Day 9: French skipper Philippe Péché and his Rustler 36 PRB have opened up a 45 mile lead over fellow Frenchman Jean-Luc Van Den Heede (Rustler 36 Matmut) over the weekend after enjoying a fast run down the Portuguese coast. At 06:00 UTC today, Péché was closest to the Moroccan coast among the 16 remaining GGR sailors and on a rhumb line course for Rubicon Marina Lanzarote, the first gate in this 30,000 mile solo non-stop circumnavigation.

        Those taking a more traditional westerly route led by Dutchman Mark Slats (Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick) and Estonian Uku Randmaa (Rustler 36 One and All) 150 miles offshore, have not enjoyed quite the same boisterous NNE wind-stream and have fallen 64 and 84 miles behind respectively.

        Two other winners in this game of snakes and ladders have been Britain’s Susie Goodall (DHL Starlight) who has moved up from 9th to 5th over the weekend and is now level pegging with Norwegian Are Wiig (OE 32 Olleanna), and Australian Mark Sinclair (Lello 34 Coconut) who has recovered from last place to now stand 13th overall. Today, Goodall highlighted a problem most are facing: Low cloud cover is restricting their ability to get a sun sight. “I’m worried about finding the Canaries.” She reported.

        Classification Side, no upheaval during the night. It should be noted, however, that itsván and recovered a little more wind from the coast. Igor and loïc also impress on their less performing boats... the weather forecasts, which showed yesterday a fall of the wind at the approach of the canary islands announced this morning a constant breeze to the archipelago. The first competitors could join the first crossing point (to leave between the wet buoy off the Marina Rubicon and the coast) on Thursday. Part of the team 2018 team will be on site to host them and collect images of their passage. Live videos and photos of all boats are on the program... their arrival in Lanzarote will be in mid-afternoon today!

        Ertan Beskardes withdraws from the Race
        Ertan Beskardes, the Turkish-born British skipper from Bournemouth informed Race HQ by satellite late on Friday July 6 that he was pulling out of the Race for personal reasons. Later, he informed followers on Facebook: “Not talking to my family regularly to share the daily experiences has sadly taken the joy and happiness from this experience. These feelings gradually got worse until nothing else mattered except to talk to them. This wasn’t an experience I was prepared for and this decision was the hardest I’ve ever had to make in my life. I love solo sailing but felt very lonely with no contact.”

        Ertan has pulled into La Corunna where his wife joined him yesterday. Another factor that may have swayed his decision was the fact that his HF radio was not working, which would have left him at a disadvantage communicating with the outside world and receiving weather forecasts from a worldwide network of Ham radio enthusiasts.

        Others are facing practical as well as emotional issues. Both Frenchman Antoine Cousot sailing the Biscay 36 Métier Intérim, and his US/Hungarian rival Istvan Kopar (Tradewind 35 Puffin) are experiencing continued problems with their wind vane self steering systems – essential gear when they reach the Southern ocean – and for the moment are spending long hours steering by hand. Cousot has indicated that he intends to pull in at Lanzarote to make repairs but not yet declared whether he intends to gain outside assistance. Entrants are allowed to seek shelter to make repairs at any time without effecting their solo non-stop status, but face being relegated to the Chichester Class if they enter port or seek assistance.

        Another to report problems today is Race leader Philippe Péché who, like Beskardes, is experiencing problems with his HF Radio. His current course is likely to carry PRB straight into an area of light airs blocking the fleet en-route to the Canaries.

        If Péché can maintain his current 6knot average, the Frenchman could complete the 520 miles to the buoy off Marina Rubicon early Thursday morning, but a period of light airs forecast over the next 24 hours could extend that ETA to Thursday night/Friday morning – and shake up the standings. It is all to play for!
        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

 Photo Gallery


        • #5
          Media Drop Time In The Canaries

          The fleet of Golden Globe Sailors are making their way through the Canaries and dropping off film from
          stills and old school video, the old fashioned way, provind crews with some human interaction and the GGR crew
          a chance to capture some media images and film of their own!

          DRAMA: Philippe Péché sacrifices a 4 hour lead with navigation mistake at first Gate of Lanzarote
          Mark Slats closes gap to 9 miles
          Jean-Luc Van Den Heede is third

          Gregor charged into the film drop at Lanzarote under genoa and mainsail his boat looking fantastic. He looked happy and comfortable aboard Hanley Energy Endurance. He reported no damage to the boat and despite having run out of fresh food said he was "eating like a king". The solar panels and a little bit of hydro power were providing all the energy he needed to keep the systems onboard working and the batteries full. Gregor is looking in good shape mid field and is in good shape to improve his placing as conditions deteriorate

          Dateline Rubicon Marina, Lanzarote 12 July 2018

          He is still in first place, but French Golden Globe Race leader Philippe Péché threw away a hard-fought 3½ hour lead at the first gate in this 30,000 mile solo non-stop round the world race today after mistaking the lighthouse marking the southern end of Lanzarote today.

          It was not until his Rustler 36 PRB had reached the northern tip of Fuerteventura in the Canaries that the Frenchman realised his mistake and had to turn back into the wind and beat the 7 miles Marina Rubicon at the southern end of Lanzarote,

          Why he missed the lighthouse’s distinctive pattern of flashes in the early dawn is not fully explained. If he had done so, Péché would have rounded the the mandatory turning mark at 06:30. Instead, it was 10:30 before he had passed across his film and letters to waiting organisers and had set off again.

          This time wasting closed the gap between himself and second placed Mark Slats and his Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick to little more than 9 miles. The Dutchman was delighted. “I’m very happy and feeling strong. I rowed for 6 hours when the winds got very light around Cape Finisterre” he told organisers and after he too had handed across his film, and set off enthusiastically to chase down his rival.

          Igor was the only one to pass on the inside, between Marocco's coast and the Canaries
          Gregor charged into the film drop at Lanzarote under genoa and mainsail his boat looking fantastic. He looked happy and comfortable aboard Hanley Energy Endurance. He reported no damage to the boat and despite having run out of fresh food said he was "eating like a king". The solar panels and a little bit of hydro power were providing all the energy he needed to keep the systems onboard working and the batteries full. Gregor is looking in good shape mid field and is in good shape to improve his placing as conditions deteriorate

          Tapio speared around the south west corner of Lanzarote to make his film drop this morning under genoa and full main. The low freeboard and classic S&S lines still so striking. He reported that his HF Radio was not transmitting and that he was still developing an understanding for his Windpilot self steering system. The laceration to his hand is healing well and he looked in good shape heading off to the south

          Third placed Frenchman Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, sailing the Rustler 36, Matmut a further 6 miles behind was equally delighted with the news. The 73 year-old, who has five previous circumnavigations under his belt, said, “I’m very comfortable with my position. This is a long race, and to win,you first have to finish.”

          Fourth placed Norwegian Are Wiig sailing his OE 32 Oleanna, one of the smallest in the fleet of 16 yachts, was 75 miles behind the leader holding a 20 mile lead on 5th place British sailor Susie Goodall (Rustler 36 DHL Starlight) are expected to round the Marina Rubicon mark during the night with the remaining fleet following on Friday and Saturday

          The next compulsory turning gate is off Hobart Tasmania

          GGR Leader board: 15:30 UTC 12.07.18

          Philippe Péché (FRA) Rustler 36 PRB 23 600 miles to the finish
          Mark Slats (FRA) – Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick + 9 miles
          Jean-Luc Van den Heede (FRA) Rustler 36 Matmut + 15 miles
          Are Wiig (NOR) OE32 Olleanna + 75 milles
          Susie Goodall (GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight + 95 miles


          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

 Photo Gallery


          • #6
            Golden Globe July 18 Update: Leaders Pass Cape Verdi, Attrition Builds

            Day 18 – Dateline: Rubicon Marina, Lanzarote Canaries. 18. July 2018

            With 6 Boats out already, the 12 remaining sailor carry on, but some will need some tending to ashore....

            Mark Slats - Ohpen Maverick still rolling downwind passed the Cape Verde Islands today, doing 5.2 knots, compared to 3.4 knots for Péché who is closer to the Senegal coast

            As the leading trio of Philippe Péché, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede and Mark Slats position themselves to cross the Doldrums, the dramas continue at the back of the Golden Globe Race fleet. Nabil Amra, the US based Palestinian sailing the Biscay 36 Liberty II formally announced his retirement from the race today after reaching Tenerife overnight. Fellow American Istvan Kopar has also announced that he intends to stop in the Cape Verde Islands to replace the self-steering system on his Tradewind 35 Puffin and join Frenchman Antoine Cousot in the Chichester Class for those who are forced to make one stop during their solo circumnavigation.

            Forced to hand steer for hours on end due to failing self-steering systems led to exhaustion and frustration for Antoine Cousot (above) Istvan Kopar and Nabil Amra all pulling in to port.

            Istvan Kopar's Tradewind 35 Puffin, now heading for the Cape Verde Islands to replace the self steering system

            Disappointed - Kopar, who has already completed one solo circumnavigation, knows from experience that his yacht would never cope in the Southern Ocean in the way it is set up at present.

            Cousot stopped in Lanzarote on Sunday complaining that his WindPilot wind vane steering could not control his Biscay 36 Métier Intérim, but after two days in port it became clear as he left Marina Rubicon on yesterday that his decision to drop down to the Chichester Class, was as much mental as mechanical.

            In a candid interview with Race Organisers, Cousot said: I needed the break just to relieve the pressure. It was important for me mentally to make sure that everything is working…And it was good to have a hamburger and a beer!


            This is a personal challenge – a huge adventure. You have no idea, even reading Moitessier’s book and those of other singlehanders, about what it is like being alone. They talk about the sea and the environment, but they don’t talk about what is going on inside.”

            As Métier Intérim set out to sea again late yesterday, Race Director Don McIntyre observed. “At the end of the day, the wind vane issue was important, but Antoine had all the parts onboard and simply replaced a couple of bolts that had fallen out. No extra parts were brought onboard during his stay. There were also a few electrical issues, but this was more a decision by Antoine to stop, regroup and think about what is going on.”

            Cousot had planned to restart yesterday morning, but then lunch got in the way followed by an afternoon siesta, and he finally relinquished his ties to dry land at 17:00.

            Istvan Kopar reported similar issues with his WindPilot self steering as he passed through the Marina Rubicon gate on Sunday but elected to continue south. Yesterday however, he messaged. “A lot of manual steering & cursing rough seas.” Later, he informed Race HQ that he had decided to head to the Cape Verde Islands and replace his self-steering system for another brand, a stop that will drop him down to the Chichester Class, leaving just 12 of the original 17 starters competing in the Golden Globe Race.

            Nabil Amra, one of the true amateurs in the GGR, has retired to Tenerife...hoping to return for the 2022 Race

            Nabil Amra, who reported on Monday that a weld had broken on his Beaufort wind vane self steering, has made the decision not to continue. As he battled his way across 35knot winds en-route to Tenerife, the Palestinian messaged: “Wind and waves in the teeth…Sailing is better with friends.” This was followed by: “Violently ill now..No sleep for 4 days.” It is clear that he has had enough…for now.

            Jean-Luc Van Den Heede seeking out fresh wind in the Doldrums to keep the pressure on race leader Philippe Péché. Photo: Christophe Favreau

            Back at the front of the fleet, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede has moved up to 2nd place and reduced fellow Frenchman Philippe Péché’s lead to 24 miles as they and Dutchman Mark Slats position themselves to cross the Doldrums, the area of calms that divide the North East and South East trade winds. Péché’s Rustler 36 PRB is nearest to the Senegal coast, Slats (Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick) who caught a tasty tuna today – his first fresh meat since the start – is enjoying stronger winds close to the Cape Verde Islands and Van Den Heede (Rustler 36 Matmut) is running a median course between them.

            The remainder of the GGR fleet is now spread 500 miles astern but a close fight is developing mid fleet with just 47 miles dividing Susie Goodall (Rustler 36 DHL Starlight) now back up to 5th and 9th placed Uku Randmaa (Rustler 36 One and All)

            " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

   Photo Gallery


            • #7
              I suppose it's better to sort out problems before the Southern Ocean, but yikes, 1/3 of fleet already gone?


              • #8
                Aug 5th Update


                LATEST SAT TEX....Tapio still has PROBLEMS can't keep his engine running and solar pannels stil not working...Coconut is singing??? ARE had visitors onboard..and enjoy decodeing ISTVAN.. #GGR2018.



                Susie Goodall 73-IN NEED OF A GOOD WALK!


                Mark Slats 68 GREAT SAILING HOPE ICAN TURN LEFT SOON


                Philippe Peche 85 TOUT VAB!EN ABORD ATLANT!C SUD PAS FAC!LE COTE METEO


                Tapio Lehtinen 6 MY NEW ENGINE(49HRS) STOPS AFTER 5 SEC, 300W SOLPAN GIVE3W







                With the passage of Ecuador yesterday from abhilash tomy and this night of loic lepage, there are only two boats of the golden globe race 2018 in the northern hemisphere. Mark Sinclair is only 300 miles away from the symbolic line while itsván and, who finally fired south west, is still just over 300 miles... in Chichester Category, Antoine Cousot is He is 450 miles away but can be satisfied with catching up and beyond the virtual wake of the winner of the original race sir Robin Knox Johnston. A satisfaction that is added to that of finally touching the South-East trade winds that mark the end of the pot to the black.

                In Front, the fleet runs south, almost wind through a alizé that turns slightly west as boats progress. Uku Randmaa, 3th always leads the platoon, followed by a little less than 30 miles by Susie Goodall, a little more off the direct road in his west. Are Wiig, 6th, displays the most beautiful progression with 143 miles swallowed in the last 24 hours and ahead tapio lethinen of about 143 miles, embarrassed this morning by energy problems (Solar Panels, engine, hydrogénérateur ).

                At the head of the race for 3 days, Jean-Luc van den heede continues his descent towards the cape of good hope. Philippe Fishing, a little more west, is only 20 miles in his back table and gradually reduces his lateral gap. The next few days will make it possible to draw the first balance sheets of Mark Slats's western options (9th) and Gregor Mcguckin (8th), gone around the anticyclone of st. Helena who usually bar the direct road to the point South Africa.

                However, in contrast to fast racing boats (such as imoca 60), the heavy sailing boats of the 2018 do not show large differences in speed depending on the way and force of the wind, which could allow Who took the risk of passing through the east, if they were slow, to stay ahead of the first cape of this world tour... and to open the way to the great south and its legendary storms.

                " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

       Photo Gallery


                • #9
                  Things About To Get Real For Golden Globesters


                  Latest UPDATE...NOT about the tracker, winners or leader board! #GGR2018

                  Returning after a few days off the air and out of the office, I have experienced a strong impression of change in the fleet when I check in again on entrants. So instead of a blow by blow on latest tracker positions and who has made progress up or down the leader board etc the real story is the entrants ,their attitude and emotions.

                  I am a bit lucky as I see it all as it happens. We actually talk to them on the phone during their safety check and monitor all messages. WE get feed back from their managers about radio calls. All exciting info we try to get up here on GGR FB instantly. But it is all in the detail. It builds a picture. It tells you more if you put that into context outside just the Race.

                  I can tell you now some are starting to wonder why they are doing this. They are having down days. They are starting to Question all the things they are missing out on and contemplate what is to come. They all know what is coming.

                  Loic has no HF radio and each week is more isolated and alone. It shows. He is now starting to ration water. Susie is a strong characture and is in the GGR for all the right reasons. She is deep into this adventure and riding that same emotinal rollercoaster that you read about in all the books including from the orignal 1968 Golden Globe. No one can know what she is really going through. But every know and then you see she is both a great sailor and an ordinary human with ordinary emotons. Sometimes we place entrants on a pedistal and think they are doing it easy. This is a tough challenge and hats off to them all. But yes even Susie has bad days!

                  Tapio is feeling very low contemplating Cape Town. It is in his voice. You may say How do I know..well you can just sense it. All the entrants know the tweets and phone calls are going out to you. So just like in ordinary facebook personal posts we tend to live a FB life...entrants are sometimes trying to put on a happy face!...all these entrants are real people with nothing to hide. But it is in the little things that we can see a change.

                  Ok Captain Coconut and Are Wiig are two guys I will conceed are simply having a Ball! questions asked. We feel that too. But spare all the entrants a moment. Talking about leader boards and distance made good all the time and who is winning can make us forget what they are doing and going through.

                  The fleet has matured. Some are gone. From me as the organiser, I am happy that all those currently sailing are stronger now than when they left Les Sables d'Olonne. In less than a week the leaders will meet the Southern Ocean. Shortly after so will the rest. There is no way out now. The stakes get very serious very soon! Stand by for honest judgements and what may be real surprises from entrants.

                  Soon you will sense real fear in these voice reports and tweets. Think about that.

                  The #GGR2018 is more than a Race. It is a HUGE adventure, a Cultural Renaissance like nothing that has gone before and we are all privileged voyeurs to a special group of real sailors, living a beautiful dream, 24 hrs a day for month after month.


                  Day 37: East is least…but is West best?
                  Dateline Les Sables d’Olonne, France. 6th August 2018

                  This week should determine who leads the Golden Globe Race. Forget the computer standings. As this fleet of singlehanders bash their way through the South East Trade winds towards the Roaring Forty latitudes of the South Atlantic, all eyes are on the South Atlantic High pressure system and the effect this will have on the leaders.

                  Dutchman Mark Slats sailing the Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick may be back in 11th on the leader board, but is the furthest south on the same latitude as Vitoria Brazil, having taken an extreme easterly course to skirt around the High, whereas fellow Frenchmen Jean-Luc Van Den Heede (Rustler 36 Matmut) and Philippe Péché (Rustler 36 PRB) are taking a more central route down the Atlantic.
                  Van Den Heede moved into the lead over the weekend simply by virtue of being closest to the computer lay line between the Cape Verde Islands and the Cape of Good Hope. He and Péché are 100 miles apart in terms of longitude and Péché is 37 miles further south, but both are caught on the western side of the High and running into light airs.

                  Slats, almost 800 miles west of the leader, is now experiencing a stronger, more favourable northwesterly airstream and making 7knots – 1.5knots faster than his rivals. “ALL OK, NICE WINDS AND I CAN MAKE SOME EAST JE’HA!” He messaged Race HQ on Sunday.

                  The remaining fleet is equally divided on their tactics. Ireland’s Gregor McGuckin (Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance), India’s Abhilash Tomy (Suhaili replica Thuriya), Frenchman Loïc Lepage (Nicholson 32 Laaland) and Australian Mark Sinclair (Lello 34 Coconut) are all following Slats’ example, while Estonia’s Uku Randmaa (Rustler 36 One and All), Norwegian Are Wiig (OE 32 Olleanne), Finland’s Tapio Lehtinen (Gaia 36 Asteria) and Russian Igor Zaretskiy (Endurance 35 Esmeralda) are continuing down the shorter easterly route. Only Britain’s Susie Goodall (Rustler 36 DHL Starlight) is making the break from east to west.

                  For some, the past week has been one of niggles. McGuckin and American/Hungarian Istvan Kopar (Tradewind 35 Puffin) have suffered broken halyards, which have meant climbing to the top of their masts to replace them. Frenchman Antoine Cousot (Biscay 36 Métier Intérim) now relegated to the Chichester Class following his stop in the Canaries, twisted his ankle while changing headsails on the foredeck. He also reported engine issues, a problem shared by Lehtinen who messaged on Saturday that his new engine with just 49 hours of running time stops after 5 seconds. The Finn is also struggling with power from the many solar panels on Asteria which instead of producing 300 watts are generating just 3 watts. Race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede has been suffering similar problems with some of the solar panels on Matmut, but still has his water generator and engine to keep batteries charged.

                  Igor Zaretskiy, who had to make major repairs to the mainsheet system on his Endurance 35 Esmeralda, a week ago, has been suffering from steering issues over the weekend. The Russian complained that he could only turn the wheel one way and had to employ the mizzen sail in order to tack the boat through the wind.

                  Mark Sinclair has also been using nature’s forces to help with the mechanics aboard his yacht Coconut by changing headsails in heavy winds by trailing the halyards behind the boat to hoist the new sail. Ever cheerful, Sinclair reported overnight: “FLYING FISH GLIDING OFF EITHER BOW AS COCONUT THUNDERS SOUTH”

                  Water is now becoming an issue. While gale force winds and squalls have been a continuing thread since crossing the Equator, they have not been accompanied by the usual rain showers in the South East Trades or in the Doldrums. Most skippers have consumed around 100 litres during the first month and now the priority is to collect fresh water to supplement their meagre supplies.

                  Position report at 08:00 UCT

                  Jean- Luc VDH (FRA)Rustler 36 Matmut
                  Philippe Péché (FRA) Rustler 36 PRB
                  Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All
                  Are Wiig (NOR) OE 32 Olleanna
                  Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria
                  Susie Goodall (GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight
                  Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Endurance 35 Esmeralda
                  Loïc Lepage (FRA) Nicholson 32 Laaland
                  Abhilash Tomy (IND) Suhaili replica Thuriya
                  Gregor McGuckin (IRE) Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance
                  Mark Slats (NED)Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick
                  Mark Sinclair (Aus) Lello 34 Coconut
                  Istvan Kopar (USA) Tradewind 35 Puffin

                  CHICHESTER CLASS
                  Antoine Cousot (FRA) Biscay 36 Métier Intérim

                  COROZZO SAILOR
                  Francesco Cappelletti (ITA) Endurance 35 007

                  Ertan Beskardes (GBR) Rustler 36 Lazy Otter
                  Kevin Farebrother (AUS) Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha
                  Nabil Amra (PAL) Biscay 36 Liberty II
                  " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

         Photo Gallery


                  • #10
                    Not sure about this old school thing.

                    Hard to tell a story without the photos and video we have become used to.


                    • #11
                      Aug 10th Golden Globe Update

                      Daily UPDATE..ENGLISH..🇭🇲️..THE END GAME?

                      If JL VDH and PHILIPPE had access to Windyty weather forecasting and an onboard computer Routing system to suggest best course options, I doubt they could have picked the weather track better over the past few weeks! Their weather forecasting with Ham operators and forward planning has worked very well to boosts their effort to sail fast. They have one objective to win! and it is working. JL VDH is working hard but relaxed with his headsail reefing systems. PHILIPPE is possibly working harder with hanked sails. They are side by side and now Philippe has reported his first problem with his windvane self-steering. This is exactly the same unit that broke on NABIL’s boat forcing him to retire. It is a long way round the world so ??? In a few days they BOTH are running into head winds that may allow the far west to catch up a little!

                      MARK SLATS has lost out a bit with that traditional westerly coarse and is still one weather system away from the leaders, now racing to catch them ahead of ARE WIIG. Both are now lining up with the next way point in the REAL Race course, so easier to define the leader positions for real! This whole fleet movement across the South Atlantic has been highly unusual by not holding to the west?? Climate change?? or just early in the season??..who knows.

                      At the other end ANTOINE has been drifting in the Doldrums but finally looks set to get moving and his sistership GREGOR ( Much further ahead) is supremely frustrated having lost some hard earned ground now stuck in a wind hole. ISTVAN is looking good with a middle course that may see him cutting the corner a bit over COCONUT, LOIC, and TOMY( who are all now gaining on GREGOR) then in about three days eventually catching them!! He has problems onboard with a bow leek and bad fresh water but he may do it!

                      The middle group is a mixed bag of fortunes right now. SUSIE is just sailing on the edge of the wind and may miss the wind hole on her stb. Side but ??? IGOR, TAPIO and UKU are doing the best they can with very localized weather, bordering on another little doldrum system. They should do ok though with constant sailing wind forecast for the next few days.

                      One thing is certain, they all now must head to the bottom of CAPE TOWN. The course is set and very simple. This to me now is the end game for the South Atlantic..or should I say here comes the SOUTHERN OCEAN!...the real adventure is not far away! It will last for nearly five months of incredibly hard sailing…think about that in relation to the other Round the world yacht Races!!!

                      First Map is Now..second is in two days with head winds...


                      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

             Photo Gallery


                      • #12
                        My money bets only 3 complete this edition


                        • #13
                          Aug 15th Update


                          (Christophe Favreau's french language report translated poorly by some robo translation device)

                          Big brake this morning in a fleet head. Jean-Luc van den heede looked forward to diving south. He finally decided to fire yesterday at the end of the morning and will now have to cross a wide range of high pressures in which Philippe fishing was already mired in the chichester category.

                          The Dean and leader of the fleet should, however, touch west winds in line with a depression that is headed towards the tip of Africa. The winds would gradually turn to the south and allow him to move at full speed to the cape of good hope, while mark slats, his main pursuit, at just under 500 miles, could be caught up by a weak wind bubble , before he also found him...

                          The first cap approach is fraught with pitfalls for the skippers of the golden globe race!

                          Because it is also complicated for the east platoon, taken by are wiig, ALWAYS 3th, in front of uku randmaa, Tapio Lehtinen (who seems to have solved his problems of solar panels) and Igor Zaretskiy who again every day a little more To the group. A narrow band of high pressure could also cross the road to the south. A little more west, Susie Goodall and Gregor Mcguckin, back 5th for her 32th birthday! He is the author of the most beautiful progression in the last 24 hours (154 miles travelled). The two youngest skippers of the race should less suffer from this slowdown.

                          Behind, Abhilash Tomy, loic lepage and Mark Sinclair (a little in withdrawal), also show fast in a good north-East stream that continues to accompany their descent from the Atlantic, just like itsván and who still has three days of good Winds in front of him. After that, things are more twisted...

                          Antoine cousot continued his descent to the south, near for a few more days while Francesco Cappelletti, in class class, sailed off the coast of Guinea-Bissau.

                          The Golden Globe Race 2018, after 45 days of sea is about to enter a new dimension. Abhilash Tomy and Susie Goodall have seen albatross, many competitors mention the decline in temperatures, which should fall sharply in the next few days... soon, the first will be plunged into the great south depression train, two weeks earlier That Suhaili 50 years ago.

                          At this very moment, under the tip of Africa blow winds of 50 knots, rising a wave of 50 metres. It is to this grandiose and intimidating environment that we must now prepare for competitors. Bad point for Mark Slats, he forgot his protective gloves against the cold... that's who could sorely miss him in the coming months...


                          You can listen to weekly radio reports and try to make sense by yourself by Clicking HERE!!!
                          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

                 Photo Gallery


                          • #14
                            Not sure if it harder to understand french or the translation.


                            • #15
                              Things That Go BANG in the Night!!!


                              Interesting weather map today with those no wind holes dictating who gets to move and when in the next couple days. No major changes in Position . PHILIPPE is obviously working hard and steering by hand as much as possible making 5.7kts on course and chasing JL VDH who is making after a quite time while the no wind center of the pressure system moved over him during the last 24hrs. Good news for him as he is now on the right side with favorable wind direction.

                              ANTOINE up the back is diving south at 5kts and Capt’n COCONUT is history. He is in a hole going nowhere and will stay there probably for at least two days! ISTVAN making ok progress at 5.3kts IGOR 4.2kts with a broken Halyard and TAPIO 3.4kts still struggling with electrical charging issues. They will all keep moving and start to speed up soon.

                              Over to the east LOIC may be low on water but not on breeze making 5.7kt on a good course and UKU is currently OK at 5.6kts again on a good course and slowly pulling away from that middle group. He may make some more gains in the next 24hrs moving into stronger following winds ahead of the others!.

                              TOMY is roaring along after his night time collision with no reports of damage and SUSIE has arrived at the hole doing 5.6kts just as it is disappearing, so should hold her speed gaining a little more on GREGOR who has slowed quite a bit to 3.9kt. He will gain speed steadily over the next 12 hrs. ARE will slow from his 5.7 speeds overnight for maybe 12 hrs and then pick up again and will hold his relative good position. MARK SLATS who has been in a hole at 3kts will start moving again with solid winds on course in the next 12hrs and start chasing down JL VDH . His lack of any sort of gloves is not effecting him now but it is on his mind as changing headsails with hanks and no gloves in close to 0 degree temperatures in the weeks ahead will not be fun!

                              The fleet is happy right now. All are contemplating the reality of passing Cape Town and going further south. All have been preparing their boats the best that they can. All know what to expect and ALL have lived the dream of expectation now about to become reality. I think they should all be very proud of themselves! We are.



                              You OK? the Boat’s OK? Sort of..
                              The weekly satellite phone calls are quite revealing. For me as the person usually answering, I must manage a safety call that is not part of the GGR philosophy. It is a satellite phone. The entrants crave the very real social connection and sometimes ask for information I cannot give. You will hear me ask… are you OK? The boats OK? And then I give them space to talk. I tell them their tracker is good! and we are receiving their satellite tweets. If I know they have some maintenance or equipment issues I will asks for more information. We like to build a picture of their actual reliability, or potential to face new challenges ahead. It’s all business.

                              The media listen in to pick up snippets and so do many supporters and friends. It is the only window into their world that us mere mortals have. In the GGR office it can be quite emotional. They are all part of our family and daily lives. We live with emergency phones we hope never ring. We know them, their back stories and everything passes through us.

                              So what do I think about each entrant so far. How would I rate their status heading into the Southern Ocean? Are they OK and where do they and their boat sit in the GGR going forward? I am often asked, so at risk of alienating some here are my personal impressions.

                              TOMY ..Is enjoying the experience with total passion. He is confident in himself and his boat which is in good shape, no issues reported. He was born to do this again. He is having fun, always smiling and apart from hitting something last night is sailing very well. The isolation is NOT worrying him. 96%

                              ANTOINE..His stop in Marina Rubicon was a surprise to many. It was as much for him as his boat to take stock and sort both out. He is moving forward reliably and is not pushing hard so may have found himself and the pace for the boat that he is comfortable with? All entrants know that once you pass under Cape Town there is no turning back and this will be on his mind for sure. 79%

                              ARE..Is simply in his own world. Making himself busy every day, totally relaxed, nothing is a bother and never bored, happy as a man living his dream in a boat he loves and ready for anything! He looks forward to every day and is eager for the South. It is that simple..Loving life!! 96%

                              GREGOR..Has a fire in his belly with a lot at stake and plenty to prove. He is working hard. His boat is good but there are a few little issues to contend with and he does that well. He is comfortable in his world having fun and wants more! 95%

                              IGOR..He is definitely OK ! a real sailors sailor, tough and hardy. I sail with Russian sailors most summers to Antarctica and they can do anything and fix anything . This is IGOR! He knows sail shape and has one of the Biggest boats in the GGR. It is a lot to look after, so he is and will be kept busy. He smokes hard, talks perfect Russian to us all and has a huge smile..He is OK! 91%

                              ISTVAN..Is pure determination in the face of adversity. A strong sailor and experienced seaman who takes it all in his stride. He knows what has to be done and worked hard to get where he is, but still little things are against him. He is a stayer, and nothing can stop him. He keeps smiling when others may not, so he is doing well. Looking for icebergs last night shows he is trying to think of everything! 89%

                              JL VDH ..What can you say about this OLD man?? He even carries a small toy inflatable dingy to replace the rudder pin on his wind vane! Well prepared, confident, superb sailor and seaman that is living his life every day and will be sad crossing the finish line. 99%…Unbelievable!

                     to me a hero. It has not been easy at every level for him to be heading as you read this toward the Southern Ocean. A life dream he nearly lost a few times and now he is entering the toughest part. He is in the biggest battle of his life maybe and does this when others would have Quit. It shows. He moves forward every day the best he can with what he has. RESPECT! 87%

                              Capt’n COCONUT..Is loud, singing, confident with a plan for every occasion. His boat is good and the colour is like its skipper, Bright and Bold! Never complaining always looking after his boat, not going fast but not going slow, he knows you must finish to win so he is racing! He is doing it His way, and nothing is going to change that. Navy shining through. 95%

                              MARK SLATS…is BIG! He is powerful and driven to succeed, but sometimes the little things cause problems. Forgetting all gloves seems simple but in snow and windchill temperatures below zero can have a flow on effect. The boat is good, he is ready and JL VDH is a good target! 94%

                              PHILIPPE…Is a Racing sailor and his Race could be run? Wind vane failure maybe the end game. Next day Losing the tiller a simple challenge. Sometimes a fast sailor must move forward and there will be plenty to do in Cape Town. A new wind vane? Or a new life? 82%

                              SUSIE..Sailing well, laughing, doing research, fixing things with everything in her stride. She is on the program clearly happy enjoying what she loves and doing it oh so well! Importantly she is consistent and in touch with the leaders. Great Boat, great sailor, great Race, great future! 96%

                              TAPIO..Is frustrated beyond words, but happy to be in the GGR. With electrical issues knocking the edge off pure pleasure, he is still a happy man. He balances life onboard to enjoy special moments then sort the problems. A true seaman that understands the word seamanship, he hopes he sails past Cape Town. A true gentleman with passion and skill. 90%

                              UKU… On an ordinary sail, that is about to get tough and he lives that. Simple on the outside, detailed on the inside. He is an unassuming serious sailor expecting anything. Always OK, boat good, missing home and little problems are to be expected. He gets on with it. Simple! 95%


                              " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

                     Photo Gallery