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Golden Globe Race Ushers In July

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  • #31
    Are Wiig Arrives in Cape Town

    Are Wiig safe in Cape Town
    Antoine Cousot arrives in Rio
    Francesco Cappelletti also heading for Brazil – another casualty of wind vane failure
    Race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede predicts October 3 as ETA at Hobart Gate
    Day 65: Dateline 3.9.2018 – Les Sables d’Olonne, France
    Are Wiig, the Norwegian GGR skipper dismasted 8 days ago after his OE 32 Olleanna was rolled through 360° in the Southern Ocean, arrived in Cape Town at 21:06 UTC on Sunday, having sailed the 400 miles under jury rig with no outside assistance

    Peter Muller, one of the Capetonians to have waited up to welcome Wiig when he docked at the Royal Cape YC yesterday reports: “His boat took a hell of a beating. The mast had broken in at least two places and the pieces were lashed down on deck. She had a cracked deck and popped porthole. Are said that the cracks and damage on the starboard side went right through the boat. He had only seen this type of damage before in his work (as a yacht surveyor) when boats had fallen over onto concrete when stored on land.

    Recounting the fateful episode, Wiig said he was hove-to at the time and had just started repairing his self steering for the second time in two days. He was standing in the companionway working on repairing a part in the vice mounted on the top of the companionway. There was no warning. The boat got lifted up on a big wave and then dropped down.

    Olleanna also suffered a bent pushpit and had only partial steering. Wiig managed to fix the self -steering and used it with his jury rig so that he could get some sleep. His main fuel tank was contaminated and he only had 15 litres of diesel in day tank, which gave him 20 hours of slow motoring.

    But Are was well, with no complaints, was very factual and friendly. What a person!”

    Wiig also said that he was very glad that he had built and trialled his jury rig system utilising two spinnaker poles before departure – a race requirement for all competitors – and praised the Yellow Brick satellite tracking system which gave Race HQ his position each hour and was used to send and transmit text messages between the boat and Race officials. “It was good to know that people watch out for us” he said.

    Another useful piece of compulsory kit was the emergency Echomax inflatable radar reflector, which Wiig set up at the back of the boat after the dismasting. This helped a passing ship locate Olleanna a few days before her arrival in Cape Town. Wiig politely declined the Captain’s offer of support, and made it to port unaided.
    “This was a great display of seamanship” Don McIntyre, the Race Chairman said today, adding: “Harbor Master Steve Bentley has been extremely helpful in monitoring Are’s progress and arrival, and The Royal Cape Yacht Club has been very welcoming. Many people are looking forward to hearing a report from Are about his experiences.”

    Another to make port safely yesterday, this time on the opposite side of the South Atlantic, was Frenchman Antoine Cousot who arrived in Rio de Janeiro under full sail but nursing shoulder and foot injuries sustained while attempting to change headsails on the bouncing foredeck of his Biscay 36 ketch Métier Intérim. The indication is that if he does this again, it will be with furling headsails rather than hanked sails.

    Carozzo sailor Francesco Cappelletti who missed the start of the GGR by 21 days and has been following the fleet for the adventure, is now following in Cousot’s wake to Brazil after the Italian reported last week that the self-steering wind vane on his Endurance 35 007 had broken. He has the same Beaufort Lynx wind vane that cost Palestinian entrant Nabil Amra and Frenchman Philippe Péché their races after weld failures on the vertical articulating arm proved unrepairable at sea.

    At the front of the fleet, French veteran Jean-Luc Van Den Heede continues to belie his age (he turned 73 last month) as his Rustler 36 Matmut continues to steam ahead of the fleet. This morning she has a 900 mile lead over Dutchman Mark Slats rival Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick. In an area of the Southern Ocean where you expect westerly winds, Slats reported this morning “HEADWINDS AGAIN 20 [knots from the] EAST. UNREAL THIS. WHERE ARE THOSE WESTERLIES?

    In his weekly conversation with Race HQ, Slats, like Cousot, said that he rued not having roller furling headsails. Now down to 38°S and on a SSW heading, the wind chill factor takes air temperatures well below freezing. Without gloves (Slats realised he had left them behind two weeks ago) hanked sail changes have to be performed with bare hands. Head winds apart, this could be why he has been losing ground to 3rd placed Irish skipper Gregor McGuckin’s Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance and Uku Randmaa’s Rustler 36 One and All. During the past week, Gregor has closed the gap by 160 miles and the 4th placed Estonian, who found that he set sail without tea, coffee and a hat, is 86 miles closer.

    By contrast, this morning’s tracking data shows Jean-Luc Van Den Heede making 7.1 knots in the right direction and a run of 128 miles over the last 24 hours. Jean-Luc is now predicting October 3 as his ETA at the film drop off Hobart.

    The other big winner today is Indian Abhilash Tomy sailing his Suhaili replica Thuriya. He was making a remarkable 10.1knots having covered 194 miles during the same period. This is the best distance recorded so far, helped by a 3.1knot westerly current.

    If there are winners, there have to be losers too, and this week that award goes to Britain’s Susie Goodall sailing the Rustler 36 DHL Starlight. Caught up in a high pressure system west of the Cape, she has lost almost 800 miles on boats that 10 days ago were quite close. They went south while she went NE. At least she is back in the game now, having made 116 miles in the right direction overnight.

    American Hungarian Istvan Kopar sailing the Tradewind 35 Puffin, will also be buoyed with his performance of late. He dropped to the back of the fleet after stopping in the Cape Verde Islands to repair his wind vane self-steering. Last week, he overtook last placed Australian Mark Sinclair and his Lello 34 Coconut and today is challenging 7th placed Frenchman Loïc Lepage in his Nicholson 32 Laaland. Lepage looks to be heading straight for Cape Town to replenish his water supplies and repair his SSB radio before heading into the Southern Ocean, so Kopar, trailing just 9 miles behind Laaland today, could be in mid-fleet position by this time next week – if he can fix his self-steering again. In a message received today, Kopar texted: MY SELF STEERING LEFT ME ALONE AGAIN IN A NASTY STORM DURING THE WEEKEND!

    Latest positions at 08:00 UTC today 03.09.2018

    Jean- Luc VDH (FRA)Rustler 36 Matmut
    Mark Slats (NED)Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick
    Gregor McGuckin (IRE) Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance
    Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All
    Abhilash Tomy (IND) Suhaili replica Thuriya
    Susie Goodall (GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight
    Istvan Kopar (USA) Tradewind 35 Puffin
    Loïc Lepage (FRA) Nicholson 32 Laaland
    Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria
    Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Endurance 35 Esmeralda
    Mark Sinclair (Aus) Lello 34 Coconut


    FRENCH LANGUAGE REPORT 03/09/2018 #GGR2018

    The weekend was very intense for the golden globe race 2018 Fleet! With the arrival of are wiig in Cape Town in South Africa and that of Antoine Cousot in Rio de Janeiro, it is two sailors of the race that put an end to their ambitious project, one on material break (dismasting in a 360 In a big wave) and the other on injury (shoulder and foot).

    It's sad but it's the lot of this race around the world, alone and without stop, without modern means of communication. This shows how difficult the challenge is, even for the best prepared. Fortunately, the marine sense of these skippers allowed them to be safe and safe. Francesco Cappelletti (Category Category) finally made a decision to move to Brazil (after the break of the lower part of his regulator).

    In Front, the race continues... and how! Always launched in a good north-West Stream, Jean-Luc van den heede has this morning 900 miles ahead of his first pursuit! Mark slats fell into a hole without wind this weekend and saw his speed considerably falling, in addition to being forced to zigzag near the direct road. Same punishment for Gregor Mcgukkin, more painful even since Irish is still slow this morning.

    And he could stay stuck for a while... he saw his advance on uku randmaa and abhilash tomy melt dramatically. Both are worn by a powerful current of almost three knots and the wind blows to the three-quarter rear... ideal conditions for speed. The Indian even shows an amazing average for a heavy boat boat in the last 4 hours. Almost 10 knots (9,7 exactly) on his replica of suhaili!

    Behind it, it's about speed too. The expected depression has fallen on the second half of the fleet and Susie Goodall finally runs around 6 knots... and in the right direction. "wind all night" (from the wind all night) is enthusiastic in her last message. The English must be really relieved, even if she stays this morning on the edge of a high pressure zone. Lucky for her, a good wind comes in the back.

    He is already pushing tapio lehtinen, Mark Sinclair, Igor Zaretskiy and loic lepage, spread in height on the same line, the Australian and Russian slightly in withdrawal. And in this group that closes the March, the fastest this morning is Breton Loic Lepage (6,3 knots), which shoots strong on his Nicholson 32, the smallest boat in the fleet. He has to take a lot of pleasure, who waited for the wind so long!

    In the same weather system, the speed of istvan and is questioning... 0.8 knot... it's abnormal. Unless meteorological information is slightly wrong. It is currently on the models of a high pressure zone. He may have fallen in reality...

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


    • #32
      7 Out, 10 Push On


      What’s going on?
      Just 10 entrants remain in the Golden Globe Race. Seven will not pass the first Cape. 17 sailors pushing toward Hobart would have been very impressive, but who really thought that would happen. Certainly not me. Before the start I could probably have given odds on who would or would not pass that Cape, but on the Vendee Marina at the GGR Village we were family, so why? Just starting was significant.

      All true adventures have an unknown outcome. Back in Les Sables d’Olonne I was surrounded by real adventurers from 13 countries with one common objective. They were setting out totally alone with no connection to shore support or open phone lines offering social and emotional comfort on the way round. This simple fact makes the GGR unlike any other around the world yacht Race in the last 50 years. The Vendee and Volvo are pick up the phone 24hrs a day and asks for support. Call your mum or your engineer. Not so the GGR. When they sailed over that horizon for a long slow voyage, giving up every aspect of a normal life, just like in 1968, they were as alone and unsupported as you can possibly be.

      It was all too much for some and they are no longer sailing. Each has a story to tell of their investment in a dream. It could be said that all but ARE Wiig were beaten in their mind well ahead of any equipment failures. SIR ROBIN on SUHAILI was super human with a drive and passion that was hard to believe and harder to replicate 50 years on. His prize was different, even though the challenge was similar. He was to be the FIRST and he was fiercely British, a scholar of Britannia ruling the waves.! He also had a Frenchman following.

      Today (compared to the 1960’s) our values are totally different, our reasoning and commitment on another level and the results are starting to show. JL VDH knows what is needed and is doing it. His boat, the equipment, the food and the fun are all much better than in 1968. The challenge is the same, but with that huge advantage he can do it better and faster and he is. Bravo!

      My weekly phone calls to entrants continue to evolve. They are softer and slower. They cling to the last and do not want to go. You hear it in the voice of a single soul, questioning their existence in this game. It is there, hard to describe but it is. They try a brave face as they know the world is listening. They want to project ALL OK and they are strong, but little things suggest there may be personal struggles during that week.

      Her boat is OK, yet SUSIE offers little hints of doing it tough, her conversation a little down. With genuine emotion UKU declares IT IS HARD! NOT the sailing, but the emotional challenge of real isolation from life, family and friends. He longs for them. MARK SLATS is a tough giant softening over time. He wants to talk and not hang up. I tried four times to do just that before I succeeded!

      TAPIO is a window to happy and sad. He is absorbed and emotionally involved in the beauty of his surroundings and forgiving of anything else. A yacht does not need electricity. He will not stop. LOIC is desperately alone with no radio and no news. He misses family. He does everything with what he has. He thought about ARE in Cape town and then his old mast. To be sure and safe he heads to Cape Town for a safety pitstop. Bravo! A proud CHICHESTER sailor.

      A call from Tomy offered more than his words. IT IS NICE TO TALK WITH YOU TODAY was delivered off a quivering voice. It was humbling for me to listen to that. He understands fourteen weeks in the Southern Ocean brings no guarantees! He goes over emergency procedures with me. He has solo circumnavigated before, but not like this, in this little boat totally alone.

      Of course, it is OK for IGOR and his beloved ESMERALDA. He laughs loud. Capt’n COCONUT I’m not so sure. His calls give nothing away. He is on Holiday. He is happy. ISTVAN is the same. When he talks of his challenges, and there are many, you can hear his smile! GREGOR is pure youthful determination from an Irish guy going places. Bring it on then give him more.

      ARE WIIG became a headline banner for honest seamanship. Strong as an OX, he and his boat took a fall! It shocked us all. It was ARE. No way, Not ARE. But that is the way of the sea. Without realizing, ARE became a headline banner for the SPIRIT of the Golden Globe. He sailed himself home. We were all proud. He praised the GGR regulations and the GGR family. It is a story for all sailors yet to be told, but it will be.

      ERTAN, KEVIN, NABIL, PHILIPPE, ANTOINE, and ARE have gone. We miss them but understand. We admire LOIC in the Chichester Class. We salute the final 10. The Golden Globe is a tough journey like no other. Is it a Voyage for Madmen? NO WAY! But there are hints of real parallels to 1968 even similar type pressures that played on Donald Crowhurst.

      These sailors are alone, truly unsupported, without technology, in little ships inspiring us every day. That’s WHAT’s GOING ON!

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


      • #33
        September 10th GGR Update


        1000 miles! If we had predicted such an advance to Jean-Luc van den heede after 70 days of race, he might have had a hard time believing it. Tapio Lehtinen and istvan and would also have had a lot of difficulty imagining that they would be less than a thousand after the same number of days, after very different trajectories... such a long race must necessarily have surprises, good or bad, She dives sailors into an ocean of uncertainty, she tests their endurance, envy, physical resistance, mental resistance especially!

        At Almost 7 Knots, after a small slowdown (very appreciated) this weekend on the edge of a high pressure zone, the leader and Dean of the race found a good pace, in favourable conditions, wind From North-West to three-quarter and a reasonably trained sea. Far behind (1000 miles so), Mark Slats managed to escape for now to a band without wind that will not have time to block the road of Gregor Mc Guckin, Abhilash Tomy and uku randmaa, respectively 150 , 300 and 400 miles in his wake.

        BUT THE DUTCH GIANT AT 5 knots for now should see this one catch him up in the day and face again, once again, to low winds of face in a messy sea, very uncomfortable, as we find Only in the Indian ocean... behind, the formation of a new band of high pressure could this time pick its direct pursuers from the south before strong South-West winds grow them again tomorrow in the middle of Noon.

        For Susie Goodall, 6th, progress is made at the door, at almost 6 knots. Almost 750 miles behind uku randmaa, she led the second group of the pursuers, 200 miles ahead of tapio lehtinen and istvan and who had the surprise to see each other! All three are also threatened by a bubble without wind in training which, if not, will soon generate winds of face, slowing down further progress, and they will have to wait another two days before finding a favourable flow.

        But they're less to complain than Igor Zarestskiy and Mark Sinclair. Respectively at 2600 and 2850 miles from the leader, they are entangled (1,5 and 2,2 knots respectively) in calm that should last until tomorrow night, before there also generate winds of face... And then find a good wearing.

        As for loic lepage, he arrived at Cape Town Friday night, where he found are wiig! No doubt the breton sailor had to appreciate breaking his loneliness and sharing with his unfortunate colleague. He will leave Wednesday in Chichester Category.

        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

 Photo Gallery


        • #34
          Just read that Susie is down to 10 liters of fresh water.

          She's just catching rain.



          • #35
            And Then There Were 10

            Jean-Luc Van Den Heede extends his lead
            Loïc Lepage stops in Cape Town
            Tapio Lehtinen and Istvan Kopar meet up in mid-ocean
            Igor Zaretskiy calls on the Doctor

            Day 71: Dateline 10.9.2018 – Les Sables d’Olonne, France
            As Jean-Luc Van Den Heede continues to set the pace across the South Indian Ocean, fellow Frenchman Loïc Lepage docked his Nicholson 32 Laaland in Cape Town, and Finland’s Tapio Lehtinen surprised himself and American/Hungarian Istvan Kopar by meeting up in mid-ocean.


            73-year old Van Den Heede and his Rustler 36 Matmut now have a healthy 7-day lead over Dutchman Mark Slats whose rival Rustler Ohpen Maverick lost a further day on the leader this week. He now has Ireland’s Gregor McGuckin (Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance) within a day’s distance behind after the Irishman clawed back 4 days this past week. India’s Abhilash Tomy sailing Thuriya, a replica of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili, winner of the first GGR 50 years ago, has also made big gains, overtaking Uku Randmaa’s Estonian Rustler 36 One and All at the weekend and move up to within a day of McGuckin.

            “This is fantastic…and just what I had hoped when conceiving this adventure three years ago” Says Race founder Don McIntyre, adding: “Now we have a Biscay 36 and a Suhaili replica chasing 2nd place which shows that any boat can win. It is all down to the skipper and their preparations. Jean-Luc’s lead is a product of very careful planning, preparation and execution born from five previous solo circumnavigations. He is showing that age is not a factor. By contrast, Mark Slats, who reported last week that he experienced the worst seas so far, is slowly losing his advantage, probably because of one decision – choosing to sail with hanked headsails rather than furling gear.”

            Igor Zaretskiy has been in a war zone too. The Russian requested medical advice last week after being thrown across the cockpit of his Endurance 35 Esmeralda and crashed against the liferaft. He was worried that he might have broken a rib or two but in stoical fashion, had no thought of stopping.

            Igor reported last week: “It’s blowing 25 knots for the third day in row, sometimes 30, and the waves are now 4m high. At times an abnormal wave hits us on the beam sending everything flying across the saloon. It’s a total mess inside. I’m tidying up every evening just to start it all over again in the morning.”

            Igor, who is expected to pass the Cape of Good Hope tonight, has also been plagued by the constant drip-drip of water leaking where the mainsheet track was torn away a few weeks ago, but this is nothing compared to the flooded hull Abhilash Tomy suffered twice last week. The Indian clearly had some respite yesterday, texting Race HQ: SUN APPEARED BRIEFLY LIKE RAINBOW AFTER BIBLICAL FLOODS. Whatever the problems, they are not slowing him down!

            Loïc Lepage arrived in Cape Town at 14:00 UTC last Saturday to replenish water supplies and have his SSB Radio, which he relies on to pick up weather forecasts, repaired or replaced. The Frenchman plans to resume in the Chichester Class for those who make one stop, on Wednesday.

            Australia’s Mark Sinclair is also planning a pit-stop off Cape Town to make an unscheduled film drop. The weather may conspire against him. Forecasters predict a big storm sweeping in on Wednesday. He and the other tail-enders have been given a weather/current alert from Race HQ saying that this storm, mixed with the counter Agulhas Current, could produce extremely dangerous seas in the area around the Cape.

            On Sunday Tapio Lehtinen woke up to the more pleasant surprise of seeing Istvan Kopar’s Tradewind 35 Puffin within a mile of him. “WOW” was Tapio’s response to Race HQ. The two were 360 miles south of the Cape of Good Hope and by 08:00 today, were still neck-and-neck despite Istvan reporting continued problems with his wind vane self steering.

            Susie Goodall, whose Rustler 36 DHL Starlight is trailing in 6th place, has the problem, like those astern, of being a complete weather system behind those in mid-fleet. It will be almost impossible for her to regain that lost ground in the Southern Ocean and her only hope now is that those ahead make mistakes.

            Latest positions at 08:00 UTC today 10.09.2018

            Jean- Luc VDH (FRA)Rustler 36 Matmut
            Mark Slats (NED)Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick
            Gregor McGuckin (IRE) Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance
            Abhilash Tomy (IND) Suhaili replica Thuriya
            Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All
            Susie Goodall (GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight
            Istvan Kopar (USA) Tradewind 35 Puffin
            Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria
            Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Endurance 35 Esmeralda
            Mark Sinclair (Aus) Lello 34 Coconut

            Loïc Lepage (FRA) Nicholson 32 Laaland

            Ertan Beskardes (GBR) Rustler 36 Lazy Otter
            Kevin Farebrother (AUS) Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha
            Nabil Amra (PAL) Biscay 36 Liberty II
            Antoine Cousot (FRA) Biscay 36 Métier Intérim
            Philippe Péché (FRA) Rustler 36 PRB
            Are Wiig (NOR) OE 32 Olleanna
            Francesco Cappelletti (ITA) Endurance 35 007

            FRENCH LANGUAGE REPORT 11/09/2018

            " I am alone!" (I am alone! . This was expressed yesterday morning by the leader of the race. Jean-Luc van den heede took so much advance on his pursuers (1150 miles on Mark Slats) that he barely heard them on his radio great vibes, adding again to the feeling of isolation that hugged the skippers of the golden globe race 2018. and yes, even the Dean of the race, despite all his experience and the pleasure of being at sea that never left him throughout his long career seems to find time a little long...

            And for cause! Already almost 72 days of sea, without interruption, with only companion a regulator of allure on whom it must be counted, with whom it must be made, which must be understood all the subtleties to draw the best and continue to advance the As soon as possible, even if the finish line is still difficult to imagine... Jean-Luc van den heede can at least satisfy himself for spending half of the Indian, this ocean and tricky ocean that puts the threat without rest From the break, by its dangerous waves and violent winds.

            " there is always sea, it does not stop... He added yesterday... but the least we can say is that this great sailor bends with an insolent brilliance to this routine azing. Look at his trajectory, compared to the erratic ones of his pursuers. Since its entry into the great south, the leader of the race runs straight, at good speed, sometimes worn by the current, in line with the wind and the strongest sea, blocks always pointed east!

            Behind it is once more complicated and its competitors must envy the fluidity of its wake. Mark slats has to face the winds of East-North-East, which runs off the road and force him to climb north, in a sea messy by wind variations.

            Gregor Mcguckin and abhilash tomy are also forced to sail. Fortunately, tomorrow a breath will propel them again in the right direction, but they will still have lost ground...

            Still 700 miles behind uku, Susie Goodall is moving a path into a troubled system that could greatly brake his progression tomorrow, by opposing his bow a band of high pressure or North-East winds.

            At 200 miles, Tapio Lehtinen and istvan and already make up with winds of face and they will have to wait tomorrow afternoon to find the wearing. When to Igor Zaretskiy, if he peacefully celebrates his birthday (67 years) on the edge of a bubble without wind, he will soon be hit (tomorrow) by a solid North-West wind that will project him in the great south violently ...

            Mark Sinclair will escape to the biggest of this wind but will still be late by slowing down to drop his film films at table bay, near Cape Town from where loic lepage should jump tomorrow, water reserves!

            " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

   Photo Gallery


            • #36
              September 18 GGR Update


              Following in Bernard Moitessier's wake? Australian Mark Sinclair made an impromptu stop in Table Bay to hand across films, just as French sailing legend Bernard Moitessier did during the inaugural GGR 50 years before – then inexplicably continued cruising around the Cape and up the east coast towards Port Elizabeth, rather than follow the fleet down into the Southern Ocean. Photo: Riaan Smit. Click on image to enlarge.

              Golden Globe Race 73-year old Jean-Luc Van Den Heede continues to defy his age and best efforts of the chasing pack of Golden Globe Race skippers to extend his lead across the South Indian Ocean to 9+ days over the past week. The Frenchman is now a complete weather system ahead of his closest rivals and expects to pass Cape Leeuwin, the second of the three main Capes next weekend. He also remains on course for his compulsory stop in Hobart at the film drop on October 3.

              Before the start from Les Sables d'Olonne on July 1st, the best computer predictions suggested that the winner could complete a sub-200 day solo circumnavigation. Well, according to the YB tracker today, Jean-Luc's Rustler 36 Matmut will return to the Vendee port in 199 days! That is based on her 5.2knot average over the last 24 hours, which has to be optimistic, but with this septuagenarian, anything seems possible. Before today the worst thing to have happened has been a lost sailing croc, dropped overboard last week, but today Van Den Heede reported his first breakage. "The shackle connecting the halyard and top swivel on my staysail came undone. I had to climb the mast to the 2nd spreader to reconnect them - I'm too old to be doing this! He admitted.

              1,100 miles astern, 2nd placed Dutchman Mark Slats sailing the rival Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick, has dropped a further 300 miles behind Matmut during the past week. He has reported concerns about the state of his halyards, for without headsail roller furling systems, the constant changing of sails is causing considerable chafe. Another disadvantage is the need to drag the sails down below to repack them, which makes the inside of the boat both wet and cold.

              There is much more of a fight for third place. The 13:00 report placed Gregor McGuckin's Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance just 1 miles ahead of Abhilash Tomy's Indian Thuriya, a modern replica of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's Suhaili. The Irishman texted: 'MID INDIAN OCEAN & ABHILASH IS IN SIGHT ABOUT A MILE AWAY!'

              Thuriya is the surprise package in this 50th anniversary of the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. Even Sir Robin predicted that she would be slow compared to the production yachts but she and her skipper are proving to be exceptionally fast in the Southern Ocean, having moved up from 10th to challenge for 3rd place since rounding the Cape of Good Hope. -- Barry Pickthall

              Latest positions at 08:00 UTC today 17.9.18
              1. Jean- Luc VDH (FRA), Rustler 36 Matmut 15304 nm to finish
              2. Mark Slats (NED) Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick, 1133 nm to leader
              3. Gregor McGuckin (IRE) Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance, 1292
              4. Abhilash Tomy (IND) Suhaili replica Thuriya, 1300
              5. Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All, 1558
              6. Susie Goodall GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight, 2155
              7. Istvan Kopar (USA)Tradewind 35 Puffin, 2332
              8. Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria, 2369
              9. Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Endurance 35 Esmeralda, 3222
              10. Mark Sinclair (Aus) Lello 34 Coconut, 3531


              FRENCH LANGUAGE REPORT 17/09/2018 #GGR2018

              " Matmut in perfect condition and me too!", such was the message last night of Jean-Luc van den heede after more than 77 days of race. Nothing seems to have to stop the insolent progression of the race leader. Well installed in a moderate North-West stream and a manageable sea, the Dean of the grh 2018 maintains, see still slightly increases his advance on the first platoon of pursuers, remote of nearly 1300 miles!

              In this small group in the order of Mark Slats, Gregor Mcguckin, Abhilash Tomy and uku randmaa, the progression is relatively fast, beyond the 6 knots for the first three. The South-West Wind, which is currently pushing them, is expected to wither in two days, and a calm zone is expected to slow them down on Wednesday, before a good north-West wind quickly expels the North-West. A small accordion effect that will not suffer Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, less than 1000 miles from the Australian coast now.

              Note this morning that the Indian ocean is successful in abhilash tomy. He's still a little on gregor mcgukkin this weekend. It is only about 4,3 miles away from the Irish and may quickly delight him in the third place of the podium, while uku randmaa continues to lose a little field, at 4,3 knots on the edge of a narrow Zone without wind.

              750 miles behind Estonian, Susie Goodall, who starts dreaming of fresh food, walks strong this morning, at nearly 8 knots in a moderate south wind. It is now sneaking between several areas of high pressure that will soon generate North-East winds, forcing the English to sail once again... Fortunately, this flow will gradually fire north and then north - West by strengthening from Wednesday.

              230 miles in his wake, istvan the has taken advantage of tapio lehtinen for a week and seems to slide more easily east this morning (7,2 against 5,7 knots). Like Susie, they're gonna have to dial with a little bit before they find good, healthy winds, but a little earlier than her, which should allow them to go back a little bit on the English.

              Only in Chichester, loic lepage came back after his stop in Cape Town. Since his new departure, he has made a very beautiful trajectory, hurtling south to cross the strong opposite from East Africa before moving to the east with the rotation of the same current becoming carrier 200 Miles South of the tip of Africa. He even managed to send his first text message since the involuntary deprogramming of his yb3 beacon!

              Even if he does not do the same race, he doubled Igor Zaretskiy, who has clearly lowered his rhythm but will be pushed again by a good northwest breeze that will gradually turn south and lift a more difficult sea. As for Mark Sinclair, it is difficult to describe his current trajectory near African coasts. What is sure is that the more he will wait to get down to the great south and the more difficult it will be It is close to the strong current that descends from the coast and it will soon oppose the North-West wind to come, rising a difficult sea, see dangerous...

              " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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              • #37
                BREAKING NEWS: Abhilash Tomy And Gregor McGluckin Dismasted TomyInjured In High Seas

                Abhilash Tomy has been dismasted and sustained a Back injury and cannot move. A Press Release and update will be issued as soon as possible covering this and Gregor McGuckin Empowered by Hanley Energy #GGR2018

                Gregor McGuckin Empowered by Hanley Energy has been rolled 360 and dismasted. Rig is cut away and he is not injured. No hull damage. Weather is still extreme. Full report in a few hours.

                Latest Tracker situation showing Mark Slats a short time ago in the EYE . His storm conditions dropped to nothing and then came back in with a Bang. Seas are very confused and nasty because of the rapid wind direction changes. An INDIAN Met Bureau Sat. image from this morning. You can see this little intense low as a could hook at the bottom of the world.

                Gregor McGuckin Empowered by Hanley Energy has been rolled 360 and dismasted. Rig is cut away and he is not injured. No hull damage. Weather is still extreme. Full report in a few hours.

                Latest Tracker situation showing Mark Slats a short time ago in the EYE . His storm conditions dropped to nothing and then came back in with a Bang. Seas are very confused and nasty because of the rapid wind direction changes. An INDIAN Met Bureau Sat. image from this morning. You can see this little intense low as a could hook at the bottom of the world.

                DAY 82 – BREAKING NEWS
                CODE RED ALERT after GGR fleet hit by massive Southern Ocean storm
                Abhilash Tomy and Gregor McGuckin rolled and dismasted
                Mark Slats experiences two major knock-downs
                Dateline 21.9.2018 – Les Sables d’Olonne, France
                Solo sailors in the 2018 Golden Globe Race have been hit by a vicious storm mid way across the South Indian Ocean. The 70knot winds and 14m seas have left India’s Abhilash Tomy and Ireland’s Gregor McGuckin’s dismasted, and twice knocked down the yacht of 2nd placed Dutchman Mark Slats.

                Both McGuchin and Slats report that they are OK, but 39-year old Tomy, a Commander in the Indian Navy making his second solo circumnavigation has been injured. A CODE RED ALERT was issued after Race HQ received his message at 12:09 UTC today: ROLLED. DISMASTED. SEVERE BACK INJURY. CANNOT GET UP

                Maritime Rescue Authorities were also alerted:

                Position: 39′ 38.420 S 077′ 22.565 E. Weather and sea is extreme
                GGR Control has asked him to confirm if he can turn his sat phone on, if the mast is still alongside the boat and if he has tuned on his EPIRB?

                awaiting response. WE have no further information at this time….

                Have advised other entrants to make towards his position if possible.

                The nearest yacht happens to be Gregor McGuchin‘s Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance some 90 miles to the SW of Tomy‘s Thuriya, but she too was dismasted in the same storm and the Irishman is battened down waiting for the storm to recede. Gregor reported earlier that his yacht is a mess below, but providing his diesel supplies have not been contaminated, has sufficient fuel to motor towards Tomy‘s position if conditions allow.

                McGuckin first alerted Race HQ at 05:40 today: ROUGH NIGHT. KNOCKED DOWN. MIZZEN MAST GONE. ALL ELSE GOOD. Then In a satellite call shortly before losing his main mast, the Irishman told Race HQ:
                “Massive sea and wind from the SW. Now struggling to keep the boat facing downwind. We took a really bad knock when we lost the mizzen mast. It went off like a bomb and also hit the wind vane and the main backstay, I wanted to keep [the mizzen] but was forced to cut it free, Now sailing under bare poles and towing warps, and still making over 6kts. Getting knocked hard by waves. This sustained force 9 is incredible. The barometer dropped off the scale from 1015 in just a few hours.

                There is no real water below since the hatch was shut but there is crap everywhere. My AIS went with the mast. I will need 36hrs to regroup and sort the boat properly in good weather after the blow.”

                Then at 11:00 UTC McGuckin called the GGR Hotline to say: “Rolled and dismasted. Cut mast away…no hull damage…no water below…safety gear and sat comms secure…hatches and ports secure… towing warps.”

                Don McIntyre, who took the call, says “Gregor has not asked for any assistance at this time. He plans to ride out the rest of the storm which is expected to recede around 19:00 UTC, then reassess his options. He now has only one spinnaker pole because the second one was carried away with the mast, so setting up a jury rig will be more challenging.”

                Both Tomy and McGuckin are some 1,900 miles west of Cape Leeuwin, West Australia.

                Danger remains even when the winds reduce. Dutchman Mark Slats in 2nd place, reported at 10:55 UTC: ‘WINDS DROPPED FROM 60KT TO 0 IN 15MIN. HORRIBLE SEA. 2 KNOCKDOWNS IN NO WIND’

                There are concerns also for the tail-enders within the fleet now stretched 3,500 miles behind Race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede. A second storm has been building for several days and is forecast to overrun them within the next 24 hours, bringing the potential of 10-14m swells for 48 hours.

                McIntyre adds “Race HQ has been advising the middle fleet to head south past two days and tail-enders to move north as fast as possible to minimise the impact of these two storms. The skippers succeeded in doing this but these weather systems still have an impact..

                I and GGR team are living these storms with the entrants 24hrs a day. These are tough sailors; they are our family, and while we know they are well prepared to manage this, we also know the Southern Ocean is a powerful place.”

                The only person unaffected by the storms is Jean-Luc Van Den Heede whose yacht Matmut is running towards the Cape Leeuwin longitude in a different weather system to the rest. This morning, the Frenchman reported: “QUIET SUNNY DAY. LUNCH ON THE TERRACE! WHAT A CHANGE!”

                FRENCH LANGUAGE REPORT 21/09/2018 #GGR2018

                If Jean-Luc van den heede sails this morning peacefully on the edge of a band of high pressures that will soon wrap it up and strongly slow it down, its pursuers are in a much less comfortable situation... and that's not All followed the recommendations of the race direction, except perhaps abhilash tomy which is once again the fastest at just over 7 average knots in the last 4 hours. He slightly increased his advance on Gregor Mcguckin and caught up with Mark Slats, who is only 120 miles away.

                If the Indian is not spared by problems (Water Input, permanent humidity, etc.), it shows an incredible ability to go fast and its trajectory shows real confidence in its ability to manage bad weather. The elements are raging yet and the great south presents an impressive face this morning. It's a very hollow depression that went down that night on the first platoon of the pursuers and they are now at the heart of a system that will hammer them another 24 hours. From the north, the winds that could reach the 70 knots will quickly blow from the south, rising a huge and messy wave that should exceed 10 meters...

                The speed of this violent system will allow the return of a more manageable wind tomorrow night. But the sea... the inertia of the wave is much bigger and nothing stops the one born in the great south. No land is slowing down its growth. At the same time as it develops the swell, a very strong wind is compressed and limits its amplitude. On the other hand, its decrease is synonymous with release and the waves are still swelling... the hours following this blow are not necessarily more comfortable for the competitors of the grh 2018...

                Uku Randmaa seems to have been relatively spared while Susie Goodall is once again stopped on the edge of a high pressure zone that will soon be swept by the biggest storm (for now) of the race. A huge storm system will hit the back of the fleet in the next few hours. Fortunately, there also the competitors followed the recommendations of the race direction and went north to escape the strongest of bad weather.

                Tapio Lehtinen, istvan the, loic lepage and Igor Zaretskiy are also going, for 24 hours, to suffer the rampage of the elements, and see the swell of the swell, which should follow them even longer than the first platoon given the extent of At least three days... in the tail of the fleet, Mark Sinclair seems to have done it with the current of agulhas and is sufficiently north to escape the strongest of the storm.


                Name Gregor McGuckin

                Born August 15th 1986

                Nationality Irish

                Country of entry Ireland

                Ever thirsty for adventure, Gregor McGuckin has been involved in the outdoors from an early age. Starting out climbing the hills and mountains around Ireland, he soon discovered the sea and windsurfing and surfing became a daily part of life. He chose sailing as his profession, starting as a dinghy coach, delivery skipper and in recent times, skippered of a 62ft yacht based in the Caribbean. He has logged over 45,000 miles crossing the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and many other passages around the world. Always looking for the next challenge, Gregor was excited by the opportunity to compete in the 2018 GGR and hopes to become the first Irishman to complete a non-stop, unassisted solo circumnavigation of the world. via the three Great Capes.

                Gregor has partnered with an Irish publisher CJ Fallon and Ireland’s Marine Institute to create an education programme based around his GGR voyage, designed to engage primary children in adventure and the marine environment. Distributed free to classrooms across Ireland, the overriding goal has been to create an army of ‘Ocean literate’ young people who understand the importance our oceans have on them so that they are well placed to ensure a sustainable and sensible future for Ireland the world.

                He says of the GGR: “When I started sailing, the main attraction was the freedom it gave me to explore. As I grew older and started sailing larger vessels, the scope of the areas I could potentially explore became almost infinite. When I started reading about the GGR I had already crossed the Atlantic a few times and the Indian ocean and asking myself ‘What next’. A circumnavigation was always a dream along with ocean racing, so when this came up as an affordable way of achieving both it was a no-brainer.”

                RACE NO 22

                Name Hanley Energy Endurance
                Team name Team Name: Gregor McGuckin empowered by Hanley Energy
                Type Biscay 36 Masthead ketch
                Designer Alan Hill
                Builder Robert Ives/Falmouth Boat Construction (UK)
                LOA 35.92ft / 10.95m
                LWL 27.00ft / 8.23m
                Beam 10.75ft / 3.28m
                Draft 5.75ft / 1.75m
                Displacement 15680 lbs / 7112 kgs
                Sail area 570sq. ft / 52.95sq. m

                Gregor has selected the ketch rigged Biscay 36 ketch Mary Luck to compete in the GGR. Her refit was due to be completed at the end of February 2018, and he planned to spend March and April sailing around his native Ireland combining training with a promotional tour of ports.

                The yacht’s name will be the subject of a competition among primary school children taking part in the education programme associated with Gregor’s GGR entry.

                Name Abhilash Tomy

                Born February 5th 1979

                Nationality Indian

                Country of entry India

                Commander Abhilash Tomy, KC from India, is one of India’s most prominent sailors. A pilot in the Indian Navy, he has had the advantage, just as French sailing legend Eric Tabarly did, of spending much of his career sailing for his Country.
                Abhilash has covered 52,000 miles under sail while in the Navy including a solo non-stop circumnavigation from Mumbai and back in 2012/13. He has also represented India in the 2011 Cape Town to Rio Race, the Spanish Copa del Rey Race in 2014 and the Korea Cup for two years in succession. He has been awarded the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award, the Kirti Chakra for valour and courageous action and Mac Gregor medal.
                He says of the challenge ahead: “This event recreates in the closest way possible way, the magic of the original race. The emphasis is not on technology and its management, but on seamanship and a direct experience of sea. This spartan philosophy is in keeping with my own view that a lot can be achieved with very little.”

                RACE NO 5

                Name Thuriya
                Type ERIC Suhaili replica Masthead ketch
                Designer William Atkin
                Builder Aquarius Shipyard Pvt Ltd, Goa, India
                LOA 32.00ft / 9.78m
                LWL 27.50ft / 8.38m
                Beam 11.00ft / 3.35m
                Draft 5.50ft / 1.67m
                Displacement 19545 lbs / 8865 kgs
                Sail area 628sq ft / 58.34 m

                To celebrate India’s heritage in building famous singlehanded yachts in the past (Suhaili and Lively Lady spring to mind) Abhilash will be racing a replica of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s original winner. Work began at the Aquarius shipyard on Goa in 2016, not with the rudimentary adze, bow drill and hand saw that shaped Suhaili in a Bombay shipyard five decades before, but with the latest CAD design and CNC cutting machinery to produce a much lighter wood epoxy composite replica. Thuriya was launched in August 2017 and Cdr.Tomy has been conducting sea trials in the Indian Ocean prior to shipping the yacht to Europe in March 2018.
                Last edited by Photoboy; 09-21-2018, 11:11 AM.
                " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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                • #38
                  Godspeed guys.

                  No where I would want to be.


                  • #39
                    Frankly, I will surprised if anyone completes the race.

                    Sad but true, just hope they make it home safe and sound.


                    • #40
                      I'm starting to think its more dangerous to go really slowly around the world than really quickly. You just increase the odds of getting caught up in this shit.

                      Not being able to move with a broken rig sounds really bad. Hopefully its up the rig a bit...
                      Pointing like a traffic cop, footin like a track star.


                      • #41
                        There was a reason why Sir Robin's feat was so celebrated.


                        • #42
                          Not sure that McGuckin would be much help to Tomy unless seas flatten out and wind dies.

                          Could make a double rescue easier though.

                          Not a happy situation.


                          • #43
                            Race HQ just posted this:

                            Next official UPDATE and PRESS RELEASE in About 1 Hour.

                            Abhilash has been dismasted and managed to send only one short message to GGR Control.
                            ROLLED.DISMASTED.SEVEREBACKINJURY.CANNOTGETUP. Position: 39' 38.420 S 077' 22.565 E at 21 Sep 12:09 UTC

                            Nothing has been heard from him since. The Australian Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Canberra is now coordinating a Rescue effort involving many agencies and the Aust. Defense Department. Abhilash is a serving INDIAN Navy Officer and the INDIAN Navy have offered to assist Aust. Rescue Authorities with assets that may be available. GGR Entrants have been updated and any that can assist by heading to the area will.

                            NO EPIRB SIGNAL has been received and no satellite phone calls have been received. There is no indication at this stage if the mast and rigging have been cut away from the hull to prevent damage, or are still laying beside the HULL.. At this time the Tracker is still giving positions to the GGR LIVE tracking page. All our thoughts are with Abhilash his family and the agencies and all personnel assisting. #GGR2018


                            • #44
                              Media update at 21:00 UTC
                              There has been no further communication with Abhilash Tomy, the 39-year old Indian Golden Globe Race skipper since his dramatic text message at 12:09 UTC today: ROLLED. DISMASTED. SEVERE BACK INJURY. CANNOT GET UP.

                              Race organisers are working closely with the Australian Rescue Co-ordination Center in Canberra, which has issued an all ships alert and is now co-ordinating rescue efforts led by Australian Defence Forces.

                              The Australians are also working with French Maritime Rescue Centre based on Reunion Island in the South Indian Ocean which is attempting to source a vessel that might assist, including a French Fisheries Protection ship thought to be in the area.

                              Commander Tomy is a serving Naval Flying Officer in the Indian Navy which has also been alerted and is standing by to assist in the rescue.

                              Don McIntyre, the Race Chairman based in Les Sables d’Olonne where the Golden Globe solo non-stop round the world Race began on July 1st, commented tonight: “We are very grateful to all these international organisations for mobilising their resources so quickly and for the lead role taken by MRCC in Canberra.

                              The position of Tomy’s yacht Thuriya, a replica of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s yacht Suhail, winner of the first GGR 50 years ago, is some 1,900 miles south West of Perth, Western Australia at the extreme limit of immediate rescue range.

                              The fact that Abhilash has been unable to make contact via text or sat phone, nor set off his emergency beacon is unusual and suggests that he remains incapacitated. The only link is the tracking signal we are receiving from the yacht, but the batteries have a limited life.”

                              Other Golden Globe Race competitors have been alerted to the situation and offered to assist once this storm recedes. Gregor McGuckin, the subject of a CODE ORANGE alert himself following his yacht’s dismasting earlier today, is 100 miles SW of Tomy’s position, and has good communications onboard. He is reporting moderating conditions, and that all is ok and secure onboard his yacht Hanley Energy Endurance. The Irishman has also confirmed that the yacht’s engine remains operational following his 360° roll, and after he has made repairs, will inform Race HQ if and when he can head towards, Thuriya’s position.

                              Estonian skipper Uku Randmaa is another within range, some 450 miles to the west of Thuriya and is sailing at best speed towards her.

                              Dutchman Mark Slats currently 2nd overall sailing the Rustler 36 Ophen Maverick is still facing extreme conditions 230 miles to the South East of the Indian yacht, and having been knocked down several times during the day, is not in a safe position to turn back at this time.

                              The MRCC in Canberra will issue an update once they receive official confirmation of the air/sea rescue assets available.

                              Barry Pickthall
                              2018 Golden Globe Race Media Co-ordinator
                              " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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                              • #45
                                THAT does not sound good.