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530 days to go! Les Sables d’Olonne , France, Official Launch and Countdown to the start of 2022 GGR

530 days to go! Les Sables d’Olonne , France, Official Launch and Countdown to the start of 2022 GGR

# 28 entrants from 11 countries including one woman signed on.
# NEW 2 hr time penalty imposed for every litre of fuel used during race.
# New direct satellite media access to entrants during the race.
# Four video film drops planned with Punta Del Este after Cape Horn included.
# GGR, the longest, loneliest, slowest race and most daring challenge for any individual in any sport.

The 1968 Golden Globe was the first ever around the world yacht race. Since then, legends like the only finisher and winner Sir Robin Knox Johnston, and Bernard Moitessier have inspired many sailors and created new Around the world races. I was there in Sydney with Philippe Jeantot when he conceived the first 1998 Vendee Globe. The Golden Globe was part of his idea.

In 2018, together with our partner Les Sables d’Olonne, we brought the Golden Globe back to life 50 years later. This incredible Adventure continues with a third edition starting from Les Sables d’Olonne on Sept 4th 2022. Again, Les Sables d’Olonne stands with us as a passionate partner building a bigger and even more exciting event.

The 2018 GGR was a repeat journey into the unknow. The world had changed, but the world had never seen anything like it. 18 sailors set sail not knowing what to expect. We all held our breath and an international GGR Family followed day by day with genuine enthusiasm. Yachts were lost, stories were told and sailors everywhere were inspired. Some of the best sailors on the planet had lined up at the start in Les Sables d’Olonne. So too did the dreamers, just as they did in 1968.

Unlike the first edition, our Notice of Race was considered by French Maritime Authorities as the best for any yacht race ever to sail from this country and the Security Arrangements appropriate for the challenge.

10 months after the start, Tapio Lehtinen the last of only five sailors to complete the journey, crossed the finish line creating history once again. Jean Luc Van Den Heede, one of the great sailors of our time, won the 2nd Golden Globe. He was 73yo. and has been a beautiful dreamer his entire life! Like all entrants, his voyage was filled with drama and courage in the face of real adversity. It was tough! Very tough. He was at sea for 212 days totally alone, the equivalent of three Vendee Globes. His final VDH journal has and continues to inspires a new generation of sailors, as did his previous five solo circumnavigations of the Globe.

The GGR is unique and has established once again the core principles of that first in 1968 edition. Open to sailors young and old it is affordable in 32-36ft strong, recycled, seaworthy yet simple yachts. There is No technology, No satellite comms or GPS, No autopilots and only cassette tapes for music. The GGR is the ONLY solo race around the world with Absolutely NO Outside assistance of any kind.

The GGR is NOT a flying 10-week sprint around the Globe. It is a gruelling demanding and daring marathon. You could fly to Mars quicker than completing the GGR! Entrants spend more time in the Southern Ocean than most current races take to circumnavigate. There are no SKYPE calls home to family for psychological support, or engineers for advice. The GGR is total isolation on a grand scale. It steps back to a simpler time, where the sailor relies entirely on themselves for their own destiny.

This challenge is not for everyone. It’s serious. Only the best will finish. Question? IS it the toughest Solo Non-stop race around the world? Who cares? We know it is seriously tough with no comparisons. Yet it is a beautiful and simple Challenge. It takes a special sailor to even consider it possible. Those that finish in 2023 will again make history!

Today 28 entrants from 11 Countries have signed for the next edition. The British want the Golden Globe back! They are sending 8 sailors to recover it. Australia sends 6 entrants. We are excited to welcome # Damien Guillou and PRB to the GGR in the last few days, leading the three French entrants who will attempt to retain the Golden Globe trophy. New Zealand sends # Graham Dalton brother of Americas Cup winner # Grant Dalton, who is sailing JL VDH 2018 R36 Matmut, # Tapio Lethinen from 2018 GGR sailing “Asteria” covered with Barnacles returns with a plan to win. # Captain Coconut, Mark Sinclair also from 2018 returns with unfinished business. Our only woman entrant # Kirsten Neuschafr from South Africa is a sailor with the experience to win and a yacht that could actually do it! Our youngest is 26 yo. American # Elliott Smith and Oldest at 79, the indomitable multiple solo circumnavigator # David Scott Cowper from the UK. Only Four SUHAILI Class entries are still available to sailors hoping to join the 2022 GGR.

“As organisers we learnt a lot from the last edition of the GGR”. said Don McIntyre, GGR Founder and race Chairman. “There have been changes and one of the biggest is a new start date Two months later than 2018 placing the fleet more favourably in the Southern Ocean. Safety and security standards remain high and sailing qualifications have been increased. The best is overall media coverage will be substantially upgraded”.

# A new 2-hour time penalty for every litre of fuel consumed during the race will be added to finishing times. This encourages all entrants to focus on Solar, Wind and Water power generation. Our world first WASTE MANAGEMENT plan for all entrants in the 2018 GGR will remain.

# For the first time Expanded MEDIA ACCESS to GGR skippers With Entrants receiving two direct satellite phone interviews from any media outlet, every week while racing. The possibility of sending satellite photos from entrants to Race Control is being investigated. A third Video film drop for live interviews is also scheduled for Cape Town, South Africa before sailors’ head into the Southern Ocean and a fourth may be established after rounding Cape Horn.

# A planned comprehensive Media Production and Global TV distribution plan will send the GGR story to millions of families around the world.

On July the 1st 2018, crowds that gathered on the famous Les Sables river cheering our GGR sailors witnessed something special. But they could never have imagined what lay ahead. The Golden Globe is personal, even romantic and centred on the sailor. Nothing else matters. It is seriously a human story, not the boat, not technology and not the money that creates the winner and it’s all about the stories.

On Sept 4th next year once again, these special sailors will set out on an adventure unique to this planet. They are all volunteers in what is now recognised as the longest, loneliest, slowest race and most daring challenge for any individual in any sport.
#ENDS#

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DAMIEN GUILLOU AND PRB ENTER THE GOLDEN GLOBE RACE 2022

DAMIEN GUILLOU AND PRB ENTER THE GOLDEN GLOBE RACE 2022

MARCH 18, 2021

Damien Guillou is preparing to take up an extraordinary challenge under the colors of PRB. At 38, the Breton will live alone at sea for more than 200 days for a round the world nonstop, without assistance and without modern means of communication, the Golden Globe Race.

Faced with competitors who, like him, take up this crazy bet, Damien will make his way with the sextant! The sailor, trained in Olympic sailing (optimist, laser, 49er) and Figaro knows everything about modern monohulls. He could even draw eyes closed for the 60 ‘PRB with which Kevin Escoffier entered the last Vendée Globe. It was he who, as PRB’s boat captain, took care of this carbon boat until the last minutes before kick-off. But today he has chosen to set off on a boat of only 11 meters and deprived of any electronic tool … Minimalist comfort, paper maps and sextant will be his companions for this competition which defies all the codes of modern navigation (no computers, no satellite navigation aid, no automatic pilot, etc.). Damien creates the surprise because he is not necessarily the one we imagined embarking on such an epic. But it is as a true lover of the sea and passionate about competition, that he will cover these 30,000 miles through the three capes. Particularly proud to lead this adventure with PRB, Damien continues the history of the Vendée company with tours of the world.

It was during the Vendée Globe village, last October, that the project began to germinate. Then a member of the IMOCA PRB technical team, Damien Guillou talks with Jean-Jacques Laurent, President of the Vendée SME on the mythical pontoon of Sables d’Olonne. The latter lets Damien know that he wants to realign a PRB boat on the Golden Globe Race and that he is looking for a skipper. Concentrated on the preparation of the 60 feet, the Breton hears but does not project himself immediately. “When Jean-Jacques Laurent told me that, we were in the home stretch to prepare for IMOCA so I didn’t really react, even though this proposal obviously appealed to me. Following this discussion, I took the time to find out about the dates of the race and the idea gradually gained momentum. I was at this stage still in personal reflection. Afterwards I took the step to talk about it to my wife and I also discussed it with Paul Meilhat and Anthony Marchand, two childhood friends who know me well. It was only after having had their points of view that I returned to Jean-Jacques Laurent to inform him that I really wanted to embark on this project, he then replied Go! “

“I find myself fully in this ordeal! “

This is a challenge completely new Damien Guillou will tackle next year with passion and desire. “All the criteria are met for this Golden Globe Race! The racing aspect, my love of boats and the sea, my taste for technical preparation and adventure! Even if it may seem surprising, I find myself fully in this ordeal! I had carefully followed the 2018 edition, telling myself that it was both interesting and daring, but without imagining that I would one day take the start of this race. And doing it under the PRB colors really means something to me, I’m very proud of it! The story continues in a different way in a way and I’m very happy to have Kevin‘s support in this project too. His seamanship and his advice are very precious! “ Supported in his approach by Kevin Escoffier, Damien benefits from all the energy of the “PRB family”. Vincent Riou, former winner of the Vendée Globe under the PRB colors in 2004, will welcome Damien‘s boat in its structure to prepare it. The Rustler 36 bought last month in Italy will reach Port-La-Forêt at the end of April.

A total refit project

The monohull which perfectly meets the strict criteria of the Golden Globe Race was built on plans drawn before 1988 (1980). The sailboat will be under construction for about two months as indicated by Damien: “We are still awaiting the Italian authorizations for the exceptional transport which will be done by road. The health context complicates things a bit, but this should unblock soon. As soon as we have received the boat, it will go into the yard for a total refit. For the moment, it is in cruise configuration. The objective will be to put it in race mode and that requires significant changes. We are planning a relaunch at the end of June so that I will sail all summer to take it in hand and start qualifying for 2000 miles at the beginning of September. “

First step: learning to use a sextant

While waiting, Damien Guillou has started learning the sextant… An essential first step for this Golden Globe Race. “I went for two days for training in Toulouse with a person passionate about sextant who has made it his job. This allowed me to acquire the basics and since then I have been doing arithmetic exercises almost every day. When it’s sunny, I also go to the edge of the coast to do some surveys. The sextant can be frightening at first, but it’s not overwhelming! In no time, I managed to get by! I can’t wait to put it all into practice on the boat this summer! “ Says Damien already fully launched in his project.

For Jean-Jacques Laurent, it is the continuity of a beautiful meeting. “I really wanted to return to this race. We took part in the first edition with Philippe Péché. And we discovered a universe totally different from the Vendée Globe. In the Vendée Globe, we are in a technological dimension and things have to go quickly. It is exciting. We have seen the enthusiasm generated by the edition which has just ended. On the Golden Globe Race, we maintain a relationship with the long term! It’s a whole different challenge, but it’s just as fascinating. It’s fantastic that Damien wears our colors. He was already in the PRB family. He’s a great sailor. He is very enthusiastic and has a very serious approach. I think it is very respectful to be part of the history of PRB with the tours of the world. He has our full confidence and also Kevin‘s support, which is obviously important to us. It’s a very good story that begins in view of this extremely difficult race. “

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Dalton brothers take on Golden Globe and America’s Cup!

Dalton brothers take on Golden Globe and America’s Cup!

Dateline: Les Sables d´Olonne, Friday the 26th of February 2021

One sails in the fastest, most sophisticated and prestigious sailing challenge in the world, all over in just minutes ! The other is attempting the longest, loneliest, most demanding and slowest race, for any individual in any sport on the planet. The Dalton family wants it all!! With the America’s Cup just days away and the third edition of the grueling eight month solo Golden Globe Race starting next year, the contrast is extreme.

Graham Dalton, the elder brother of New Zealand’s America’s Cup supremo Grant Dalton, has entered in the 2022 Golden Globe Race. The gritty 66-year old from Auckland has unfinished business – to sail solo around the world and win! Two previous attempts have ended in disappointment. In the 2003 Velux 5 Oceans, a four-stop solo circumnavigation he was dismasted close to Cape Horn and in 2007 he completed the same race but outside the time allowance.

Grant Dalton on the other hand has sailed all the major international Ocean races and won, including the Withbread Around the world Race and of course the America’s cup. His dreams happened. It does not get any bigger or better. His big brother has had his dream since childhood. Inspired as a schoolboy by Sir Francis Chichester’s solo one-stop circumnavigation in Gypsy Moth IV back in 1966/7, he recalls: “Many of my friend’s parents had yachts and their boys would talk about Chichester’s adventure in the playground saying ’That’s what I’m going to do – sail around the world’. I knew they wouldn’t, but I made a commitment – and every day since, this has been my goal.”

But entering the next GGR non-stop solo round the world race, starting from Les Sables d’Olonne, France on September 4, 2022 has not been straightforward. Having been dismasted, suffered broken rudders, and torn sails, 4 fractured ribs, and endured chronic food poisoning during previous attempts, Graham says: “This time, I waited until I said to myself that I wanted to do this again three days in a row before making the commitment. It has taken some time to resolve.”

The decision was made only after a lot of soul searching and self analysis. Graham is a determined, tenacious character with great self belief, – many of the attributes shared with his younger brother Grant. The big difference between the two is that while Grant is happy to court the media spotlight, Graham is not. “I’d rather not have any publicity. I don’t need it because I won’t have a sponsor. It’s just a distraction that I can do without” He says. If it were possible, I sense that he would prefer to just turn up at the start dressed like the anonymous Japanese masked wrestler The Great Sasuka and take on all challengers. He’s happiest with his own company and a project to focus on. The media bruha and contact with the outside world – even competitors – he would just as happily do without. The perfect mindset for a solo sailor you might say.

But third time around, Graham has been asking questions – of himself and to others. One of these is about mental preparedness. A good American friend who had spent 23 years as a US Navy Seal advised: ‘The brave don’t live for ever, but the cautious never live.’ He now has the inscription on his study wall at home, alongside the badly buckled titanium steering wheel from his last yacht smashed by a wave as a reminder of what can happen at sea. And the message? I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t finish up on a bulkhead within his yacht to bolster his mindset when things go awry as they undoubtedly will at some point during this 30,000 mile battle against the elements.

Another mentor is Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, the 73-year old French sailor who led the 2018 Golden Globe Race from the Cape of Good Hope all the way back to the finish. Graham has bought Van Den Heede’s Rustler 36 Matmut which bettered Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s winning time set in the first Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968/9 by 100 days. He has not only bought the winning yacht but hopes to benefit from the great knowledge and experience gained by the 6-time solo circumnavigator Jean-Luc.

If Coronavirus travel restrictions allow, Dalton plans to travel to France in May to complete the yacht’s fit-out and sailing trials before setting out into the Atlantic on a 2,000 mile qualification solo sail to sweep away any lingering doubts. “I’ve got some ideas how to make Matmut even faster. I’ve no interest in simply sailing around the world again. It is the competitive aspect that really appeals. I’ve entered the GGR to win, and without distractions I think I can.” He says.

His brother Grant is of the same mindset. He has taken on the greatest high-tech sailing challenge on earth and won. In the next few days he puts it all on the line once again. Dreams don’t come any bigger! The family conversations must be quite interesting!

Ends

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MELISSA PAYNE TAKES THE HELM FOR GOLDEN GLOBE AND OCEAN GLOBE  RACES

MELISSA PAYNE TAKES THE HELM FOR GOLDEN GLOBE AND OCEAN GLOBE  RACES

Dateline: February 25th 2021  Les Sables d’Olonne France

Following a 12 month Media blackout with respect to the Global Pandemic, The 2022 Golden Globe and 2023 Ocean Globe Races are now back in the news with a permanent office opened in Les Sables d’Olonne, France and a major Media appointment to the management team.  The Golden Globe Race currently has 28 entrants from 11 countries and the Ocean Globe Race 26 entrants from 17 countries.

Don McIntyre founder of the Ocean Globe Race (OGR) and the Golden Globe Race (GGR) announced today in Les Sables d’Olonne, that former senior IMG executive Melissa Payne, is now officially Chief Executive Officer (Media) for the two, historic, round-the-world sailing events.

Payne, who left IMG last year after 20 years, was previously Vice President, Head of Technical Services and also Head of Sailing/ Nautical Sports at IMG Media. During her time at IMG, she worked on two America’s Cups, the World Match Racing Tour, Extreme Sailing Series, the Volvo Ocean Race and the H20 series.

Her new role will oversee all media requirements for the two events, including sponsorship, media sales, production and distribution. She is currently in the process of assembling an experienced team, to work across both events. The GGR starts in Sept 2022 and the OGR in Aug 2023 – marking the 50th anniversary of the original Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race.

Don McIntyre, also Race Chairman of the GGR and OGR, said: “ This appointment kick starts our event promotions following a 12 month delay due to Covid. We are really excited to have Melissa and her team onboard. She comes with a huge amount of knowledge and is passionate about all sports, but, in particular, sailing. She brings an impressive track record to the table and understands the value of our unique retro events, which focus on the human story, adventure and extraordinary challenges, for ordinary, not elite, sailors.”

Payne said: “Sailing has always been my passion and these are two incredibly exciting and tough races that will capture the imagination of sailors and non-sailors, across the globe. For me, it’s great to have an opportunity to look after projects from a 360° stand-point and look to secure the widest possible exposure and success, for both events.”

She added: “There will be a number of different sponsorship opportunities for brands and companies to become involved with, in both the GGR and OGR, each of which has its own unique appeal; and, I am extremely excited to be working alongside Don and his team.”

The Golden Globe Race is the original round the world yacht race, where, in 1968, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston became the only sailor to complete the first, solo, non-stop, round-the-world sailing race. In 2018, in celebration of 50 years since that first record-breaking achievement, the Golden Globe Race was resurrected. It returns again in September 2022 from Les Sables d’Olonne.

The Ocean Globe Race is a fully crewed, retro race, in the spirit of the 1973 Whitbread round-the-world Race and marks the 50th Anniversary of the original event. Starting in Europe in September 2023, the OGR is a 27,000-mile sprint around the Globe. Encompassing four legs, which take in the Southern Ocean and three great Capes.

Payne joins three other key personnel, Sebastien Delasnerie (Joint Media Director), Aida Valceanu (Public Relations and Major Events OGR) and Jane Zhou ( Finance and Admin).

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Two Golden Globe Race sailors honoured by the Cruising Club of America

Two Golden Globe Race sailors honoured by the Cruising Club of America

 

Les Sables d´Olonne, Wednesday the 19th of February 2020

The Cruising Club of America awarded GGR 2018-2019 winner Jean-Luc Van den Heede with the 2019 Blue Water Medal for his achievements in single-handed sailing, notably six solo circumnavigations, including fastest circumnavigation against prevailing winds and his victory in the first edition of the Golden Globe Race.

VDH joins high profile recipients of the award created in 1923 to reward “meritorious seamanship and adventure upon the sea”, including Eric Tabarly, Sir Francis Chichester, Bernard Moitessier, Rod Stephens, and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

Jean-Luc was surprised and honoured with the distinction: “This medal rewards more than 40 years of sailing and racing around the world, but it certainly owes a lot to my recent victory with Matmut in the “vintage” Golden Globe Race, which celebrated, 50 years later, the victory of another Blue Water Medal winner, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to complete a non-stop solo round-the-world race. I would like to thank Don McIntyre for reviving this event and Yannick Moreau, the mayor of Les Sables d’Olonne, for supporting this event so that it could leave and return to the town that has become my homeport for 20 years.”

Yannick MOREAU, Mayor of Les Sables d’Olonne, homeport of the GGR; and President of the Agglomération was very pleased with the CCA´s award: “The people of Les Sables are proud and happy that VDH, the big winner of the 2018-2019 edition after 211 days at sea, has obtained this distinction. It is the recognition of the feat of an exceptional sailor in an exceptional race, the Golden Globe Race, which the town and the Agglomeration of Les Sables d’Olonne have had the pleasure of supporting since the beginning.”

The CCA also rewarded the 2018 GGR Irish competitor Gregor McGuckin with the Rod Stephens Seamanship Trophy for his attempted rescue of fellow competitor Abhilash Tomy under jury rig. McGuckin and Tomy had both dismasted in the same hurricane force storm in the Southern Ocean, McGuckin jury-rigged and hand-steered his boat for four days in order to be on site to assist with the rescue if required, up to within 25 miles of his fellow competitor. Abhilash Tomy was ultimately rescued by a French fishing vessel, and McGuckin did not declare an emergency for himself, despite being rolled over and losing his mast.

Don McIntyre, GGR Founder and Chairman was delighted with both awards: “The CCA is a pillar of ocean and adventure sailing worldwide, and I am very pleased with both awards that are putting the seamanship of sailors forward. The race itself, with low-tech and vintage rules puts seamanship and sailors first. The high attrition rate if anything, is a testament to the dedication and resilience of all entrants, whether they finish or not.”

The second edition of the Golden Globe Race is well underway with the confirmed host port of Les Sables d´Olonne and 26 confirmed entries to date on the 30 slots available, representing a wide array of sailors and boats alike. With 12 countries represented, British and Australian sailors make up for half of the fleet, while the North America, South Africa, France, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Finland and Austria complete a very international entry list.

The Cruising Club of America (CCA) is an international organisation launched in 1922, promoting cruising, boat racing, and offshore sailing. At its core, the CCA is a collection of passionate, seriously accomplished, ocean sailors making adventurous use of the seas. All members have extensive offshore boat handling, seamanship, and command experience honed over many years.

The Blue Water Medal is generally awarded annually to “reward meritorious seamanship and adventure upon the sea displayed by sailors of all nationalities.” Blue Water Medallists have included such luminaries of the sailing world as Rod Stephens, Eric and Susan Hiscock, Sir Francis Chichester, Eric Tabarly, Pete Goss and Bernard Moitessier. In 1940, the medal was presented to “the British Yachtsmen at Dunkerque.”

The Rod Stephens Seamanship Trophy is awarded by the Club for an act of seamanship that significantly contributes to the safety of a yacht, or one or more individuals at sea.

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