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€213 Million Golden Globe Race 2022 Media Value

21 sailors from 14 countries signed up for GGR 2026 and Kirsten Neuschäfer “Female Sailor of the Year”

The third edition of the Golden Globe Race (GGR), a solo non stop retro adventure in small full keel yachts, saw 17 sailors set out from Les Sables d’Olonne on September 4th 2022. Eight months later only three would finish. On top of the list, a South African woman, Kirsten Neuschäfer, broke all records. She crossed the line in a blaze of glory with a simple, unassuming smile and humble words of gratitude to her followers and supporters. Her story and that of the other sailors who were not there, kept millions around the world enthralled from day one. Every sailor faced their own personal challenge alone and often questioned why they were there, right to the end. Emotions ran high, month after month, and the GGR following grew every day.

Kirsten Neuschäfer wins the Golden Globe Race after 235 days at sea. Credit: GGR2022 / Rob Havill

The release of the Meltwater 2022 GGR media analysis and equivalent advertising/PR value of €213 million reflects that following:

  • 240,000 people visited the Les Sables d’Olonne GGR village in the two weeks before the start.
  • The website had 4.4 million unique visits with 19 million unique pages opened.
  • Facebook reach was 3.3 million and YouTube had 3.2 million views.
  • Twitter saw 5.2 million impressions and Instagram a reach of 1 million.
  • 65,000 people downloaded the Yellowbrick tracking app and that related to over 15 million hits if checked just once a day and most checked many times each day.

The Founder of the Golden Globe Don McIntyre was not surprised:

We all felt that the 2022 GGR was bigger and better than 2018 with a real positive vibe. The strong Les Sables d’Olonne support had a big impact and it was like the GGR had all of a sudden grown up. We saw a huge number of non-sailing followers captivated by the daily coverage and everyone realized it was not just a boat race! Getting to the start was hard and Covid did not help, but getting to the finish was everything and the stories reflected that. Hearts and minds were broken, but heroes were also made. The 2026 GGR is going to be epic!

Don McIntyre – GGR Founder

To top all this, Kirsten has now been recognised as the Female Rolex World Sailor of the Year! This is an amazing accolade and well deserved recognition of a truly extraordinary sailor. Everything about her 236-day race around the world, unassisted and without technology was WOW! The GGR is a long, grueling, hard won race like nothing else in any sporting discipline. Only the best of the best and those who know themselves and why they are there, can ever hope to complete the 30,000 mile course.

Kirsten’s win was the first time any woman has won a solo, or crewed yacht race around the world through the Southern Ocean, by the three great capes including Cape Horn. The GGR is a true and honest human adventure. It is not about money and speed, but more about slowing down and taking care of things in adversity. It is a mind game with easy reasons to pull out. The eight months of complete isolation with only a radio for contact is depressing at best. Yet the attraction for some sailors is compelling. 

Golden Globe Race 2026 Trailer – The Golden Age of sailing continues with the fourth edition of the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race.

Already 21 sailors from 14 countries have followed their strongest emotions and at times biggest fear, by signing up for this ultimate expression of who they are, and joining the 2026 GGR. They come from all walks of life, ages and skill sets. They all understand the risks and they are all now busy with planning and preparation for what will become their life-defining moment. That is what the Golden Globe Race is. Many more sailors are thinking about entering and with a maximum of only 26 entrants and four “special invitations” allowed, a full fleet is expected. 

GGR 2026 entrant Olivia Wyatt (USA):

Two sailors, Irishman Pat Lawless and Canadian Edward Walentynowicz who retired from the 2022 edition are returning in 2026 with unfinished business. The only woman currently entered is American sailor Olivia O Wyatt, an award-winning filmmaker, TV producer, and USCG 50-Ton Master certified captain. She’s sailing solo around the world at the moment aboard Juniper, her 34 ft. cutter-rigged sloop that she will sail in the GGR. She believes her boat is haunted by a dead man’s ghost. When asked why she is doing the GGR her response was: 

Maybe it’s because this race sounds really romantic to me. Or because solo sailing is the dreamiest. Or because I like to push myself inside the depths of my soul until I am forced to sink or swim. Because I need a new challenge. Because the race is all I have thought about since I first thought of doing the race, it’s like I’m possessed.

Olivia Wyatt (USA)

Assistant Race Director of the 2022 GGR, Lutz Kohne from Germany decided it’s time to swap sides and has entered the 2026 GGR with his Rustler 36 that he picked up in the U.S. this summer and sailed solo back to France. His passion for the GGR comes from seeing it from the inside and living with the entrants day-to-day all the way around the world. Today, the GGR followers are counting the days and there are only 1024 to go before this grueling voyage around the world is on again.

GGR 2026 Entrant Lutz Kohne (GER):

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Kirsten takes the crown! HUGE Les Sables D’Olonne celebration. GGR 2022 Done!

  • DAY 293: Prize giving of the Golden Globe Race 2022 in Les Sables d’Olonne, a fitting tribute to an extraordinary third edition. 
  • High emotions and gripping stories, as the skippers meet again in Les Sables d’Olonne for the first time since the start.
  • Thousands met the skippers on the dock and in Les Sables d’Olonne with some GGR Yachts changing hands, and other entrants keen for a comeback in 2026!
  • Emotional prize giving night around Golden Globe Race legends, Sir Robin Knox Johnson, Jean-Luc VDH and Kirsten Neuschäfer.
  • Strong coverage into French and international media with impressive initial online media stats. The GGR stands on its own and captivates the interest of millions, sailors and non-sailors alike. 

In the history of sailing one event changed everything. The Golden Globe Race sits high in the mind of all sailors and one man, Sir Robin Knox Johnston, winner of the first edition in 1968 has inspired tens of millions ever since. He was the first ever to complete a solo, non stop, unassisted circumnavigation in the first ever around the world yacht race. The second 2018 GGR presented another sailing hero to the world, French sailing hero Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, taking the crown at 73 years of age! 

Today, South African sailor Kirsten Neuschäfer climbs into the record books and takes the crown as the latest winner of the GGR, in what is now firmly recognised the world over, as the the most demanding exploit and human challenge for any individual, in any sporting event on the planet. Kirsten is also the first woman to ever win an around the world yacht race of any type, crewed or solo, with stops or without! With over 250,000 miles of ocean sailing experience, an adventurous background and able to speak many languages, she is inspiring millions around the globe through her GGR adventure.   

PPL PHOTO AGENCY – COPYRIGHT FREE for Editorial Use 2022/3 Golden Globe Solo non-stop Round the World Yacht Race prize giving 24/06/2023 Les Sables d’Olonne, France. South African yachtswoman Kirsten Neuschäfer, winner of the 2022/3 Golden Globe Race, is greeted by the crowds when taking to the stage to collect her trophies. PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Bishop/GGR/PPL

The city and community of Les Sables d’Olonne put on a celebration befitting the achievements of all 16 sailors who set out 293 days before. Only three finished, Kirsten Neusthfer (ZAF), Abhilash Tomy (IND)- Bayanat and Micheal Guggenberger (BE) NURI, but all who entered are heroes in their own way. With the celebration stage set facing the ocean looking out across one of the top 100 beaches of the world, thousands of Les Sables and international fans packed the forecourt to follow the presentations. When done, a concert party kept the fun alive well into the night ! It truly was an exciting time and an exceptional party for all!  

PPL PHOTO AGENCY – COPYRIGHT FREE for Editorial Use 2022/3 Golden Globe Solo non-stop Round the World Yacht Race. 24/06/2023 PRIZE GIVING. Les Sables d’Olonne, France. Michael Guggenberger PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Bishop/GGR/PPL

This third edition of the GGR was another true adventure with an unknown outcome and a display of real human spirit and courage. Every day was a new story that kept millions around the world captivated. I thought we would see half the fleet finish, but it was not to be! The GGR family of followers , sailors and non-sailors around the world has grown dramatically in this edition and the support from Les Sables d’Olonne has been a major factor in this.  

Don McIntyre Founder and Race Chairman.

GGR sailors back to Les Sables d’Olonne!

Emotions and camaraderie ran high as the skippers started gathering from all corners of the globe earlier this week, welcomed by Yannick Moreau, Mayor of Les Sables d’Olonne and President of LSO Agglomération. It was the first time they were all in the same place, nearly a year since the start of the Golden Globe Race on September 4th 2022.

PPL PHOTO AGENCY – COPYRIGHT FREE for Editorial Use 2022/3 Golden Globe Solo non-stop Round the World Yacht Race. 24/06/2023 PRIZE GIVING. Les Sables d’Olonne, France. PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Bishop/GGR/PPL

They developed strong camaraderie and friendships at the Les Sables GGR village before setting out into the unknown. The depths of that friendship increased during hundreds of days on the high seas with their SSB HF radio conversations and even rescue in the Southern Oceans! They are all friends for life!

GGR skippers meet the public, boats on display and some for sale for 2026!

With the Enjoy Ocean Festival happening at the same time as the GGR Prize giving, the “Ponton du Vendée Globe” was quite a sight for sailor and non-sailors alike, as the small, long-keel, pre-1988 GGR yachts were surrounded by voluminous Class 40’s and beast looking IMOCA 60’s of the Vendee Globe. While the Enjoy Festival enabled the public to go for a sail, sometimes for the first time and experience the same exhilarating feeling as the skippers of the racing machines.

It’s a fantastic celebration of the sea and ocean racing. The beautiful yachts on display this weekend on the dock show how far naval architecture has gone in the last 35 years, and how those little yachts, and skippers like Robin Knox Johnston, Jean-Luc Van den Heede and Kirsten Neuschäfer who are paving the way for others across oceans and around the world. 

Sébastien Delasnerie, GGR Race Director

Thousands walked the dock and met the skippers at their boats and after the prize giving, a busy and sunny Saturday afternoon, similar to the one in September as they prepared to set off to follow a dream and prove something to themselves during the solitude , psychological pressure and all the oceans during the longest sporting event in the world.

Thousands walked the dock and met the skippers at their boats before the prize giving. Credit: Kirsten Neuschäfer ‘s team.

Some boats changed hands, ready to go around again for the 2026 edition, some are still for sale, including circumnavigating yachts from Guy Waites’ Sagarmatha, Simon Curwen’s Clara and the GGR winner, Kirsten Neuschäfer’s Minnehaha

PPL PHOTO AGENCY – COPYRIGHT FREE for Editorial Use 2022/3 Golden Globe Solo non-stop Round the World Yacht Race prize giving 24/06/2023 Les Sables d’Olonne, France. South African yachtswoman Kirsten Neuschäfer, winner of the 2022/3 Golden Globe Race, presented with her £5,000 winners cheque by Neil Chapman, CEO of PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Bishop/GGR/PPL

Interest is strong in the 2026 edition and places are filling fast. The GGR is now closed for Rustler 36 yachts where all seven available entries have  been filled. Interestingly two leading 2022 yachts are not on the market, Damien Guillou’s Rustler 36 PRB in the shed and Pat Lawless’ Saga 36 Green Rebel, with both skippers keen to come back, should the stars align for a 2026 entry! 

All skippers at the start of the GGR received a Golden Globe, and all skippers having completed a circumnavigation within the event including Simon Curwen (GBR) and Jeremy Bagshaw (ZAF) sailing an exemplary circumnavigation in the one-stop Chichester Class received an historic piece of Bernard Moitessier’s Joshua’s hull cut out from her recent refit.

PPL PHOTO AGENCY – COPYRIGHT FREE for Editorial Use 2022/3 Golden Globe Solo non-stop Round the World Yacht Race. 24/06/2023 PRIZE GIVING. Les Sables d’Olonne, France. Joshua, Simon Curwen, PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Bishop/GGR/PPL
PPL PHOTO AGENCY – COPYRIGHT FREE for Editorial Use 2022/3 Golden Globe Solo non-stop Round the World Yacht Race. 24/06/2023 PRIZE GIVING. Les Sables d’Olonne, France. Jeremy Bagshaw, Don McIntyre, PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Bishop/GGR/PPL

Elliott Smith (USA) received the GGR Communicator Award from the hands of Christian Maréchal, President of the Musée Maritime de La Rochelle for embodying the spirit of Bernard Moitessier during this edition. A fitting tribute to the 27 y/o American adventurer whose philosophical vision of the event earned the nickname of the “American Moitessier”.

GGR JOSHUA Communicators Award… Presented to the Entrant who best represents Bernard Moitessier’s relationship with the Ocean and the GGR, expressing that in unique ways to followers. An original deck winch from “JOSHUA” presented to GGR by the LES AMIS DU MUSEE MARITIME LA ROCHELLE at the time of her 2022 Refit. This original Goiot winch sailed with Bernard Moitessier during all his voyages including the 1968 Golden Globe Race. Picture Credit: GGR2022
Elliott Smith (USA) received the GGR Communicator Award for embodying the spirit of Bernard Moitessier during this edition. Picture Credit: Elliott Smith /GGR2022

Retired Naval commander and 2018 entrant Abhilash Tomy (IND) received the McIntyre Adventure Spirit of the GGR Award from General Zubin Bhatnagar, Defence Attaché to the Paris Embassy, for embodying the necessary perseverance and fortitude to be at the start, let alone finish, of the hardest and longest sporting event in the world, following a harrowing 2018 dismasting and rescue.

PPL PHOTO AGENCY – COPYRIGHT FREE for Editorial Use 2022/3 Golden Globe Solo non-stop Round the World Yacht Race. 24/06/2023 PRIZE GIVING. Les Sables d’Olonne, France. Abhilash Tomy PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Bishop/GGR/PPL

The GGR winner Kirsten Neuschäfer (ZAF) received the Kay Cottee “ First Lady” Trophy named after the first woman to perform a solo, non-stop, unassisted circumnavigation, and the Golden Globe from Jane Zhou, co-founder of the GGR and the GGR Perpetual Trophy from previous 1968 winners Sir Robin Knox-Johnson and France’s own 2018 winner Jean-Luc Van Den Heede!

PPL PHOTO AGENCY – COPYRIGHT FREE for Editorial Use 2022/3 Golden Globe Solo non-stop Round the World Yacht Race. 24/06/2023 PRIZE GIVING. Les Sables d’Olonne, France. PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Bishop/GGR/PPL

It was an incredible race. I love this race, because it has an incredible human density, the humility of the sailors in the face of an event, a nature that goes beyond them and transcends them. I love the simplicity of the relationships, the atmosphere on the pontoons, the family spirit that reigns in this race. It’s unique, it’s a praise of slowness and a hymn to freedom, it’s a free act, by free sailors for whom I have the greatest respect and admiration. 

Yannick Moreau, Mayor of Les Sables d’Olonne
PPL PHOTO AGENCY – COPYRIGHT FREE for Editorial Use 2022/3 Golden Globe Solo non-stop Round the World Yacht Race. 24/06/2023 PRIZE GIVING. Les Sables d’Olonne, France. Kirsten Neuschäfer, Yannick Moreau, PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Bishop/GGR/PPL

2022, the year of maturity for the Golden Globe Race.

The 1968 edition with only one entrant completing the circumnavigation back to Falmouth of the Golden Globe Race was coined “A Voyage for Mad Men”. Fifty years later, the 2018 edition, several dismasting and rescues in the Southern Oceans and only five finishers, was a dramatic re-edition of the original race. The film of the 2018 GGR  “The Voyage of Madmen” is available HERE 

The 2022 edition albeit with three finishers only and two Chichester circumnavigators marked the emergence of the Golden Globe Race as a stand-alone event, receiving recognition from the IMOCA and other oceanic classes as a special event, who has its own particular place in the calendar of round-the-world racing along the high-tech carbon machines of the Vendée Globe and Ocean Race.

The numbers of followers, visitors on the website and tracker have been staggering, bringing sailors and non-sailors alike around a group of like-minded adventurers. The GGR website had 4,466,170 Visits from followers who opened 17,582,990 Pages for a look! The GGR LIVE tracker had nearly 30 Million hits during the race, while GGR Facebook had a total reach of 3,153,096. Instagram reached 1,121,611, GGR Youtube received 3,200,000 views amounting to over 300,000 hours! Then 41,813 people opened a sound cloud satellite phone recording and GGR Twitter with tweets from entrants had 5,236,000 impressions.

While the GGR Team thought achieving the same coverage as the 2018 edition would be difficult after losing contenders with a strong following such as Damien, Tapio or Pat in Cape town in reality it never changed. 2022 looks like achieving better, stronger and more qualitative coverage of the event in the Atlantic, through the dramatic Atlantic climb with the Kirsten and Abhilash duel, and Simon’s incredible journey back to Les Sables d’Olonne.

It was clear to me when sailors were crossing the Southern Ocean that the feeling of the GGR with followers was changing as they understood what was happening. Losing entrants was accepted as part of the game and an expression of just how challenging and demanding the GGR is, no matter how good the sailor or the boat! This extreme effort to go the distance seems to attract special sailors and interest is very strong for the 2026 edition 3 years out from the start!

Don McIntyre, Founder and President of the GGR

The media have been covering the 2022 edition intensely in many parts of the world with more mainstream international print and online outlets, radio and TV channels giving a larger platform to sailing and non-sailing audiences alike. The GGR has tasked Meltwater with analysing and valuing the coverage of this edition to be published in the future. In 2018 it was valued at US$185 million.

Don Jane and the whole GGR team wishes to thank the Entrants without whom there would not be a race, our host port of Les Sables d’Olonne and the partners for providing the GGR a home, as well as the extended GGR family for a fantastic and historic 2022 edition! See you in 2026 and watch out for the Movie early next year. 

Part of the GGR2022 Team, others were working 🙂 Picture @ GGR2022

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Last finisher in Golden Globe Race 2022, Prize giving celebration Les Sables d’Olonne Saturday 24th June!

  • Jeremy Bagshaw brings closure and more panache to the GGR 2022 finish with no food, or water, joins Bertie Reed and GGR winner Kirsten Neuschäfer in the small South African solo circumnavigator club!
  • Guy Waites (GBR) 400 miles from Les Sables d”Olonne with water, but NO FOOD! About to finish his 2 stops circumnavigation early next week in less than 290 days, just in time for the GGR prize giving. 
  • Meet the skippers and join in the GGR Prize Giving celebration in Les Sables d’Olonne on June 24th during a week-end of sailing and water sports celebrations. 

It’s all over! Once again, the third edition of the Golden Globe Race has delivered an incredibly spectacular human adventure that no one could ever have imagined when the 16 sailors set out from Les Sables d’Olonne on Sept 4th last year. Armed only with sextant, paper charts, radios and their own determination to follow a dream, they faced fear, incredible deprivations and hardships completely alone. Just three completed the challenge. Once again, sailors and non-sailors around the world followed every minute of this extraordinary event.

Jeremy Bagshaw in Chichester class officially closed the GGR when he moored Olleanna on the GGR dock after 277 days at sea! It was an excruciating finish for him, following 24 days of headwinds with a broken forestay. When 400 metres from the finish, he was becalmed and the current took him back to sea. He crossed the line 6 hours later with no food, or water. He was welcomed on the water by fellow GGR competitors Mark Sinclair (AUS), Simon Curwen (GBR) and Arnaud Gaist (FRA) and many people of Les Sables in the Channel.

#GGR 3 Chichesters together. Credit: Jean-Luc Lhomond

Jeremy had an excellent start of the GGR in the North Atlantic, battling an impressive duel with Guy Waites (GBR) who is expected to complete his circumnavigation early next week. Guy will be welcomed by the South African sailor as he comes into the legendary Channel of Les Sables d’Olonne.

Both sailors were plagued by barnacle invasion and started bleeding miles on the fleet after the Trindade Island rounding. After deciding to retire from the GGR and turning towards Uruguay for several days to lift and clean Sagarmatha’s hull,  Guy Waites (GBR) altered course and finally lifted in Cape Town to scrape and antiful the hull, moving into Chichester Class. Jeremy Bagshaw (ZAF) moored Olleanna in False Bay facing his hometown of Simon’s Town, to dive and manually scrape the dreaded barnacles for several days before continuing on.

Chichester Class, not for the faint-hearted!

After leaving South Africa, both sailors faced their race-defining moment forcing both to stop in Hobart Tasmania. The shells came back on Olleanna’s hull with a vengeance in the Indian Ocean and Jeremy, slow and low on water, was forced to stop in Hobart, Tasmania on the 16th of January, therefore moving into Chichester class.

Sagarmatha had very heavy weather in the Indian Ocean, and posted some of the best daily speeds of the fleet, but lost the life raft overboard in a storm, eventually stopping a second time in Hobart for Guy to pick-up a new raft, therefore out of the GGR but deciding to continue his circumnavigation.

Guy Waites (GBR) 400 miles from Les Sables d”Olonne with water, but NO FOOD! About to finish his 2 stops circumnavigation early next week in less than 290 days, just in time for the GGR prize giving. Credit: GGR2022/ Nora Havel

Jeremy pushed through in the Pacific Ocean encountering numerous storms that made him the GGR fleet record holder for the most days in foul weather. He rounded Cape Horn on March 17th, 193 days after the start between two low pressure systems after days of bad weather, breaking his dodger and losing his inflatable danbuoy.

The barnacle-free Olleanna was doing good time in the Atlantic, and Jeremy’s plan to hold the unofficial record between Hobart and Les Sables d’Olonne well under way until May 19th. Olleanna’s stainless steel forestay fitting broke just as the wind turned East, straight into Jeremy’s face for 24 days.

Slow progress under staysail only meant Jeremy soon ran out of food and water. He started using his emergency manual water maker, while eating his very last tin of food several days before his arrival. Never however did he run low on his signature, quirky and sometimes dry, sense of humour, making the best on what would have been a critical situation for many and getting out some of the best tweets of the GGR.

Jeremy, latest member of the South African solo circumnavigators club.

Jeremy is used to heavy weather and big seas, starting form the Optimist Class into offshore sailing, and winning the Governor’s Cup from Cape Town to Saint Helena twice. Olleanna, the smallest yacht in the fleet impressed by her pace and steadiness, and Jeremy was quick, always in the game and first boat on the start line in Gijon for the SITraN Prologue and top three on the LSO start line!

Jeremy is sharp and Olleanna quick, pictured here leading the GGR fleet in Gijon at the start of the SITraN Prologue race. Credit: GGR2022

It is during one expedition on Skip Novak’s Pelagic, where fellow South African sailor Kirsten Neuschäfer worked that he decided to take part in the GGR. After 277 days at sea, he now joins Kirsten, the winner of the 2022 GGR, and Sailors Hall of Fame Bertie Reed, who circumnavigated the world 3 times, placing first in the inaugural BOC Challenge 1981-82, in the small club of solo South African circumnavigators.

Once again, the GGR has been a display of the human spirit under great pressure. It has captivated followers around the world. It is not about money, technology, speed or even athletes. It is about who we are as humans and why we exist. Each of the entrants are there to prove something to themselves. It is personal and it is hard. It is not for everyone, but all of us watching and living this day by day come away stronger for being part of it. We owe all of them, the sailors, a debt of gratitude for sharing their story…Thanks to them and you for following!!! We look forward to seeing all the skippers safely together again in les Sables d’Olonne gathering the GGR family in its home for some exciting celebrations!

Don McIntyre, GGR Founder & Chairman

GGR 2022 celebrations and prize giving ceremony under preparation.

Meet the skippers and join in the GGR Prize Giving celebration in Les Sables d’Olonne on June 24th during a week-end of sailing and watersports celebrations. Credit: Ville des Sables d’Olonne

The city of Les Sables d’Olonne, the world’s Capital of solo sailing, and the GGR Race Office are gearing up for the upcoming Prize Giving Ceremony on Saturday 24th of June. That same week-end, Les Sables d’Olonne, home of the Golden Globe Race is hosting the Enjoy Ocean Festival dedicated to the promotion of water sports, a unique opportunity to get into discovery initiation and cultural activities linked to water sports for free at three sites across the city : the sea base, Port Olona and Lac de Tanchet on June 23 and 24. The GGR will have Stands at the Base de Mer and Port Olonna by the Vendée globe dock to meet the GGR family and members of the public on the 24 and 25 of June

Saturday, June 24, is the official closing date for the Golden Globe Race 2022 with a full festive programme.

-Accredited Media interviews from 10:00 to 12:00 upon request here  (there will not be a formal press conference)

-Meet the skippers by their yachts on the “Ponton du Vendée Globe” in Port Olonna from 14:00 to 16:00!

-Prize Giving ceremony at 18:00, Place du Tribunal, along the famous beach of Les Sables, voted one of the most beautiful bays in the world, joining the Bay of Cartagena de Indias in Colombia or the Bay of San Francisco in California, and the mythical Bay of Along in Vietnam.

Credit: Ville des Sables d’Olonne

Greet the skippers as they receive their trophies in the presence of the Mayor Yannick Moreau, GGR founder Don McIntyre, GGR patron Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, 2018 Winner Jean-Luc Van Den Heede,  and celebrate the victory of South Africa’s Kirsten Neuschäfer as she receives both the GGR trophy and the Kay Cottee trophy.

The prize giving will be followed by a concert at 19:45 from “UK on the Rock” for two hours of rock and brit pop from the rolling Stones to Oasis, and  DJ Set by the latest sensation of the French Touch of electro music from 22:30 onwards to celebrate way into the night.

On Sunday 25th enjoy the initiation to Water sports, Catamaran, Kayak, Stand Up Paddle, check the local Ollonnois on the great beach of Les Sables d’Olonne and get your GGR Merch at the GGR Stands. Check the Program below.

Credit: Ville des Sables d’Olonne

There will not be a Press Conference but the GGR Team and Sailors will be available to Accredited Media on Saturday morning between 10:00 and 12:00, please ask for your interview slot here

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Day 276: Jeremy Bagshaw ETA Friday 9th, final finisher 277 day out from Les Sables d’Olonne – GGR2022 over!

  • After 23 days of continuous headwinds approaching Les Sables d’Olonne Jeremy Bagshaw (South Africa) in Chichester Class is on his final approach. ETA 1700 UTC on  1900 hours French time
  • Storms, barnacles, water shortages and a broken forestay in the last run to the finish, nothing was spared to Olleanna’s skipper in the GGR2022
  • Guy Waites(GBR) out of the GGR but continuing his two-stop circumnavigation is 1000 miles behind and expected in 10 days just in time for the GGR official Prize Giving ceremony on June 24th !
  • GGR 2018 Film “The Voyage of Madmen” available Free to Accredited Media for review
Olleanna, full speed towards les Sables d’Olonne, is keen to finish after nine months at sea! Credit: Nora Havel /GGR2022

Things were looking good onboard Olleanna last month on the 19th of May. After nine months at sea, Olleanna was 500 miles West of Cape Finisterre and 820 miles from Les Sables d’Olonnes, about a week away from finishing his circumnavigation after nearly 30000 miles and many adventures along the way. Jeremy had run out of coffee and sweets and was keen for a quick landing back to where he started! But then it all changed!

Alas, on that day at 1900 UTC, Jeremy called the GGR Race Office to report the failure of the stainless plate holding the forestay, meaning he no longer had a usable forestay. His call is HERE. He was able to secure the reefing gear and removed the sail. The mast was not damaged, and all other standing rigging was fine including the outer forestay connected to the end of the bowsprit, the inner forestay and the two running backstays.

This meant he could only use his staysail on the inner forestay and the light genoa on the outer forestay, taking longer to complete the course. However, adding insult to injury, the wind soon veered East making it harder and longer for Oleanna to point towards Les Sables d’Olonne, instead pointing towards Ireland or Gijon in Spain, two places he visited prior to the GGR start in September 2022. Unbelievably this headwind has not veered for 23 days straight dragging that one week to go, into another 23 days! He tweeted

Jeremy cannot use the medium genoa pictured here, but is certainly pushing through to get to Les Sables d’Olonne asap! Credit: Nora Havel / GGR2022

I’m trying to remember what wind & sea from aft of the beam feels like. It must be nice?

Low on water, slowed down by barnacles, and sailing in storms, a round-the-world odyssey

Two days later, he called GGR control running low on water with only 7 litres of freshwater only, using 500 ml a day, having lost his emergency water in a leaking container. He started drinking the fluid from canned vegetables as the slow days of sailing to windward with a damaged boat continued on and on as the wind remained from dead ahead. Finally he decided to use his emergency manual Survivor 06 watermaker, producing 250ml per hour of pumping.

It was not the first time he was low on water, as he was in the same situation in the Indian Ocean after being slowed down by barnacle growth. After a good start-mid fleet despite sailing the smallest boat in the GGR 2022, Jeremy was soon plagued by a barnacle infestation that slowed him down enough that he moored several days in South Africa to scrape Olleana’s hull. The dreaded shells came back with a vengeance in the Indian Ocean forcing him to stop several days in Hobart, lift the boat, before continuing in Chichester Class.

Two barnacle infestations, storms and water shortages were not going to stop Jeremy from completing his circumnavigation! Credit GGR2022/DD&JJ

Hero’s welcome in Les Sables d’Olonne on the 9th of June

Jeremy faced several severe storms on his way to Cape Horn making him the record-holder of foul weather days in the GGR, and some more in the Southern Atlantic where he encountered the worst conditions of his round-the-world voyage.

None of the hurdles Jeremy faced, from storms, breakage, barnacles or water-shortage deterred him from completing his voyage around the world. Never did he depart himself from his sense of humour and his entertaining tweets.

Against tides, winds and overwhelming odds, Jeremy is planned to be in the channel of Les Sables d’Olonne tomorrow Friday 9th of June at 1900hrs local (UTC+2). Come and give him the hero’s welcome he deserves!

One more Sailor expected in LSO before the June 24 prize giving.

Guy Waites (GBR) is no longer in the GGR after he did not make the Hobart Gate before the time limit, but for him either this was not enough to deter him from his dream to solo-circumnavigate the planet. He too was slowed down by barnacles, having to lift Sagarmatha in Cape Town, therefore going in Chichester Class and later stopping in Hobart to replace his liferaft, lost overboard in a severe storm in the Indian Ocean.

Guy Waites (UK), Tradewind 35, Sagarmatha out of the GGR but continuing his two-stop circumnavigation is 1000 miles behind and expected in 10 days just in time for the GGR official Prize Giving ceremony on June 24th ! Credit: Nora Havel / GGR2022

Guy is around 1000 miles behind Jeremy and should arrive in Les Sables d’Olonne on time for the Golden Globe Race 2022 Prize Giving ceremony planned on Saturday 24th of June at 18:00 local on the Place du Tribunal, followed by a concert and festivities. All the GGR 2022 skippers will be there, come and join them for this great closing event for the Golden Globe Race 2022!

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Day 249: Capt. Gugg sailing NURI 3rd into Les Sables d’Olonne and last in the 2022 GGR!

  • Michael Guggenberger 3rd across the line with Provisional time of 249 days, 17 hours, 42 minutes and 24 seconds the last ranked sailor in the GGR out of 16 entrants.
  • Nuri Sardine’s preparation was second to none, no major breakage or repairs in 30.000 miles.
  • Captain Gugg joins Norbert Sedlacek in Les Sables d’olonne as the most famous Austrian round-the-world sailors!

Michael Guggenberger (AUT) started the race with a few impediments compared to other entrants in the GGR. First, he is coming from land-locked Austria when most of the other entrants grew up on the seaside. Second, he started sailing only 12 years ago when most other GGR competitors started sailing at an early age from dinghies, going into keelboats later, some raking up significant mileage on the way.

He did however compensate for his relative inexperience with inextinguishable passion and dedication to make it to the GGR start line, and  complete his race in 249 days. He was welcomed in Les Sables d’Olonne by Kirsten Neuschäfer (ZAF), Abhilash Tomy (IND), Simon Curwen (GBR) and Ertan Beskardes (GBR) as well as hundreds of enthusiasts on the channel and the stage.

Nuri Sardines, the artisanal campaign of the indestructible Biscay

Originally planning to enter the 2018 GGR on an endurance 35, he later switched rides and bought a ketch-rigged Biscay 36 from Antoine Cousot (FRA), who raced  later rebuilding and preparing it with his Team Manager Stefan Weigel, turning the graceful cruiser into a bullet-proof yacht that could weather the worst conditions.

Nuri round the world voyage with no major issue is due to the structured preparation of Michael and our concept of enabling him to cope with all possible problems. When he reached out for an electric refit, we decided it made more sense to teach him how to do it rather than doing the job for him. It proved a good idea, especially during Covid travel restrictions and worked all the way through Gijon in Spain for the boat’s final preparation.

Stefan Weigel, Michael’s team manager and Nuri Sardines boat captain.

Nuri Sardines, an artisanal Sardine factory based in Matosinhos, Portugal, liked the artisanal feel of the race and Michael’s campaign, and joined Michael’s campaigns at a timely moment, providing him with welcome support to make the start line in good conditions. Michael may have been short on water in the Pacific, wondering if he could finish his round the world trip without stopping for water, but never ran out of Sardines!

Everyone at NURI has been closely following Michael over the last eight months. We are in awe of his achievement and are incredibly proud of him. Just to witness him starting in this group of highly experienced sailors last September was a great moment. That he was able to finish as one of only three out of 16 starters is almost unbelievable. We are truly honoured that we could be part of his journey.

Jakob Glatz, Glatz&Co / Nuri Sardines

Michael’s objective was reached 250 times over, or the number of days at sea around the world with no major breakage or repair. This is a testament of both the preparatory work done on Nuri Sardines, but also the conservative way of sailing of Michael. The Austrian adventurer made good use of the ketch-rig to always have the right canvas for the weather encountered on his position, which he finally mastered in the south Atlantic, significantly improving his daily averages by sailing with less sail area and not overly pushing the boat.

#GGR2022 Michael Guggenberger (44) / Austria / Biscay 36 – “NURI”arrived Les Sables d’Olonne, 3rd finisher in the GGR2022. Credit: GGR2022 / JJ & DD

Dance floor therapy.

All sailors had their own way of dealing with isolation and the lack of exercise on board, some read books, others played games or went swimming. Michael was dancing every time he could, taking the disco ball out and playing his favourite tunes on tape, which is probably the largest (if not the only) collection of Electro and techno music ever recorded on tapes!

Michael also managed the long pacific crossing and the 100 degrees of latitude up the Atlantic from Cape Horn to Les Sables d’Olonne through regular HF contact with the other sailors around him, including long-lasting friendships with  Kirsten Neuschäfer, Abhilash Tomy, and Jeremy Bagshaw.

The GGR has been an incredible voyage, I had already changed me in the preparation leading to the start, and changed me in more ways than I had imagined during the 249 days at sea.

Michael Gugg, Skipper, Nuri Sardines

#GGR2022 Michael Guggenberger (44) / Austria / Biscay 36 – “NURI”arrived Les Sables d’Olonne, 3rd finisher in the GGR2022. Credit: GGR2022 / JJ & DD

3rd place for a never seen before ocean race podium.

By defying the odds and surviving the gruelling race with the biggest attrition rate in the world, Michael has made it to the 3rd and last ranked position in the GGR, completing a podium never seen before in a ocean race, let alone a solo, non-stop, race around the world. India and Austria may not be known for their importance in the sailing world but have found themselves true Ambassadors of the sport. South Africa is a well-known sailing nation but never reached the winning stage of round the world racing.

While we had a big attrition rate again, the finish proved exciting. We have the first woman to win a solo round the world race, a competitor coming back after nearly losing his life 4 years ago and a sailor from a land-locked country who started sailing 10 years ago. All of it for a never seen before podium of South Africa, India, and Austria.

Don McIntyre, GGR Founder and Chairman

Still at sea…

With Michael Guggenberger on land, there is still One Chichester sailor at sea. Jeremy Bagshaw who is around 1300 miles from the finish. The second South African in the race lost ground when plagued by barnacles in the Atlantic and decided to manually scrape his hull in South Africa. Alas, the dreaded shells came back with a vengeance in the Indian Ocean, and he was obliged to lift Olleanna and provision on water in Hobart.

Guy Waites (GBR) who stopped in Cape Town to lift Sagarmatha   and a second time in Hobart to get a new life raft, has just entered the Northern hemisphere. No longer in the GGR he courageously decided to continue his round the world adventure and is heading to Les Sables d’Olonne. He sent a message via his sat phone congratulating Michael for his finish as he did for Kirsten, Abhilash and Simon.

Welcome Northern Hemisphere, Cape Horn to Equator in 36 days, soon in LSO. My congratulations to Michael when he arrives!

Guy Waites, Sagarmatha

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