Archivio della categoria Golden Globe Race

Kirsten Neuschäfer takes lead in Gruelling Golden Globe

Picture Above: Kirsten Neuschäfer (39) / South Africa / onboard her Cape George 36  – ” MINNEHAHA”. Credit: Kirsten Neuschäfer / GGR2022

  • Simon Curwen (GBR) HOWDENS, declares Chichester Class unable to repair his Hydrovane and sailing to Chile for repairs.
  • Kirsten Neuschäfer (ZAF) MINNEHAHA now leads the GGR, next out of the Exclusion zone, to dive south toward Cape Horn and home to Les Sables d’Olonne.
  • Abhilash Tomy, (IND) Bayanat, 2018 GGR back injuries appear causing pain and slow sailing to assist recovery. How fast and when can he go after Minnehaha?
  • Captain Gugg steady as she goes and Ian Herbert Jones 4th in this cruel game of attrition.
  • In Depth report and tech analysis on the sinking of ASTERIA from Tapio Lehtinen.

149 days ago, on Sept 4th 2022, 15 men and one woman set out from Les Sables d’Olonne. Their dreams and aspirations were to circumnavigate solo in the extreme Golden Globe Race. In 1968, nine set out on the first such mission and only one finished. In 2018, 18 sailors set out and just five sailed home. Today only four of the original 2022 sailors are still racing the GGR towards Cape Horn, the most infamous of all Capes. They have over 9,000 miles and many months still to go to Les Sables d’Olonne. Anything can happen. 

Out front is an extraordinary solo woman sailor quite unlike any other. Behind her are 15 extraordinary men who have either given up, or struggle to keep up. The GGR is a mind game, so phiysically and mentally tough, relentless and unforgiving, it sometimes beggars belief. They are, or were all volunteers. They are all dreamers, adventurers and passionate about life, giving it their all to achieve something even they may not fully understand. The GGR is an amazing human story of courage and determination unfolding before our eyes.  

Unable to repair his Hydrovane self-steering system damaged at sea during a knock-down, race leader Simon Curwen has retired from the GGR into Chichester Class and is heading North East for a Chilean Port to effect repairs. 

With 70% of the total distance under his belt and a thousandmile gap with his closest rivals, Simon Curwen (GBR) seemed untouchable last week as he was screaming down the 50s on his way to Cape Horn, to the point that his runners-up had given-up hope of catching-up! Alas, cruel is the game of the GGR, and a crucial piece of his hydrovane broke when the boat was knocked-down last Friday 27 of January. Listen to his report here.

Simon tried to emulate his hero Sir Robin Knox Johnston who steered Suhaili to the finish, and to victory in the original 1968 GGR, without a windvane for the last stretch of that voyage. Balancing sails, however, proved harder on his cutter rigged Biscay 36 than on the ketch rigged Suhaili and Simon was making slow progress. This would potentially expose himself to future storms in the weeks ahead while attempting to round Cape Horn under duress.  

Clara’s Hydrovane shaft connecting the aerial has sheared off in a knock-down four days ago, it is not repairable at sea and Simon could not steer the boat downwind to Cape Horn. He was not carrying windvane spares to save weight. Credit: DD & JJ / GGR2022

I tried all sorts of options for several days to make this boat go downwind and she doesn’t want to. I was bullish yesterday with the southwesterly but now I can’t get her to go in the right direction. With all those weather systems coming through with no ability to steer a course, I have to think about safety. Apart from risk to me and the boat, there is also potential risk for any person who may have to come and rescue me.

Simon Curwen, Clara / Howden’s

The Race Office advised alternative ports on the west coast of Chile, where the Briton could safely moor, receive the part and replace it in a timely manner. With a lee shore approach, Race Control is monitoring and assisting navigation and giving regular weather updates. Simon has been given a special exemption to use his emergency GPS to ensure maximum safety in the coming days.

It’s a heartbreaking decision for the charismatic sailor who has led the fleet since Cape Finisterre, but a wise one. His sponsor Howdens is providing support.

Most importantly we are relieved that Simon is safe and well after the incident last Friday. We are talking to Simon’s team and the race organisers on how best we can provide logistical support to assist with repairs as Simon heads to a port in Chile. Simon has been outstanding so far in the race and although the class of competition may have changed, his adventure continues, as does our support. 

David Sturdee, Howden’s

Kirsten Neuschäfer with the fastest boat in the fleet this week, taking the lead with just four racing for line honours!

Kirsten Neuschäfer – Cape George 36 ” MINNEHAHA ” – 2nd through the Hobart Gate on Xmas Day,112 Days out from Les Sables d’Olonne. Credit : GGR2022 / DD&JJ

In the past weeks, this competitive and sometimes frustrated sailor considered the GGR a simple game of luck, with no chance to catch Simon. Safety zone restrictions were frustrating her selection of the fastest course with the strongest wind. Now she is on the hunt, driving hard as she knows she needs to make a break from Abhilash Tomy in the Southern Ocean as he could seriously challenge her in the Atlantic. A whole new race is developing. 

After diving three times last week for a total of 8 hours to remove barnacles, Kirsten Neushafer (ZAF) has scored the best 24-hour distance at 185.6 miles, but also this morning the best Weekly distance at 1129,5 miles. This enabled her to catch-up on an resting Abhilash Tomy (IND) on Saturday and to now lead the Golden Globe Race!

Abhilash Tomy a solid second, but must now tend to his body and his boat

Abhilash Tomy (IND) suffered a serious accident during the 2018 GGR. His boat Thuriya, an ERIC 32 replica of the original Suhaili, was rolled over and dismasted in the Indian Ocean, prompting a text-book rescue and recovery involving the Indian and French Government. Abhilash seriously damaged his back and after heavy surgery took years to go back to walking, sailing and ultimately flying aircrafts again in the Indian Navy.

Abhilash fell on his back in the Indian Ocean, and was steering by hand last week for 12 hours during a gale and soon after was plagued by back pain and numb limbs. He spoke to his Doctors in India who gave him exercises to regain control of his leg, as well as the official race doctors MSOS for pain treatment. He was advised to rest and mend himself for a few days before attending to Bayanat’s extensive to-do list prior to diving to Cape Horn, including rigging and mainsail track maintenance and repairs.

He is now sailing to keep the boat comfortable under reduced sails, rather than racing downwind. This is making his route longer and slower than Kirsten’s Cape George 36, which has struggled to catch up to Bayanat in the Southern Pacific so far. This may last a few more days yet. Abhilash is safe and does not require any assistance and is in complete control. He knows he must rest now, so the pains do not return again. GGR is closely monitoring the situation.

Abhilash Tomy (India) ‘s strong mentality has overcome his 2018 ordeals, but his body hasn’t fully recovered yet. He passed all required medical checks to enter the 2022 GGR. Photo Credit: GGR 2018 / Christophe Favreau

Leaving Les Sables d’Olonne was hard on the rescued sailor as he suffered post -traumatic stress during the first 10 days of the race, unable to eat anything. He recovered but crashed again during the Cape Town film drop, declaring the GGR was “Not a race” but  just a game of chance and that he was not racing anymore. He thought he had put his demons behind him when he passed the Indian Ocean longitude of his rescue and was excited and happy at the Hobart film drop to be back in the game! Now the memories are back haunting him in a physical rather than psychological way.

Capt. GUGG Nuri Sardines, now 3rd in the fleet, is impressively steady and prepared.

The revelation of the Pacific definitely is Michael Guggenberger (AUT) who since the South Atlantic found the manual to get his ketch-rigged Biscay 36 Nuri Sardines go fast and steady, matching the speeds of the other Biscay in the fleet, Simon Curwen‘s cutter rigged Clara. Although still 1200 miles back of the runners-up, Nuri has not lost ground on the most experienced sailors of the fleet, which says a lot!

Nuri Sardines might not be as glittery as Capt. Gugg’s disco ball, but the results speak for themselves! Credit: Nora Havel / GGR2022

It’s not only the pace of Nuri Sardines that forces respect. New to sailing 10 years ago, Michael has matched both the pace and the preparation level of much more experienced sailors, presenting no significant damage after 18000 gruelling miles in the GGR. His only issue being depleting water reserves, holding until March 19 at 1,5 litre/day.

Puffin coming in 4th at speed into the Pacific!

#GGR2022 Ian Herbert Jones (52) / UK / Tradewind 35 – ” PUFFIN ” – 6th sail through Hobart Gate. Picture Credit: GGR2022/ DD&JJ

The last GGR sailor in Suhaili Class, playing the game of attrition with success is Ian Herbert-Jones (GBR). So many times since Les Sables d’Olonne he has questioned his GGR reality and seriously considered stopping. The boat is fine, but the isolation and lack of contact with family and friends has pushed him to the limit! Arriving 5th into Hobart swept all that away for good. He is apprehensive about Cape Horn, but he is ready and he is now sailing home!  

He left Hobart one day after Jeremy Bagshaw (ZAF) now in Chichester Class who stopped for a few days to clean his barnacle infested hull. Both made the fastest Tasman Sea crossing of the fleet, in a mere 8 days, a week faster than others.

They will get plenty of northerlies this week sending  them quickly north of the exclusion zone and into their Southern Pacific ride.   

Guy Waites (GBR) has been battling consistent heavy weather the past four days under Australia with more to come. He has been sailing under bare poles towing warps often. Another large low-pressure is on the way with 11mtr seas and 50-60 knot winds forecast. Guy is tired, but getting ready. He confirmed all is well onboard Sagarmatha and looking forward to a break. He did not make the mandatory Hobart gate on time, and will be retired from the GGR once passing the longitude of Hobart.

#GGR2022 Jeremy Bagshaw / South Africa / OE32 – ” OLLEANNA” – 5th sail through Hobart Gate & decided to move to Chichester Class, one stop for sorting Barnacle/water and food. 16/01/2013. Picture Credit: GGR2022 / DD&JJ
Skipper, Guy Waites onboard Sagarmatha. Credit: Nora Havel/GGR2022

Why did Tapio Lehtinen’s Asteria sink?

Tapios team of experts provide some detailed answers and explanations  during a two hour LIVE presentation now available on GGR YOUTUBE  The Link is HERE.

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Breaking News – Major Windvane failure for GGR leader Simon Curwen on HOWDENS

Picture Above: GGR2022- Simon Curwen – Biscay 36 ” CLARA ” sponsored by HOWDENS. Credit: Credit: Bernard Gergaud

At 1815 UTC 27th January 1200 miles Northwest of Cape Horn, Simon Curwen contacted GGR control to advise of the total failure of his Hydrovane steering gear. He had weathered the worst of a deep depression in 40 knots and 6-metre sea when the boat surged off a wave coming on the port side of his Biscay 36 Clara. He was not towing a drogue but was sailing comfortably on course at the time. This action appears to have sheared a shaft on the topside of the vane body connecting the wind sensor which appears irreplaceable. Simon did not take a spare on board to save weight and cannot replace the broken part with original components. 

He is continuing under storm jib and lashed tiller while he decides on a course of action. He is OK, the boat has no other damage and he requires no assistance. The weather conditions are improving with the wind moderating into high 20s after the passage of a front at 0000 UTC and the sea is decreasing steadily.

The Pontivy-based sailor is still racing and weighing his options, but it is clear that he cannot race well without a wind vane. It is a major blow having held the lead from the start. The weather in the area looks like a typical mild southern ocean for the week ahead and the resourceful sailor can find ways to progress towards Cape Horn. An at sea repair looks unlikely and stopping for spares to continue in Chichester class may be the only option as he is a long way from Les Sables d’Olonne in France, the finish line of the 2022 GGR. This opens new opportunities for Abhilash Tomy and Kirsten Neuschäfer, currently 50 miles apart, 1200 miles west of Simon who now have a chance to chase the current leader Simon.

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Going Down! Cape Horn, cold, wet and challenging Golden Globe Race

Picture: Guy Waites (54) / UK / Tradewind 35 – ” SAGARMATHA “. Pictue Credit: “posh tomato photography”

  • Simon Curwen 1200 miles to Cape Horn as first gales sweep across and the cold of the Furious 50s is setting in. 
  • Water shortages among the fleet with higher temperatures and lower precipitations in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Will they run out? 
  • A devastated Kirsten Neuschäfer is waging war on new barnacles over 2/3 of Minnehaha’s hull. Ian Herbert Jones trailing basketball-sized barnacle nest on his propeller.
  • Guy Waites crosses Cape Leeuwin in successive gales posting high daily distances, but what will happen to Guy on January 31st?
  • The GGR at BOOT Düsseldorf. Meet Assistant Race Director and GGR2026 entrant Lutz Kohne on his home turf.

It’s a long way to Les Sables d’Olonne, France and new challenges continue to mount for the remaining GGR sailors in unexpected ways. Simon Curwen is holding the lead by a good margin, but anything can happen. He is dipping south towards Cape Horn 1200 miles off with severe gales on the horizon. He should be around in the next 8 days. New barnacles and water shortages mixed with generally light dry and stable weather are the order of the day.  

In the 2018 Golden Globe Race the fleet was swept by successive extreme Southern Ocean gales, resulting in the loss of four yachts and many dismastings. By contrast for this edition, which started two months later from Les Sables d’Olonne, that heavy weather has all but disappeared. In addition the Positive Southern Annular Mode (SAM) is pushing the low-pressure systems south this year both in the Southern Indian and Pacific Ocean, to about 55-60°S rather than the more frequent lows at about 45°S. So for the GGR 2022 it means entrants have softer winds north of the exclusion zone. But water is shaping up as a big issue!

#GGR2022- Simon Curwen – Biscay 36 ” CLARA ” sponsored by HOWDENS – 1200 miles to Cape Horn as first gales sweep across. Picture Credit: DD & JJ

Simon is getting ready for his biggest Southern Ocean storm yet.

Simon Curwen (GBR) on Clara/Howden’s, continues to impress with his steady pace and perfect trajectory, now 1200 miles ahead of his closest followers, but is frustrated on missing out on the big Southern Oceans conditions. His rate of progress has been a mixed bag to date but that is the life of a sailor! The temperature is dropping fast and he is using all his cold weather gear, feeling confident. 

Race Control informed Simon on January 26 of a deep low pressure system that formed over Abhilash’s position on Thursday morning, intensifying and going straight on Simon’s path towards Cape Horn with NW 35 knots of wind, gusting 55kt. We are in regular contact with Simon through the YB device and Sat Phone, monitoring the situation as it may develop further.

Don McIntyre GGR founder & Chairman

Water everywhere and not a drop to drink…

Water is now an issue within the fleet. Each is required to carry an emergency manual desalinator but will be penalised if using it. As days go by without rain to replenish depleting water reserves on board decisions on rationing have begun. With no or little rain since the tropics, entrants have little hope of catching the precious liquid in the Southern Oceans. Sea state and boat motion in rain squalls make it challenging to catch enough water.  

Abhilash Tomy (IND) has been living on 1 litre a day for weeks now and cooking all food in sea water. Picture Credit: Etienne Messikommer / GGR2022

If not for barnacles, water would have been the reason why Jeremy Bagshaw (ZAF) stopped in Hobart. Losing half his reserves mid Atlantic, he landed with less than 45 litres in Hobart. Michael Guggenberger (AUT) had declared a water shortage before Hobart, with 53 days of water left and relies on bottle lemon soda to make it to the tropics, while Abhilash Tomy (IND) has been living on 1 litre a day for weeks now and cooking all food in sea water. They may not get supplies again for a few months!

In the last weather front, it was drizzling and I only got two cups of water which is always welcome, but not enough. The crew is upset and demands at least one serving of rice cooked in fresh water a month which I’m not sure to provide. I am a bit worried about onboard mutiny, but I crossed Bounty Island and am less concerned now.

Abhilash Tomy, BAYANAT

The latest to declare water rationing is Ian Herbert Jones (UK), who is limiting himself to two litres a day, cutting down on his daily coffees. To make things worse he found some “organic matter” in his tank water and has switched to his jerry cans for the time being:

it hasn’t killed me yet but it’s time I stop drinking that stuff anyway.   

Ongoing barnacle War in the Southern Oceans 

Ian Herbert-Jones (UK) antifouled Puffin’s fully loaded waterline wrong at the start. The yacht’s transom and hull aft is now colonised by barnacles. He was unable to do anything but observe it in Hobart, but they will continue to grow and slow the boat. The worst is the propeller.

My prop which had no treatment at all now has enormous growth! The whole space between the keel and the rudder is now filled with barnacles. So I’m dragging a basketball where my propeller should be, which is a shame because the rest of the hull is fine. I’m trying not to let it mess with my head, but the moment you see the barnacles you can’t get them out of your mind!  

Ian Herbert-Jones, Puffin
#GGR2022 Ian Herbert Jones (52) / UK / Tradewind 35 – ” PUFFIN ” – Barnacle situation when he sailed through Hobart Gate. Picture Credit: GGR2022/ DD&JJ

Mid-Southern Pacific, along the northern limit of the exclusion zone,a devastated Kirsten Neuschäfer (ZAF)  has finally found the right conditions to dive over the side and clean the hull of Minnehaha.  Not an easy task in the open ocean since the residual sea in the calms make the boat move dangerously. Kirsten waited for light winds in relatively flat waters and hove-to in order to stabilise the boat and make the work easier and safer.This is another blow for Kirsten who is out to win the GGR and found Minnehaha’s hull clean in Hobart. 

After I found barnacles on my Hydrovane rudder I got a little worried and discovered that the port side was like a reef: old barnacles and millions of new ones. Thankfully the starboard side was not that bad. I spent several hours cleaning ¾ of the hull so far with the scraper. It was cold, exhausting, but very gratifying to watch  clusters of millions of tiny barnacles sink into the deep!   

Kirsten Neuschäfer, Minnehaha

She dived 3 hours on Friday 20th cleaning the port side of Minnehaha, then another 2 hours and finally 3 hours on Thursday 26 for a total of 8 hours in the water.  Last Thursday she found newer tiny barnacles growing rapidly, already 4 times bigger than the week before. Most of the hull is clean except for parts of the rudder and stern. It is likely this fight will continue in the months ahead. Both Kirsten and Jeremy blame the quick growth on warmer water and slow speeds.

A devastated Kirsten Neuschäfer is waging war on new barnacles over 2/3 of Minnehaha’s hull. Credit: Kirsten Neuschäfer / GGR2022

Minnehaha’s exit of the Tasman sea was slow, Kirsten who checked the hull with a GoPro in Hobart thinks it’s when the tiny barnacles started growing. She was 5 to 10% slower in the Pacific than in the Indian Ocean in the same conditions, and has now resumed her usual daily averages. 

The Challenge of Chichester Class!

An entrant forced to stop in the GGR is moved to Chichester Class and no longer in the rankings. They sail home with the fleet to complete a one stop circumnavigation. Guy Waites (GBR) stopped in Cape Town to clear barnacles and so too, Jeremy Bagshaw (ZAF)  in Hobart. Both sailors explained how hard it was to get back in the “solo racing mode” as a “Chichester sailor” after being on land for a few days. Finding motivation to push for speed and performance when no longer competing against the others in the fleet is tough..

 You have to reset every day and make the best of it.

Guy Waites, Sagarmatha

 Olleana and I have a point to prove and we’re in a hurry.

Jeremy Bagshaw, Olleanna

Both had posted some of the best speed in the fleet after cleaning their boats, with Guy getting the best 4-hour speed, 24-hour and 7-day distance of the last 30 days. Meanwhile Jeremy is making the fastest exit of the Tasman sea to date pulling away from Puffin. Most importantly both underline the pleasure they have to sail again rather than dragging.

I cannot describe how wonderful it is to have no barnacles. It is the most liberating feeling I had. I feel I have a new boat completely.

Jeremy Bagshaw, Olleana

What happens for Guy Waites on 31st January?

Even though logging the fleet’s best 7-Day distance of the last 30 days, during a succession of westerly gales and high seas, Guy Waites (GBR) will not make the Hobart Gate in time . As per Notice of Race 2.7.2 ‘Hobart Gate’, any Chichester Class entrant arriving after January 31, 2023 will be withdrawn from the event. 

Guy Waites crosses Cape Leeuwin in successive gales posting high daily distances, but what will happen to Guy on January 31st? Credit: Nora Havel /GGR2022

Guy is well aware of the situation since leaving Cape Town and has communicated to Race Control that he will continue to Cape Horn, against the directive of the GGR, without stopping in Hobart to ensure a fast passage around Cape Horn – his big objective. 

As a result, Guy will be withdrawn from the event as soon as he passes 147º East, the longitude of Hobart. The GGR transition process for his withdrawal from the event requires Guys team and manager to officially take over all safety responsibility with the following action plan:

  • EPIRBs: The first point of contact or “Next of Kin” will be changed from GGR Race Control to Guy’s manager, Julie Waites.  
  • MRCC: GGR Race Control updated MRCC Australia (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) and MRCC Chile regarding the new first point of contact and his withdrawal from the event. 
  • YB Tracking: Guy will be removed from the GGR tracker after the longitude of Hobart. His own YB tracker will be available after Hobart and shared on his page  
  • Tweet & Calls: GGR Race Control will stop the weekly calls and daily text messages, but  may occasionally post or repost messages from his social media channels as is done with other retired entrants. 

The Rules of the GGR require all entrants to stop in Hobart if they are unable to pass through the gate by 31st January. (They can set sail again in Dec 2023). A February departure greatly increases the risk of Autumn gales rounding Cape Horn in April, especially if the transit across the Southern Ocean is slow.

It is unfortunate that we must retire Guy from the GGR and we wish him well with his new plans. Should he want to, he will be free to use his sat phone, GPS and access any weather information and routing to assist and fans can follow his personal blogs and tracker.

Don McIntyre GGR Founder.

His team have confirmed all safety actions are now in place and Guy can rely on a wealth of expertise led by his wife and Team Manager Julie, including Norman Bailey, the former Commodore of the Newport YC, world-class weather experts, Clipper Ventures Race Directors and crew, who Guy met as a skipper on the Clipper 2019/20, and of course the Commodore and friends at Scarborough Yacht Club. 

We are fully prepared at Guy Waites Sailing to take over the GGR responsibility to assist Guy with his challenge to complete his solo circumnavigation around the world. This is something we are used to with Guy‘s previous solo ocean crossings and I have a great team behind me who will give Guy and I their full support. We will try our best to update all his supporters and followers on social media over the next few months, however our priority will be the focus on Guy and Sagarmatha.

Julie Waites, Guy’s wife and Shore Manager

Are you going to BOOT Düsseldorf? 

Meet Lutz Kohne (GER), GGR 2022 Assistant Race Director and GGR 2026 entrant! Come over to the Sailing Center in Hall 15 next Saturday, January 28 at 12:00 local time for a talk and presentation of the Golden Globe Race and say “Hi”!

GGR Fans in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz aufgepasst: Vortrag und anschließendes Gespräch in Deutsch! Ich freue mich auch Euch!

Meet Lutz Kohne (GER), GGR 2022 Assistant Race Director and GGR 2026 entrant at BOOT 2023! Picture Credit: Lutz Kohne /GGR2022

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Golden Globe attrition, frustration and barnacles fueling the GGR mindgame!

Picture Above: Jeremy Bagshaw / OLLEANNA / Kingston Beach, sailed past Ian HJ / Puffin which still at anchor, to say goodbye before heading off to Cape Horn and Les Sables d’Olonne. Pictue Credit: Jackie Zanetti & Alex Papij (Rusalka) / GGR2022

# Simon Curwen untouchable for now bound for Cape Horn, as Kirsten Neuschäfer struggles to keep pace with Abhilash Tomy.

# Jeremy Bagshaw’s lost battle! Beaten by barnacles once again and in Chichester Class, no longer in the GGR rankings.

# Ian Herbert-Jones 5th into Hobart playing the game of attrition, and will leave after Jeremy.

# Elliott Smith makes landfall in Australia, ending his round the world dream. He will be missed, but what an adventure it’s been!

With Elliott out of the race and Jeremy beaten by barnacles, there are now just five contenders left for the GGR trophy in Les Sables d’Olonne and two sailors in Chichester Class with Guy Waites about to be dropped. Global warming or new found resistance? The barnacles are back big time in the Southern Ocean forcing Jeremy to stop and colonising Nuri’s hull! Could they also be the reason why Kirsten is slowing down?  

It’s the end of the road for Elliott Smith (27), but what a life adventure for the young American! Picture Credit: Craig Evans / Fremantle Sailing Club

Elliott Smith (USA) arrived to a warm Aussie welcome in the Fremantle Sailing Club marina after crossing Cape Leeuwin earlier this week. The 27 y/o American sailor has sailed 14.000 miles non-stop, solo, unassisted and crossed two of the great Capes out of three! His challenges have been more than most, sailing the last 5000 miles with significant damage to his bowsprit and the last few weeks with no forestay at all after repairs failed. He has shown true grit and determination with real seamanship and skill to make landfall. His tweets, and satellite call to GGR have kept followers engrossed in his voyage and mindset.

It’s been quite an adventure and while he is disappointed at not tying the knot into to Les Sables d’Olonne, has no complaints as he shared in his latest tweet.: 24: #ElliottSmith (USA) – Gale Force 34 “Second Wind”:thank you everyone.. I am grateful for everything and I have no complaints, whatsoever.

He plans to repair the “Second Wind”, then offer her up for sale to another adventure. Bravo Elliott, what a ride it’s been! 

Video (credit Craig Evans / Fremantle Sailing Club):

The barnacles are back in the fleet, invading Jeremy Bagshaw (ZAF) for a second time. Forced to stop in Hobart to lift to scrap the bottom Olleanna at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, all were shocked at the seven week farm of life. He now continues in Chichester class. A fitting tribute to Sir Francis Chichester who also stopped in Australia half around the world. 

The smallest boat in the fleet always punched above her weight in terms of speed but was plagued by barnacles in the North Atlantic, forcing Jeremy to scrape the hull clean in False Bay. Olleanna’s average speed soon plummeted again mid-Indian Ocean, not matching Puffin’s. A sign that the dreaded Barnacles were back in force.

Barnacle growth and resistance was bigger than expected in the southern ocean, can other entrant’s hulls look like this one? Picture Credit: GGR2022 / DD&JJ

The South African sailor who was also facing severe water shortages and dwindling food supplies, finally forced to lift the boat for a proper hull cleaning. 

There are a lot more barnacles than I originally thought, but stopping was the only option anyway. I don’t have enough food to go around the world at 3 knots, I would have had to call in somewhere, so I might as well do it here and enjoy the rest of the trip, rather than sweat it in the Pacific and somehow end up somewhere in South America, so this makes perfect sense.

Jeremy Bagshaw, Olleanna

Finding motivation for the race within the race in Chichester class.

With another 13.000 nautical miles to Les Sables d’Olonne in Chichester Class and out of the GGR ranking, how will Jeremy, a well-rounded competitive racer, find the motivation to push through? The answer comes from  Guy Waites (GBR), thousands of miles away, alone in the Indian Ocean, still pushing and posting speed records, as he explained in his weekly safety call. He will not make the Hobart gate in time, so will be out of the GGR completely come January 31st, but sails on with passion.

Since I’m not in the race anymore, the mindset is critical to continuing. I need to get out and push the boat every single day. Making big distances like today (nb:174 miles), getting closer to Hobart, and catching up on the others in front of me is a big part of that motivation.

Guy Waites / Sagarmatha
#GGR2022 Ian Herbert Jones (52) / UK / Tradewind 35 – ” PUFFIN ” – 6th sailed past Iron Pot, Hobart. Pictue Credit: Jackie Zanetti & Alex Papij (Rusalka) / GGR2022

Attrition is the name of the game for Ian Herbert-Jones (GBR), the unlikely hero of the Southern Indian Ocean. 10th boat in Cape Town, he now is in 5th place from 16 starters in Hobart after a quick crossing and many retirements! He gained up to a thousand miles on Jeremy before being stranded on a road to nowhere at the South East Cape of Tasmania on Tuesday.

Approaching Tasmania he once again contemplated the option of not continuing and reflecting on why he was there and what he had achieved. It is still a long way to go and he has invested so much emotion, effort and spirit to get this but conceded the isolation and mind game of it all is the hardest. It is clear his superb preparation of PUFFIN drives him on just as much as his family and friends. He is now on his way home.   

Ian had a great run in the Indian Ocean and is looking forward to the challenge of Cape Horn , the tropics and back to Les Sables d’Olonne!

Frustration was more of an issue for the leader Simon Curwen (GBR) on Clara sponsored by HOWDENS. He lacked weather information heading into Tasmania, subsequently parked in a high pressure and lost his patiently built 700 mile lead. He was better after his narrow escape from the Tasman Sea but equally frustrated with not experiencing the big Southern Ocean swells he was looking for, as he explained on Monday’s safety call. In the past days he has been getting plenty, with 7-8 mtr rolling seas, strong roaring 40’s and regular passing fronts driving him toward Cape Horn as shared in this week’s tweet

04: #SimonCurwen (UK) – Biscay 36 “Clara”: Gale all day today. Must have heard my comments to Seb on the call yesterday. Got the seas I’d been missing…

The biggest disappointment is for Kirsten Neuschäfer (ZAF), who briefly led the Golden Globe Race in Hobart with her 35-hour compensation for the rescue of Tapio Lehtinen. She is now trailing more than a thousand miles behind Simon with little hope of taking the lead again for now. 

Worse, she is not matching the pace of Abhilash Tomy (IND) on Bayanat now around 200 miles ahead of her. He seems constantly faster in certain wind wave combinations and talks of a secret sail combination to give an edge. One thing is certain, he is back racing and knows Simon has a long way to go. It is never over till the fat lady sings.  

To make frustration worse, Kirsten is the only one of the three sailors to get clear charts on her weatherfax. She knows there is wind 4 degrees (240 miles) south of her position, and she knows what wind Simon gets, accurately estimating his 1000+ mile gap on her.

The Pacific hasn’t been exciting at all so far. It’s been frustrating really, the worst is knowing there’s wind not far South from you, and not being allowed to go there.

Kirsten Neuschäfer, Minnehaha.

Listen to Kirsten’s safety call HERE

The GGR Exclusion Zones are part of an International Maritime Rescue Coordination Centers agreement to keep sailors closer to any rescue assets/ships if needed. They are important for risk mitigation and not exposing rescuers to unnecessary risk. The GGR Exclusion zone leading to Cape Horn, is 1 degree further south than even the Vendee Globe allow. To complicate matters this season, the pressure systems are generally much further south than usual, but that is the challenge of sailing the Southern Ocean and the GGR!

Said Don McIntyre

Minnehaha has been suspiciously off-pace for the last few weeks with a possibility of barnacle growth. Kirsten had a few in Hobart and had planned to dive on her way to the Pacific. Alas, even in the calms, the residual swell and sighting of sharks did not provide optimal conditions for diving, but the possibility is real considering Michael Guggenberger (AUT) discovered new ones on NURI’s hull off the coast of New Zealand..

Wanting to shoot dolphins underwater with the GoPro, Capt. Gugg ended up identifying new small barnacles on Nuri’s hull on top of the big ones he already had in Australia, and took advantage of the light weather to dive and scrape them off.

NURI Sardines is still struggling in light winds and is concerned about lack of water, unable to collect any in the rare squalls or storms, as he shared in his last safety call. He received a heavy weather warning from the race office for Friday and Saturday for a SW 35 kts front gusting 45, giving him a chance to use the new reef he made for his mizzen sail!

It’s a bit of a nightmare, I’ve been bumping around in no wind, big swells, there’s clouds everywhere and I haven’t been able to take any water. I’m dreaming of 30-40 knots of wind from the back and 8 metre swell!

Michael Guggenberger/ NURI Sardines.

Don’t worry Cpt. Gugg,it’s coming…

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Golden Globe Race heading home to Les Sables d’Olonne and Simon Curwen breaks away again!

# Michael Guggenberger, a.k.a Capt. Gugg on “NURI” is 4th through the Hobart Gate

# Simon breaks away with a 900 mile lead as Abhilash and Kirsten struggle in a wind hole delivering Abhilash 2nd place .

# Kirsten awarded the Cruising Club of America 2022 “Seamanship medal” for Tapio’s rescue in November.

# Water shortages for Abhilash, Michael and Jeremy running out fast.  Will he take water in Hobart and continue in Chichester Class? 

# Tradewind 35’s pushing it. Guy and Ian are the fastest last week and catching up.

# Punta del Este photo gate cancelled.  

Simon Curwen (GBR) on HOWDENS  leads the way, halfway across the Southern Pacific just four weeks from Cape Horn, bound for Les Sables d’Olonne having left 129 days ago. Only Ian Herbert Jones and Guy Waites are yet to pass the magic half way point. Other than Elliott, cautiously sailing to Fremantle for repairs, all yachts are sailing without equipment issues. The mind game of “no wind” has hit Kirsten Neuchäfer (ZAF) hard, watching Simon sail away and a few are seriously low on water which could be a game changer!  All are holding their breath as the extreme heavy weather is still holding well below the rhumb line!  

129 Days ago Les Sables d’Olonne, Simon Curwen (GBR) on HOWDENS at the startline. Picture Credit: GGR2022 / Etienne Messikommer

Michael Guggenberger (AUT) on NURI  sailed through the Hobart Gate on January 3rd having sat becalmed for two days within sight of Tasmania. He was happy to arrive and decided to stay for two days to “tidy the boat, sleep, check systems and stitch a second set of reef points in his Mizzen sail”. He was met by his film crew shooting a documentary. Nuri Sardines is performing well and Capt. Gugg seems happy with his life on the ocean waves. When asked how he feels now to be heading home Via Cape Horn? He replied that he is “Already home! Onboard NURI!

Watch Captain Gugg’s Hobart Gate video HERE

It’s been an eventful end to 2022 and start to 2023 for the leaders in the GGR fleet! As 2022 was ending, so was Simon Curwen’s undisputed leadership on the fleet. He was caught-up in a calm high pressure approaching Tasmania losing huge miles to Kirsten Neuchäfer (ZAF) and Abhilash Tomy (IND) hot on his tail!

Now the tide has turned on the wannabe leaders as Simon perfectly managed the high pressure through New Zealand.  His pursuers became trapped in no wind zones around NZ for several days as Simon shot ahead at full speed making the gap 900 miles. Worse, is that both Kirsten and Abhilash are now in a different weather system altogether. 

This painful experience after gaining so much in the preceding weeks, was obvious during their weekly calls to Race control. Frustration and delusion were taking over. Listen to Kirsten’s weekly call HERE and Abhilash’s weekly call HERE . On the bright side, with the nimble Rustler 36 BAYANAT being faster in the light winds, (Abhilash confirming in Hobart he has a secret sail weapon) there is a race within the race between these two talented sailors that will push both in pursuit of the undisputed leader! Listen to Simon’s weekly call HERE. All three are reporting no major problems with their boats.

Kirsten has been awarded Cruising Club of America’s “Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship” and her adherence to the tradition of assisting fellow mariners in distress, playing a pivotal role in the successful rescue of her fellow 2022 GGR competitor, Tapio Lehtinen

Kirsten is not one running after recognition but the CCA’s Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship is well-deserved! Picture Credit : GGR2022/ Don & JJ

Joining other famous CCA recipients such as Jean-Pierre Dick, Alessandro di Benetto or Mike Golding, Kirsten was her usual understated self when informed of the award for Tapio’s rescue:

I don’t really know what to say. I’m really honoured and it’s always something special coming from the CCA, but on the other hand I only did what everyone would have done. It’s the unspoken rule of the sea that you will help anyone in distress.

Kirsten Neuschäfer

Nonetheless,the survivor himself warmly thanked Kirsten in a letter written aboard the M/V Darya Gayatri  

Thank you for your excellent seamanship in manoeuvring Minnehaha next to the raft, getting me onboard and for the rum. And then in cooperation with Captain Naveen Kumar Mehrotra, getting Minnehaha safely in the lee of M/V Darya Gayatri and getting me safely onboard the ship.

Tapio Lehtinen

Ian Herbert Jones (GBR), was the last in Suhaili Class to sail through the Cape Town gate and was quite worried about not getting to Hobart in time. He is now expected around the 18th January with nearly two weeks to spare. He has been making 130 miles daily in the right conditions and still managing to make the 9-ton 35-footer move in the light. He reduced the gap with Jeremy Bagshaw (ZAF) by half since entering the Southern Indian Ocean exclusion zone and is now less than 360 miles behind. The South African sailor must yet cross a high pressure between his current position and Tasmania and may lose even more ground on arrival, expected late on the 13th January.

Jeremy’s  OE32 Olleanna, is the smallest yacht of the GGR fleet but has a longer waterline than the Tradewind 35 (8,5 m vs 7,9m) and a nearly identical SA/D ratio (Sail Area divided by Displacement is commonly used as a way to calculate the sailboat’s “horsepower”) and should be faster downwind. The Olin Enderlin design fought head to head with Guy WaitesSagarmatha in the Atlantic and is clearly suffering a speed deficit as Jeremy has adopted a conservative approach sailing through the Southern Ocean, with the stated objective of finishing at all cost.

Jeremy Bagshaw (ZAF)  faces another dilemma. He lost half of his freshwater in the Atlantic after a faulty tank manipulation. He was hoping to catch rain in the doldrums and in the southern oceans, but to no avail. Again after leaving Cape Town, despite having been through the most low-pressure system of the fleet, he caught no rain, as he explains in his call. He is left with just 45 litres, which isn’t enough to get to Cape Horn.  He is unsure he can continue through the Pacific without taking on water. If he does, he would be relegated to Chichester Class along with Guy and no longer in the rankings.

Jeremy is facing a variety of issues, but making headway, next one to the Hobart gate later this week. Picture Credit: GGR2022 / Nora Havel

Other sailors facing water issues include Abhilash Tomy who with 1 litre of fresh water per day considers himself okay, but he would like to catch rain if possible. Michael Guggenberger is relying on his stash of red wine and 30 litres of lemon soda to make sure he does not finish his water before the doldrums many months away! At least he has enough on board to prepare a delicious Tinto de Verano!

Guy Waites (GBR) in Chichester Class has been enjoying his best week since the start of the GGR, finally enjoying the sailing and clocking some miles as he shared in his weekly call. He was by far the fastest in the fleet, improving his daily and weekly personal best several times, finally settling at 185 nm/day. This was the 3rd fastest day in the fleet and joined the 1000-weekly mile club at 1079 miles on January 11th! He sailed into the no-go zone but did not have a penalty in Chichester Class and has now sailed back out of the 44°S zone. He is not expected into Hobart until mid February when he will be retired from the GGR, unable to make the cut off of January 31st, allowing a safe passage around Cape Horn before the end of March. 

Guy Waites (GBR) has been showing Sagarmatha’s potential, setting the weekly records of the fleet and showing up the leaderboard as the third highest 24-hour distance of 2022 behind Kirsten and Abhilash. Picture Credit: GGR2022 / Etienne Messikommer

Elliott Smith (USA)  Gale Force 34  has also been posting excellent speeds this week, consistently posting days over 100 miles, in spite of his reduced sail area due to jury rigging and a damaged bowsprit.  He has to nurse the yacht to Western Australia very conservatively. His  bowsprit suffered further damage in the last storm but is not being used. He sails only with a deep reefed mainsail and staysail even in light airs. The mast is secured by three halyards to the stem, Running backstays and the staysail stay. All will be repaired in Fremantle 700 miles away, but it will be the end of his Golden Globe dream becoming a Chichester entrant on arrival, and then not making the Hobart gate in time. 

Through it all Elliott remains in good spirits, especially after some chocolate bars were miraculously unearthed from the boat and being grateful for all the help and support he has received along the way, as he shared in his weekly call.

Punta del Este photo gate dropped.

A decision has been made to drop the Punta del Este film gate. While the previous three gates are part of recreating the original 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race entrants dropping films and letters, the Punta Del Este drop was mainly to grab Southern Ocean footage for media opportunities. The long split of entrants rounding Cape Horn now makes that task not relevant. This will also allow more tactical opportunities for the sailors to make gains, or suffer losses in their choice of course as they round Cape Horn and climb north to the equator. 

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