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3 months to the start

GGR Press Release  – 3 months to the start

• 3 Months to the start: Pressures build to complete qualifying distances and preparations

• American Carl Huber forced to withdraw from 2018 GGR but keeps options open to compete in 2022 Race

• Entries: 19 sailors from 12 countries to complete– France 4, Britain 3, Australia 2, and one each from Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, India, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Palestine and Russia.

• Falmouth 50th anniversary Parade of Sail – Joshua unable to attend, but Joshua crew will be there to fly the flag


Dateline April 5 2018 – Les Sables d’Olonne, France.

With just 3 months to the June 1st start from Les Sables d’Olonne, it is now a race against time for some of the 19 sailors to complete their boats, jury rig tests, and in one case their solo qualification distance before the fleet gathers in Falmouth on June 14 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s departure at the start of the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race back in 1968/9


For American Carl Huber, who sold his house and just about everything else in the garage to compete, time has already run out. Cost overruns in preparing his Baba 35 Jamma Jeanne have forced him to withdraw in the hope that he can return for the next GGR in 2022. Huber had just returned from crossing the Pacific aboard the famous New Zealand maxi yacht Ceramco NZ, to meet the strict 8,000 mile general sailing experience each competitor must have under their belt, only to find the escalating costs involved in repowering and rigging Jamma Jeanne had exceeded all expectations. “I’ve been holding out for a miraculous event but none was forthcoming and am now very reluctantly and painfully conceding.” He says, adding: “I consider the 2018 event to be very unique and continue to support the vision and the race. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Race Founder Don McIntyre and his team and reserve judgment on 2022.”

Suhaili 50 Falmouth Parade of Sail – June 11 – 14

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is busy preparing his yacht Suhaili to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his departure from Falmouth at the start of the original Golden Globe race back in 1968, during a 3-day jamboree between June 11 -14.
One noticeable absentee among the historic yachts scheduled to attend, is Joshua, the yacht that French hero Bernard Moitessier sailed in the same race. Now a national treasure, her movements are strictly controlled and government officials have not given permission for her to sail outside of French waters. None are more disappointed than the ‘Friends of Joshua’, the dedicated group who maintain and sail the yacht as a working museum display in La Rochelle – so much so that they are sailing over in their own boats to join in the celebrations anyway.

Joshua’s place alongside Suhaili at the head of the 2¬–hour Parade of Sail around Falmouth Harbour on Thursday June 14 will now be taken up by Sir Francis Chichester’s Gipsy Moth IV, the path-finding yacht that proved for the first time that small boats can survive in the Southern ocean. Chichester went on to become the first to make a solo one-stop circumnavigation. Gipsy Moth will also mark the leeward end of the line at the start of the SITRaN Challenge race from Falmouth to Les Sables d’Olonne commencing straight after the Parade of Sail.
Joshua is still expected to take part in the start of the 2018 Golden Globe race from Les Sables d’Olonne on July 1.

Opportunity to sail on Gipsy Moth IV and watch the start of the GGR in Les Sables d’Olonne

Here’s an opportunity of a lifetime: sail aboard Gipsy Moth IV from Southampton to Les Sables d’Olonne and back, and have a ring-side seat aboard her at the start of the 2018 Golden Globe Race.

25-28th June: Four berths are available to sail on Sir Francis Chichester’s iconic yacht from Southampton to arrive in Les Sables d’Olonne at the height of festivities.
July 1st: Watch the start of the GGR from a privileged position within the fleet
2-5th: Return leg from Les Sables d’Olonne to Southampton.
For further details visit: Gypsymoth

Skipper Updates

Nabil Amra, Francesco Cappelletti, Gregor McGuckin, Tapio Lehtinen, Philippe Péché, Uku Randmaa and Igor Zaretskiy have still to complete their 10-mile jury rig trials around a triangular course, and Nabil still has some miles to go to meet the minimum 8,000 mile general sailing and 2,000 mile solo qualifications in order to start.


Yachts on the move

Susie Goodall relaunched her Rustler 36 DHL Starlight in March and completed her jury rig test during a passage to Plymouth where a new Selden mast was stepped before she set sail for Southampton where Goodall will complete her preparations prior to the start.

Having completed initial sail and jury rig trials of his Suhaili replica yacht Thuriya, Indian entrant Abhilash Tomy had her shipped by road to Kochi at the end of March and loaded on a ship bound for Rotterdam. Tomy expects to have her relaunched and sailing in Holland by the end of April and plans to base his final preparations there.

French skipper Antoine Cousot is sailing his Biscay 36 ketch Métier Intérim down to the Loire Valley this week and motoring up river to Nantes for a private naming ceremony on April 5. He then plans to continue mixing sea trials and work on the boat to ready her for solo voyage across the Celtic Sea to Cork and Dublin before returning to Falmouth early June for a final haul out and antifoul in readiness for the Suhaili 50 Falmouth Parade of Sail and the SITRaN race back to Les Sables d’Olonne on June 14.

British/Turkish skipper Ertan Beskardes is mid-way through a solo voyage from the Med back to Falmouth and made a stop in Gibraltar just before Easter to continue on-going repairs and upgrades to his Rustler 36 Lazy Otter enroute.
“Many of the problems are due to the yacht’s age and lack of use.” He says. The rough weather leg from Sardinia to Palma highlighted several leaks through hatches, air vents and around the engine, which have now been fixed. “I also found that the heat exchanger had sucked up parts from the water pump impeller and some of the piping was leaking which have now been replaced. I am very happy with the boat and getting to know her better every day.”
Ertan expects to reach Falmouth during the latter part of April, where a new set of sails await his arrival.

Estonian solo circumnavigator Uku Randmaa plans to return to Les Sables d’Olonne on April 9 for a week of sailing trials with his Rustler 36 One and All and to check up on work carried out in his absence to fit a watertight bulkhead. He also has new sails to test and a new liferaft to install.
“I have been very busy getting my radio licences and medical examinations completed. I didn’t realise just how much paperwork has to be completed before sailing off around the world!
I hope to spend another week on the boat in May to doing more trial sailing before returning to Les Sables d’Olonne again in June to sail over to Falmouth for the Suhaili 50 Parade of Sail.”

Philippe Péché has been busy sailing his Rustler 36 PRB since her launch a month ago. His first trial sail was from La Trinite to Lorient with GGR Race Director Patrice Carpentier when the cold Spring weather confirmed the need for a heater to be fitted. Early attempts to complete his jury rig test were thwarted by a complete lack of wind on the day and he will now re-attempt to set up and complete the 10-mile triangular course test with his A-Frame system with the main mast in situ.
On April 7, Péché intends to sail solo to La Rochelle to replace the yacht’s 25-year-old self-steering system with a French-made Beaufort unit, then plans to base himself in Les Sables d’Olonne and take every opportunity to test all the new systems in rough weather conditions in the Bay of Biscay.

Australian Kevin Farebrother’s Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha was offloaded in La Havre in March and transported by road to Les Sables d’Olonne ready to be relaunched and have her rig stepped on Kevin’s arrival from Australia at the beginning of April 2.
“I’m planning to get the yacht ready during April and spend much of May test sailing her out in the Bay of Biscay. I want to get my food supplies from the UK and plan to fit in a trip to visit family in the North East some time in April or May.”

French veteran Jean-Luc van Den Heede still has a list of work to prepare his Rustler 36 Matmut, and since most of this has to be done outdoors, the cold, wet Spring weather has not helped. “I prefer to anticipate wear rather than improvise makeshift repairs and plan a long navigation to test sail the boat before the start.”
The yacht will be baptised at a public ceremony at Cite du Vin, Bordeaux on April 28 before being hauled out for antifouling in May ahead of a final test sail to Falmouth at the beginning of June.

Australian Mark Sinclair plans to be reunited with his Lello 34 Coconut, at the end of April. The yacht arrived in the UK in March on the same ship that dropped fellow Australian Kevin Farebrother’s Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha in Le Havre. Mark will be based at Plymouth Haven Marina throughout May making final preparations before sailing west to Falmouth for the Suhaili 50th anniversary celebrations between June 11-14.

Still to launch

Work on American Istvan Kopar’s Tradewind 35 Puffin has been delayed by four snowstorms to have hit his Oyster Bay base on Long Island New York during the past month, but he expects to set out on his first ocean test to Bermuda in mid-April.
“My schedule has been extremely overloaded. We are currently fitting a wind generator and solar panels and I am working on my safety gear and provisioning.”
Istvan plans to set sail for Bermuda accompanied by his team manager Ian Gumprecht to minimize the risks during this first offshore sea trial across the Gulf Stream before continuing across the Atlantic solo to Southampton where he will pick up new sails and finish the tune up.

Italian skipper Francesco Cappelletti has used crowd funding successfully to raise money for new masts to convert his Endurance 35 007 from sloop to ketch rig. Based in Pisa, work on the yacht continues with a planned launch at the end of April.

Dutch entrant Mark Slats says that he is now fully recovered from his record breaking Transatlantic row back in December, Mark and his project manager Dick Koopmans expect to complete the refit of his Rustler 36 Maverick and relaunch her during the last week of April ready to be rigged, and start sailing trials.
“We’ve completed all strengthening work, filled in the windows to stop any leaks, and are now working flat out to be ready for the start”
In between, Mark has been on a speaking tour around Holland publicising the GGR, and this week, has an invitation to lunch with the King and Queen of the Netherlands.

US/Palestinian Nabil Amra reports that work has now resumed at the Falmouth Boat Co to complete his Biscay 36 Ele May in time for his arrival in the UK on April 21. Having just resigned from his job as a foreign exchange trader on the Minnesota Stock exchange, Nabil has a last fundraising event in his home city on April 9 and after some precautionary dental treatment, intends to start sea trials, perform the jury rig test and complete his 2,000 solo qualification miles before the Suhaili 50 Falmouth Parade of Sail on June 14.

Are Wiig is looking forward to the ice melting. The Norwegian has been working on his OE 32 Olleanna ashore over the winter months and plans to set sail from Oslo on the 900-mile leg to Falmouth at the end of May.

Finland’s Tapio Lehtinen is another waiting for the ice to melt. Work on his Gaia 36 Asteria is nearing completion at the Nordic Refit Centre in Larsmo. The hull has been stripped inside and out and strengthened, and both interior and deck rebuilt, making this 1965 vintage Sparkman & Stephens design as near to a new boat as possible. Her relaunch is planned at the beginning of May and Tapio will use the voyage down to Falmouth as her proving trial.

French skipper Loic Lepage says that everything should be ready to relaunch his Nicholson 32 yacht Laaland at the end of April. “The set-up for the race is going well. I’ve just bought new sails, liferaft and beacons and am now gathering food supplies for the race. I will be test sailing in the Bay of Biscay throughout May and plan to arrive in Falmouth around June 8.”

Russian entrant Igor Zaretskiy is now in the final phase of preparing his Endurance 35 Esmeralda ready to re-launch in Alicante Spain later this week. Team spokesman Rasim Poloskin reports: “The boat refit has fallen behind the schedule, but finally we have our new sails and the yacht has been re-rigged. We are now working on the emergency tiller and jury rig system.”
Igor is now taking a crash course on HF communication and Our Facebook followers are helping him with this. They have already get in contact with Terre & Mer Ham radio community, and are also trying to organise a Russian speaking HAM network around the Globe. Igor’s English is still an issue. So we are working out how to get a bit more than just position and weather reports from him for our Russian audience.”
Once launched, Igor will complete his jury rig trials then sail from Alicante to Les Sables d’Olonne and on to Falmouth for the Suhaili 50 Parade of sail celebrations.

British solo circumnavigator Robin Davie knows he is in a race against time to get his Rustler 36 C’est La Vie ready for the start on July 1. He had planned to arrive in Les Sables d’Olonne early in March to step a spare mast bought from Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, but as Easter approached, he was still in Falmouth surrounded in glassfibre dust, busily completing the restoration work on his yacht. “I’ve built a plywood doghouse to give me some protection, but still need to give it a glassfibre covering and bond it in place over the companionway hatch, as well as finish off the hull. I now have to re-launch in mid-April come-what-may.”
Having sailed more than 2,000 miles under jury rig around Cape Horn to the Falkland Islands during the 1994 BOC Challenge, Davie has been excused making the jury rig test on C’est La Vie, and is determined to spend the rest of April and May test sailing out in the Bay of Biscay and be race ready by the start.

CROWHURST film follows in the wake of MERCY

A month after the launch of the Colin Firth / Rachel Weisz blockbuster MERCY, another film about the 1968 Golden Globe Race has hit the cinema circuit. While the Mercy film plays out as a love tragedy between Donald Crowhurst and his wife Clare, this new low budget release titled CROWHURST focuses much more on Donald’s nightmare voyage and ultimate suicide. Director Simon Rumley is a master of horror story telling and in its review, Screen Daily reports ‘the film reaffirms Rumley’s position among the most interesting, unconventional British filmmakers of the moment.’
The Guardian film critic considers the Crowhurst film a better portrayal of the story, but not being a sailor perhaps, the choice of modern trimaran with the latest self-tailing winches, halyard jammers and roller furling gear, and small Bass like fish deputising for flying fish taking their last gasps in the Tropics probably passed him by.

Click Here to read that review.

Sponsorship opportunities

The GGR is gaining huge coverage world-wide. Read the latest article in Forbes magazine 

With three months to the start, attractive commercial opportunities remain for corporate sponsors to join RALF TECH watches, DHL Express, PRB, Matmut Insurance Group, Fugro, Altia, and Métier Intérim to take full advantage of the 1 million + visitors expected visit in Les Sables d’Olonne for the start and €120 million projected media coverage and social media exposure as the Race unfolds over the next 12 months.
For a sponsorship prospectus pack, contact
Barry Pickthall
+44(0)7768 395719

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With just weeks to the start, entrants face real challenges everyday pushing to the start line while new sailors continue to be inspired planning for the GGR 2022. Boats are now arriving for final sailing preparations.

The GGR has been inspiring sailors since 1968 and its all starting again. I see it in many places. The passionate commitment of our entrants is impacting followers around the Globe. Millions have been exposed to Abhilash Tomy in India. The numbers are staggering. His beautiful SUHAILI replica is on a ship headed to the UK. Mark Sinclair and Kevin Farebrother have both shipped their boats to Europe, at about Euro $40,000 each. Not much for some maybe? but a HUGE commitment on top of everything else to make your dream happen, like Kevin selling his house! Many of the back stories to the struggle of ordinary sailors getting to the start are yet to be told. I know some and they are inspiring, exciting, sad and unreal! The Human side of the GGR is about to hit home in a few weeks when we are all together in Falmouth as the GGR family. Yes a real family, as it is also that kind of Race, with a deep sense of a shared adventure about to happen. An adventure not without risk, but one that is achievable.

It will also be an incredible honour and privilege for us all, to relive the history of that day on June 14th with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. In some ways it will be surreal. Black and white history being relived present day in full colour, with passion. For me personally I will be forever grateful for Sir Robin’s friendship, support and advice over the past 36 years and his huge moral and actual support for the 2018 Golden Globe Race from the very beginning!

I like the Tag Sailing like it’s 1968 just as much as I like the new one Inspiring since 1968!

How much?

An important concept when conceiving the 2018 Golden Globe Race was to let any sailor, anywhere in the world, Race solo around the Globe in a grand adventure re-living history. All this without needing huge amounts of money. Some commentators suggest that this is now not the case. They say you will need huge amounts to enter the GGR in 2022, with existing entries having spent in excess of Euro$160,000 on refits after having spent considerable money buying an old boat! All this before entry fees and safety gear. I can confirm that is the case for some entrants, but it does not have to be.

A few entrants have high paying jobs earning considerable income or have secured sponsors. They are happy to pay multiple professional shipwrights to work on their yachts full time or engage specialists. If you are paying Euro$50 an hour for four guys at 40 hours a week that is nearly EURO$32,000 a month. To strip a hull and rebuild to new adds up to many months, plus a new Rig, brand name sails and Bingo you need money and lots of it!. If you have a dream and have friends to help, have time on your side and choose the right boat in sound condition, that only needs serious servicing and strengthening and are happy with high quality Lee sails from Hong Kong, you are in for less, a lot less! I have seen many examples of good GRR approved designs that could be bought and refitted for under Euro $75,000 or much less. This does not include all the Race Safety Gear. It may not be a Rustler 36, but they are capable boats! You need about a year off work to prepare, but remember you work to live, not live to work. Much more fun working on a boat!

So how much then for the EXTRA safety and GGR gear which any sensible solo circumnavigating would want to carry anyway. Life raft, survivor 06 hand desalinator , 3 EPIRBS, Two PLB’s, AIS beacon, AIS alarm, Radar Transponder-alarm, SART, 3 x YB3 satellite trackers and texting, serious First aid kit and 24 hour medical cover, 2 satellite phones, 2 x HH GPS, Solas Life jacket, GGR survival suit, HF SSB radio and tuner, four VHF marine/aviation/GMDSS radios, RDF, liability insurance and misc bits and a HYDROVANE wind vane, approx EURO$20,000! That’s it. This does not cover wet weather gear, and food etc, sextant and charts or travel and sailing time to get to the start, but hey! That is all personal stuff, sailing and part of the fun right.

Then there is the entry fee of approx. Euro $9500 and all Entrants need to attend at least one compulsory conference in France. Add some travelling cost and call it a holiday! Meeting up with all the other GGR family is stimulating, inspirational and great fun!

That’ it! $75,000 + $20,000 + $9500 , total EURO$104,500 ! Yes still a lot of money for some, but a whole lot of adventure as well! This is not even the cost of a mainsail for other around the world racing yachts. So it is all relative. The original goal of the Golden Globe Race is maintained for those who want it. When it’s all done, if you have not fallen in love with your perfectly awesome ocean voyaging home and love her forever, you can sell her and should recover about Euro$ 60,000, as is! Your life time adventure has cost about Euro $45,000 and two years or so of your life. It is up to you, but don’t ever say you cannot afford it. Maybe you just don’t want to do it! or do you? 2022 is just around the corner.

Last ones standing!

We are now 19 entrants just weeks out from the start and everyone is asking ..How many will cross the start line? Our latest retirement Carl Huber was trapped in the Time versus Money cycle and bitterly disappointed to be so close, yet unable to meet the final deadlines organisers impose on all entrants. It was sad to lose such a colourful and fun character from the GGR Family. WE have always maintained the principle of a quality fleet, well prepared, with experienced sailors over anything else. Our Notice of Race is now recognised by the French Maritime Administration as one of the best they have EVER seen in any sailing event. Yes, even after all the criticism we received from the FFV in France, they are completely satisfied with our safety and security arrangements and praised us for that.

The atmosphere in Les Sables d’Olonne amongst locals and veteran sailors is growing in pride every day. I sense a feeling of ownership on their part which is fantastic. They understand our budgets are tiny compared to the other major races. The number of volunteers lining up to help in the Race Village and office is amazing. We are grateful and happy to hear from more! WE have secured nearly 25 volunteer support and security boats for start day, that Maritime officials tell us will be bigger on the water than the Vendee Globe start. It is summer holidays!

So how many solo sailors will pass down the famous les Sables river with thousands of spectators cheering them on and out to the open ocean setting off on a nine-month adventure? I honestly have no idea, but what I can say when we conceived of the Race back in 2014, was a hope that we had at least 10 and absolute max of 20! We are doing OK. For the answer you will have to watch the live broadcast of the 1300hrs start on France 3 TV and Facebook 1st July. In a few weeks many will be asking How many will cross the finish line?
Watch this space.


Not exactly a French term, YUM lacks a sense of style and grace that always accompanies French food. The humble paper bag never looked so good as when wrapping a crusty baguette. Setting off around the world from France has some real advantages compared to the UK. When talking to Philippe Peche and Jean Luc VDH it is easy to see why. These two experienced sailors understand the importance of food during a long voyage like the GGR. There is only one company in France able to make and supply food to the space program. Jean luc has them supplying him lightweight tins of beef cheek, rabbit and other delicacies. He also has over 400 TV dinners from the supermarket. I am not talking American TV dinners, but the French version that look and are great! Normally microwaved yet easily boiled, he plans on two a day!. Philippe is bringing along a large number of Glass jars, the type you only find in French shops full of the best food, just like your mum used to make! Susie Goodall on the other hand managed to salvage 300 tins of lentils from the DHL London boat show GGR display and intends to eat every one on the way around. Nabil Amra bought a drying machine. Friends now invite him to dinner with extra servings to take home and dry! He has enough for about three months so far. Francesco Cappelietti, being a vegetarian is planning on taking at least four food magazines, crammed full of pictures of leafy green salads, ripe tomatoes and fresh fruit. It is going to be a long journey that is certain, but nothing like 216 tins of corned beef and 144 tins of stewing steak all topped off with 216 tins of condensed milk that was Sir Robin’s UK departure just 50 years ago!

Race Cancelled – No sponsor!

Scheduled for a start end of this year the Barcelona World Race, a significant two handed around the world event on the IMOCA world champion circuit was cancelled a few days ago, due to lack of sponsorship and political issues. I received this message from a fan a few days ago “For many of us the GGR is so much closer to who we think we are, or what we dream of doing than the billion-dollar campaigns we see all over the media.”
Certainly, this is our place in sailing and adventure. The GGR is completely unique in every dimension from what has gone before. We are not the Vendee Globe, the Volvo, the Clipper or the Ultim. We are probably the longest individual sporting competition in the world. The world is about to realise that. The GGR has no equal in any adventure. Maybe that is why we still have no sponsor? Sad indeed and certainly the GGR is feeling the pressure of No major partners for whatever reason. We have reduced budgets considerably and that increases the work load for our management team. It has NOT affected the planned coverage for followers of the Race to keep up with events for nine months. It also increases our gratitude to Les Sables D’Olonne Agglomeration as our generous Host Port and Regional Partner for having strong faith and passion for the Race. It’s future is assured. Official Timer Ralf-Tech watches and Hydrovane Windvanes are our real friends. The growing list of volunteers and you our followers are fantastic, so thanks for supporting us. Spread the word and help us make the 2018 Golden Globe as big and bold as it will be.

In a few weeks something quite special will happen! WOW!

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4 months to Start

4 months to Start

Patrice Carpentier appointed Golden Globe Race Director

Don McIntyre, founder of the 2018 Golden Globe race, is proud to announce the appointment of Patrice Carpentier, the well-known French sailor, author and editor of Course au Large Magazine as Race Director.

Patrice, who has been sailing since the age of 12, and is multilingual, brings a wealth of experience to this leadership role, having completed five circumnavigations. These include the first two Whitbread Round the World Races aboard Grand Louis and Gauloises 2, and two Vendée Globe solo non-stop races. He also finished 2nd overall in the 1991 Mini Transat despite suffering a broken mast during the first leg. He competed successfully with standard production yachts in two Route du Rhum races in 1982 and 1990 and was still winning in 2017 with victory in the 2-handed IRC/UNCL championship. All told, Patrice (67) has clocked up more than 300,000 sailing miles and crossed the Atlantic 35 times.

On the administrative side, he produces annual handbooks for the UNCL/IRC and Class 40 race circuits and another for the Société Nautique de La Trinité sur Mer, where he lives.

Patrice says of his appointment: “I find the Golden Globe Race extremely interesting because it takes the sport back to the roots of ocean adventure. I am honoured and excited to be helping to recreate history in this 50th anniversary race commemorating the very first solo non-stop circumnavigation won by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston back in 1968/9”

Patrice Carpentier’s appointment as Race Director now completes the core management team for the 2018 GGR, made up of:

Race Chairman and founder: Don McIntyre (AUS)
Race Director: Patrice Carpentier (FRA)
Assistant Director: David Pryce (AUS)
French Manager: Celine Trommenschlager (FRA)
Admin & Finance Director: Jane Zhou (CHI)
Safety Director: Shane Freeman (AUS)
Digital Content Director: Nick Jaffe (AUS)
Official Photographer: Christophe Favreau (FRA)

GGR Media distribution is conducted through PPL Media Ltd and managed by Barry Pickthall (GBR)

Entries now stands at 20 representing 13 Nations

With 4 months to the start of the 2018 Golden Globe Race from Les Sables d’Olonne, France on July 1, the number of entrants now stands at 20, representing 13 countries.

These skippers have a remarkable range of backgrounds. Professional sailors and adventurers dominate, but they also include an engineer, foreign exchange trader, hydrographer, pilot, tailor and university lecturer. All have considerable short – and single-handed sailing experience, one having logged five solo circumnavigations. They hail from Australia (2), Estonia (1), Finland (1), France (4), Ireland (1), India (1), Italy (1), Netherlands (1), Norway (1), Palestine (1), Russia (1), UK (3), and the USA (2). Their average age is 47. The youngest, Britain’s Susie Goodall is 28; the oldest, French solo veteran Jean-Luc Van Den Heede is 72.

Three skippers have withdrawn: Gustavo Pacheco (58) from Brazil, American Roy Hubbard (28) and French veteran Patrick Phelipon (64). For Pacheco, retirement is a bitter disappointment. He had devoted the past two years to preparing his Lello 34 Double Helix in South Africa and had recently completed a proving trial across the Atlantic to Rio de Janeiro, but with no sign of sponsorship, he didn’t have the money to complete preparations as he wished. Hubbard, one of the youngest entrants, who recently competed on two legs of the Clipper Round the World Race to gain experience in the Southern Ocean, says that he has learned the need to extend his sailing resume before attempting a solo circumnavigation and has deferred his entry to the next GGR in 2022. He is now planning a voyage to Greenland and back aboard his Babe 35 Duke during the summer of 2019.

Race founder Don McIntyre says: “18 of the original 34 skippers to sign up for this 50th Anniversary Race have been forced by circumstances to either retire or defer their entry to the next GGR. We all knew from the outset that the hardest part of this challenge was simply getting to start line in a race-ready state. It is a measure of their professionalism and the strict safety measures prescribed within the race rules that none have felt pressured to press on against all the odds as Donald Crowhurst and others did in the first Sunday Times Golden Globe Race back in 1968. Those that remain have a very high chance of completing the Race, and those that have made the decision to abstain this time round, will be welcomed as entrants in the next GGR.”

In transit to the start

Australian entrants Mark Sinclair and Kevin Farebrother are the first to ship their yachts to Europe for the start. Sinclair’s Lello 34 Coconut was lifted aboard the MSC Luisa in Adelaide on 27th January, and Farebrother’s Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha was loaded aboard the same ship when she docked in Perth. The ship is due to berth in London on March 8.

Displaying the friendly banter that exists between these two Manchester UK born competitors, Mark said: “Kevin has told me that Sagarmatha is positioned ahead of Coconut on the ship. He should make the most of it because this is the only time his yacht will lead mine!”

Indian skipper Abhilash Tomy is also planning to ship his Suhaili replica yacht Thuriya from Mumbai to Europe in March and other competitors in the USA, Finland and Norway will be on the move as soon as the ice melts.

Turkish born British entrant Ertan Beskardes is already on the move. Having refitted his Rustler 36 yacht Lazy Otter in Fertilia Marina, Sardinia over the winter, he is currently completing his 2,000 mile solo trial voyage enroute to Falmouth.

The first port of call for all 20 entrants is Falmouth UK between 11-14th June for the Suhaili 50 Falmouth Parade of Sail celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s departure from there back in 1968 at the start of the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race.

The SITRaN Challenge Race from Falmouth to Les Sables d’Olonne starts immediately after the Parade of Sail on June 14.

The Golden Globe Race starts from Les Sables d’Olonne on July 1st

GGR Race HQ opens on May 7 in Les Sables d’Olonne

Plans for the Race Village are well advanced and the GGR Race HQ will open in Les Sables d’Olonne on May 7. The Race yachts will be berthed in the central marina and open for public display for two weeks from June 16 when the Race Village opens, until the start on Sunday July 1.

Also on public display will be four iconic solo circumnavigation yachts: Suhaili, the yacht that carried Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to victory in the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, together with Bernard Moitessier’s rival entry Joshua, and the two yachts that pioneered this solo circumnavigation record with one-stop, Sir Francis Chichester’s Gipsy Moth IV (1966/7), and Lively Lady, sailed by Sir Alec Rose in 1967/8

The two week build-up to the Race start will be packed with activities and displays that will carry visitors back in time to that golden age of sailing when sailors relied simply on the wind and their wits, navigating by sextant and paper charts without any outside assistance, GPS and other electronic or digital aids.

Also planned is a film festival celebrating the sea and man’s pioneering spirit, presentations by some of the world’s biggest sailing names, including Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, and a full entertainment programme on the main stage each evening

How to follow the Race

There are plenty of opportunities to watch the start of the GGR from the harbour wall and promontories around Les Sables d’Olonne, as well as at sea. Once the fleet has sailed over the horizon, the yachts will be tracked 24/7 with regular updates on individual positions within the fleet, coupled with wind and weather conditions viewed here on the web site.

In addition, skippers have the ability to send short text updates every 6 hours, which will be posted directly on the web site. Live video updates of radio interviews with the skippers speaking to Race Control will published on Facebook, together with a weekly video roundup.

In addition, the public can join the race by entering the Sail Online GGR Virtual Race. Each entrant is allocated an identical boat with similar performance polars to the real yachts, but unlike the GGR skippers, virtual competitors have the benefit of real-time weather information which is released into the race model at 10 minute intervals, producing an ever changing wind and wave situation that makes the virtual game as close to reality as possible. And adding further realism to the experience, the live online tracker information from the real yachts can be overlaid on the virtual course allowing virtual sailors to compare their navigation efforts against those competing in the GGR.

The Sailonline Virtual Race will commence at the same time as the GGR on July 1st and will be split into two natural legs from Les Sables d’Olonne to Hobart, and from Storm Bay, where the GGR skippers must stop for at least 90 minutes, back to the French finish line. For further information go to

Storm Bay, Tasmania is the middle ‘gate’ that all GGR yachts must pass through, where skippers will hand over film, logs, tape recordings and letters. The Race Rules forbid any outside assistance, so no one can board the boats or hand across spare parts, but family and media will get an opportunity to provide moral support and interview each skipper as they pass through. The Hobart Gate will be assisted by The Royal Yacht Club Tasmania, while the outward Canaries Gate set off Lanzarote is supported by Rubicon Marina. The Falklands Yacht Club will assist at the final Gate after rounding Cape Horn.

The leaders are expected to complete the 30,000 mile solo circumnavigation in around 240 days.

Great sponsorship opportunities

The latest sponsor to nail their sponsorship colours to the Golden Globe Race masthead is RALF TECH watches, the official timing sponsor for the Race, which is offering one of its traditional self-winding chronographs to each competitor.
Accurate timing is an essential component of astro navigation, which all competitors will use to plot their positions around the world – just as Robin Knox-Johnston and Bernard Moitessier did 50 years before. In this return to the ‘Golden Age of Sailing’, modern electronic and digital technology is barred, the general rule being: If it wasn’t available to Knox-Johnston in 1968/9, it isn’t available to 2018 GGR skippers either. “It’s this return to basics that skippers and the public find so appealing,” says Race Founder Don McIntyre, adding: “There had been pressure for yachts to carry video transmitting equipment, but a poll amongst skippers was unanimously against the idea.”

Other sponsors to have aligned their brands to competing yachts include DHL Express, PRB, Matmut Insurance Group, Fugro, Altia, and Métier Intérim.

With four months to the start, attractive commercial opportunities remain for corporate sponsors to take full advantage of the 1 million + visitors expected to visit in Les Sables d’Olonne for the start and €120 million projected media coverage and social media exposure as the Race unfolds over the next 12 months. For a sponsorship prospectus pack, contact
Barry Pickthall:
+44(0)7768 395719

MERCY film wins worldwide acclaim

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, winner of the 1968/9 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, shared the Red Carpet with Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz at the world premier of the film MERCY on February 9.

Sir Robin says of this portrayal of the Crowhurst tragedy set during the 1968/9: “I was blown over by the film. I know I knew the story inside out, but the way they had written up the drama, whilst keeping to the facts was really good and the acting was brilliant. Yes the story is inevitably sad, but I thought the producers handled it very well and were sympathetic to the Crowhurst family.

Later, Sir Robin had the opportunity to sit round a table with Mercy Director James Marsh, Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz to discuss the film and the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race.

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Deja Vous

The 2018 GGR is a new sailing Cultural Renaissance inspired by Beauty, Talent and Human accomplishment, something most sailors should understand. The new section GGR THOUGHTS will focus on that and will deliver personal opinions about the race and philosophy rather than general GGR News or Press Releases.
GGR THOUGHTS are presented by Don McIntyre, Founder and Chairman of the Golden Globe Race with guest contributors.

If you have something to say about the GGR you can become a Guest Writer for GGR THOUGHTS and maybe publish your Opinion in this section. For consideration, please send an Email to, tell us a bit about you and attach your photo. Your thoughts should have no more than 1000 Words.


Deja Vous – Sponsor wanted

When the most powerful police officer in the land accuses you of murder you take note. Suddenly your sense of smell, taste and touch are intense, your emotions alive and the world looks different. If you are innocent, you prepare for a fight. When it is reported on every front-page newspaper, TV and radio program in the country, you know it will be tough.

It was, and I know because I fought that fight. I did not want my history from that day forward in 1988 to include the claim of me showing Reckless Indifference to Human Life the legal definition of murder.

I was the Founder and Organiser of the 1988 Goodman Fielder Wattie Bicentennial Around Australia Yacht Race. I was also the founder and chairman of the Shorthanded Sailing Association of Australia running the race. Sir Robin Knox Johnston was our patron. That night one of our entrant’s Multihulls had flipped and another monohull hit a rock, losing one of the two crew overboard and never recovered. With other entrants standing by the multihull, authorities sent out a police boat to assist. Unfortunately, with a back hatch left open it flooded the aft compartment and engine room, with police officers now in a life Raft after it sank.

Knowing nothing of the facts surrounding the Race, the Organisers or Entrants, the Police Commissioner then made his now infamous claim about me as event organiser and suggesting the event was bad. 24 hours later he learnt about our Race but said nothing. Following a full coronial enquiry, investigating all aspects of that night and the event, the Judge had nothing but strong praise for the organisers, the Event, the Notice of Race, safety and security planning and operation. He acknowledged it was above world’s best practice, adopting new equipment and procedures not before seen in yacht racing. The management team and advisors were amongst the most experienced in the world. The Race was a huge success and won by the late Sir Perter Blake in the 60ft trimaran Stienlager 1 .

I asked for an apology from the Police Commissioner. The public and many sections in the police force were on our side. He declined, so I filed one of the largest Defamation cases in the history of the Supreme Court to clear my name and that of the organisation.

Over the next three years they tried everything to bankrupt me, and every legal trick to get rid of me. I was racing solo around the world in the BOC Challenge at the time. Money was tight, but the battle continued. I won that fight when even the government abandoned the police commissioner.

He faded into oblivion having had visions of moving into politics. For years the case was used in police officer training on how not to shoot your mouth off, if you do not know the facts. I was a murderer no longer.

Now 30 years later, as an honoured guest in France and surrounded by friends in les Sables d’Olonne I have not been accused of murder, but those that know me, will understand my sense of Dejavue when the Golden Globe Race was accused by the French Sailing Federation (FFV) of being Random and dangerous, not suitable for old men or dreamers! All this before we even had a chance to present our case.

The FFV represent World Sailing who regulate all international yacht races. They have the power to stop the GGR if they want. There are not many races that circumnavigate and those that do, use 60 ft yachts or bigger. Category 0 safety rules are basically written for these bigger yachts with crew. To meet the FFV requirements the GGR must meet Cat. 0 regulations.

This simply is NOT POSSIBLE for our unique adventure. As an example, to comply, each GGR yacht (approx. 34ft long) would have to carry two complete diving wet suits, two masks, two sets of fins and two underwater breathing apparatus, 1200ltrs of water, two six-man life rafts and include two complete water tight bulkheads in the main saloon, and more. WE have been advised that we cannot modify the Cat 0 rules, so it is all or nothing.

We knew this years ago, so we do NOT use special performance racing rules for sailing, but instead adopt the International maritime rule of the road (Collision REGS) the same as every other mariner on the ocean. On that simple basis, World Sailing concluded in April this year that the GGR is NOT a yacht race and does NOT need to use Cat.0 rules. As organiser however, we have adopted all the important Cat. 0 safety equipment rules and more, that in some ways makes our GGR more stringent than even the Vendee Globe.

The GGR Notice of Race safety and operational procedures have been reviewed by experts as appropriate and relevant to the challenge.

Unfortunately, one official on the FFV committee made these damaging statements about the GGR. One full page picture on the front page of an important newspaper questioned whether the GGR would start! I had to ask the FFV to stop making unfounded comment. All this was at a delicate time negotiating with sponsors for the GGR. A small disaster.

When we had our meeting with the FFV a week later they were pleasantly surprised at our Rules and Safety-Security planning. We were all sailors in that room and all respect the original Golden Globe and what it represents. We certainly respect the FFV and what they stand for, just that we are different. It was a good meeting. I think they understood at the end of the day. A few weeks ago the FFV made a decision that as we use Collision Regulations (as did the first Golden Globe) and not Racing Rules on a Race course, we are not a sporting competition, so do not come under their jurisdiction, so will not stop the GGR.

So here we are just five months from the start of the Golden Globe Race and I had that sense of Dejavous all over again. Today WORLD SAILING are promoting the GGR in their main media channel so we must be OK! A quick outcome.

My 1990 BOC yacht was named SPONSOR WANTED! Later it was changed to BUTTERCUP when they arrived! My new name for the greatest adventure of my life is SPONSOR WANTED GOLDEN GLOBE!….it starts regardless of everything on July 1st 2018 surrounded by my amazing new friends in the Les Sables d’Olonne Agglomeration. The Village opens on June 16th. The world will be watching and following that is certain. A Golden OPPORTUNITY for and forward-thinking organisation and presenting sponsor awaits?

No other event in ANY SPORT can match the 2018 Golden Globe Race’s unique combination of Epic Adventure and Extreme Endurance, Traditional Values and Maritime Heritage, Duration and Global Reach.

If you or your company would like to be part of a new sailing Cultural Renaissance inspired by Beauty, Talent and Human accomplishment, it is called the Golden Globe and the front door is wide open!


2018 GGR Founder.

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Join the Jamboree

Join the Jamboree

Warm welcome awaits visiting yachtsmen to Suhaili 50 Falmouth Parade of Sail

Falmouth looks set to host one of the biggest sailing jamborees in June, marking the 50th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s departure at the start of the 1968/9 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race.

Sailing clubs in France, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands are planning to join other groups from Ireland, the UK south coast and Bristol Channel to make the pilgrimage to Falmouth to salute the Suhaili skipper and his yacht in a parade of sail around Falmouth Harbour on Thursday June 14.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston set out from Falmouth on 14th June 1968 and was the sole finisher in the Sunday Times race. In doing so, he became the first man to sail solo non-stop around the Globe – a feat that remains one of the most significant sailing achievements during the past Century.

In this salute to solo sailing, Suhaili will be joined by other classic Globe girdling yachts, including Frenchman Bernhard Moitessier’s famous Joshua, Sir Francis Chichester’s Gipsy Moth IV and Sir Alec Rose’s Lively Lady, together with the entire fleet of 2018 Golden Globe Race yachts.

The Suhaili 50 Falmouth Parade of Sail is the climax to a week of celebrations commencing over the weekend 9/10th June. Organised by Falmouth Town Team and the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club where Sir Robin stepped ashore on his return half a century ago, the busy programme includes a reception at St Mawes Sailing Club on 12th and a commemorative dinner for Sir Robin hosted by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club on Wednesday 13th June, together with a firework display.

The Parade of Sail takes place on Thursday 14th June, and will pass close to Trefusis Point, Pendennis Point, St Mawes Castle and Carricknath Point, to provide the public and those afloat in Carrick Roads a clear view. In the afternoon, the Golden Globe Race fleet will start from a line off Pendennis Castle marked by Suhaili at one end and Joshua the other, in the SITRaN Challenge charity race to Les Sables d’Olonne, France as a warm-up to the 50th anniversary Golden Globe Race which will commence from there on Sunday 1st July 2018.

Falmouth Harbour and the Helford River offer one of the most picturesque cruising grounds in the British Isles, and with Falmouth Classics Regatta starting a week later on Friday 22nd June, the Suhaili festivities are part of a much wider attraction to visit this region of Cornwall.

Capt Mark Sansom, the Falmouth Harbour Master, promises a warm welcome to all, saying: “There is significant capacity for visiting vessels within the Estuary and at facilities in Falmouth, Penryn, St Mawes, Mylor and Truro. Capacity is not infinite, but we have accommodated large numbers of visitors in the Harbour during past Tall Ship events. There is a good supply of visitors moorings and alongside berths available, together with a large anchorage in Falmouth inner harbour. If necessary, we can recommend further anchorage areas, taking account of the prevailing conditions at the time.”

Save the Dates


9th-11th June: Vessels arrive in Falmouth Harbour. Suhaili, Joshua, Gipsy Moth IV, Lively Lady and 2018 Golden Globe Race fleet open for public viewing at Falmouth Haven Marina


Tues. 12th June: Reception at St Mawes Sailing ClubWed. 13th June: Commemorative Dinner for Sir Robin KnoxJohnston at Royal Cornwall Yacht Club + firework display


Thurs. 14th June: AM: Suhaili 50 Falmouth Parade of Sail.

PM: Start of the SITRaN Challenge charity race for the 2018 Golden Globe Race fleet from Falmouth to Les Sables d’Olonne, France


Friday 22/24th June: Falmouth Classics Regatta


Sun. 1st July: Start of the 2018 Golden Globe Race from Les Sables d’Olonne, France


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