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DAY 249 – Uku Randmaa on the home straight

DAY 249 – Uku Randmaa on the home straight
Latest ETA 09:00 UTC Sunday

Istvan Kopar escapes the Azores High and now 1,300 miles from finish
Tapio Lehtinen caught in head winds with 5,000 miles to go
Mark Slats making waves at the HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show
GGR prizegiving – Save the date April 22

Dateline: 7/3/2019 Les Sables d’Olonne, France

3rd placed Estonian Uku Randmaa has survived his last storm – 50knot winds and vicious 5m high seas – on Tuesday. The winds have now receded but the leftover Atlantic swell remains as his Rustler 36 One and All heads into the Bay of Biscay today. With 300 miles to go, Race HQ is now predicting a 09:00 UTC finish off Les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday March 10.

For this 56 year-old solo circumnavigator, his homecoming could not come soon enough. He is out of food, and has not seen his wife and very young children for more than 8 months. It will be a warm embrace followed by a dash to get his first square meal since rounding Cape Horn on January 19. He joked with Race organisers yesterday: “ My boat is for sale. Any reasonable offer, but without food.”

He is promised a strong welcome in Les Sables d’Olonne led by the first two finishers Jean-Luc Van Den Heede and Mark Slats who are both making an overnight dash back to be first to shake his hand on the dock. Jean-Luc is returning from the Sail-In festival in Bilbao where the Frenchman will receive their top sailing award on Saturday, while Mark will drive through the night straight from his final public presentation at the HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show.

For regular updates and a live video feed of Uku‘s arrival and press conference, go to www.facebook.com/goldengloberace/

Meanwhile, 4th placed American/Hungarian Istvan Kopar appears to have finally escaped the clutches of the Azores High pressure system, and now within 1,350 miles of the Les Sables finish line, is making great strides towards completing his solo circumnavigation around 18-19 March.

Finland’s Tapio Lehtinen is having less luck. Faced with head winds for the past few days in a boat covered in barnacles which has lost its ability to point high into the breeze, Tapio is currently heading southeast, 90° from where he wants to go to escape the adverse current running down the South American coast. He is not expected to finish until May.

Meet Mark Slats at the HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show

Second placed GGR finisher Mark Slats and his Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick are the stars of the show at this week’s HISWA exhibition in Amsterdam. The yacht is on display and open to the public in Hall 1 until Sunday. Mark and designer Dick Koopmans, who led Mark’s preparations for the Race, will be giving talks on the main stage on Friday and Saturday. Mark will also be signing his new autobiography ‘Held Op Zee’ (Hero at Sea) on Friday. The book includes a full account of his adventures during the Golden Globe Race.

LOCATION DATE TIME WHAT

Hall 1              6-10 March All day Ohpen Maverick
Main stage     Friday March 8 15-16:00 Presentation
Stand 1.300   Friday March 8 16:30 – 17:30 Book signing
Main stage    Sat March 9 15:30 – 16:30 Presentation

Save the Date – GGR Prizegiving programme – April 22

The 2018 GGR prize giving in Les Sables d’Olonne is set for April 22 – the day that Sir Robin Knox-Johnston completed the first solo non-stop circumnavigation 50 years before.

The Easter Monday celebrations will include a Press Conference and one-to-one interview opportunities with the 2018 GGR skippers, an announcement and introduction to skippers entering the next GGR in 2022, and publication of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s eagerly awaited independent report on lessons learned in heavy weather and survival techniques employed by skippers during the 2018 Race.

There will also be opportunities to sail aboard Bernard Moitessier’s famous 1968/9 Golden Globe Race yacht Joshua throughout the weekend from Port Olona on 20/21/22 April, organized by the Friends of the Maritime Museum of La Rochelle.

So why not plan to celebrate the Easter Weekend in Les Sables d’Olonne!

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Day 241 – Uku Randmaa now within 1,200 miles of the finish

Day 241 – Uku Randmaa now within 1,200 miles of the finish. ETA in Les Sables d’Olonne 11-12th March

Istvan Kopar stalled in calms
Barnacles slow Tapio Lehtinen in his virtual race against Suhaili
Mark Slats receives a hero’s welcome home
American philanthropist steps in to support salvage of Gregor McGuckin’s yacht
GGR prizegiving programme

Dateline: 12:00 UTC – 27/02/2019 Les Sables d’Olonne. France

Third placed Estonian sailor Uku Randmaa is hungry…Hungry because he has caught no fish during the past week to supplement the last of his food stocks…Hungry to finish…and Hungry to see his young family after more than 8 months alone at sea.

Like a camel sensing water, he and his Rustler 36 One and All have put on a spurt over the past 7 days, more than doubling his lead over 4th placed American/Hungarian Istvan Kopar. He needs to because the 55-year old solo circumnavigator told Race organisers this week that he has lost more than 20kg during the voyage so far, and if he can’t catch fish, there is little left onboard to sustain him over the next two weeks.

Now within 100 miles of Santa Maria, the southern most island in the Azores, Randmaa has cleared the Azores high-pressure system that has trapped Kopar’s Tradewind 35 Puffin, and can expect stable south westerly Trade winds to carry him all the way to Cape Finisterre. The Bay of Biscay may well hold a few Springtime surprises, but he is now expecting to reach the Les Sables d’Olonne finish line sometime between 11-12th March.

The good news from Istvan Kopar is that the his self-made emergency tiller he fitted on Puffin two weeks ago is standing up well. The bad news is that he is about to stall in the transition zone between the North East and South West Trade winds, and could be stuck there for several days. Now 2,130 miles from the finish, he is not expected to get there before March 21.

Finland’s Tapio Lehtinen is not even thinking about the finish. Still more than 5,100 miles from Les Sables d’Olonne, he’s busy simply enjoying his own environment and wildlife too much. The goose barnacle infestation that is slowing his Gaia 36 Asteria to a leisurely walking pace half way up the South Atlantic is providing him with a bonus time at sea. Today, the GGR tracker is suggesting a May 1 finish ETA, but as the barnacles grow and slow his progress further, Race Organisers suspect it could be June before he sees the sands of Les Sables. Then, restaurateurs will be queuing up to harvest the crop. Goose barnacles it seems – large ones especially – are quite a delicacy!

Mark Slats receives a hero’s welcome in the Netherlands

After a leisurely cruise, taking in dinner dates with Susie Goodall in Falmouth, Ertan Beskardes in Poole and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and his Clipper Race skippers in Gosport, 2nd placed Dutch skipper Mark Slats returned to his home port of Scheveningen and a hero’s welcome last Saturday.

Karen Hogenbirk reports: “A fleet of boats with friends, fans and media came out to escort him to Yacht club Scheveningen where he was was reunited with his Mom and Dad. Bruno Bruins, the Dutch Minister of Health and Sports was also there to welcome him and received the first copy of Mark’s book ‘Held op zee’ (Dutch for ‘Hero at sea’) about his adventurous life including his story of the Golden Globe Race.

Hundreds of people gathered on the dock including the many volunteers that supported him before and during the race, and made this welcome possible.

By Sunday, however, it was back to business. Having talked about plans for new adventures in the Scheveningen YC the night before, Mark was back in the gym, starting to train for his next challenge!”

American philanthropist steps in to support salvage of Gregor McGuckin’s yacht.

An American philanthropist with a taste for Irish whiskey has stepped in to support the salvage operation to recover Gregor McGuckin’s yacht Hanley Energy Endurance drifting some 1,200 miles west of Perth, Australia. Speaking from Fremantle overnight, American tug boat skipper Cody Cordwainer, who is leading the salvage operation said: “Its taking longer than expected. The 60ft sloop we had planned to use has structural problems that are too expensive to repair, so we are back to square one looking for a suitable ocean-going boat.

The good news is that an American philanthropist has donated a large chunk of the salvage costs in exchange for the barrel of Glendalough 7 year old 777 single malt whiskey still onboard and the Distillery has agreed to this.

We have made a lot of contacts here and are looking at two avenues: Finding someone with an ocean-going boat having trouble meeting their monthly slip payments who could use the extra cash, or someone with a boat that they want to make ocean-going, and we can do that for them.

I’m certain this is going to happen. We are going to make it happen and I’m not going home until we do.”

Save the Date – GGR Prizegiving programme

The 2018 GGR prize giving in Les Sables d’Olonne is set for April 22 – the day that Sir Robin Knox-Johnston completed the first solo non-stop circumnavigation 50 years before.

The Easter Monday celebrations will include a Press Conference and one-to-one interview opportunities with the 2018 GGR skippers, an announcement and introduction to skippers entering the next GGR in 2022, and publication of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s eagerly awaited independent report on lessons learned in heavy weather and survival techniques employed by skippers during the 2018 Race.

There will also be a photo opportunity with Bernard Moitessier’s famous 1968/9 Golden Globe Race yacht Joshua.

So why not plan to celebrate the Easter Weekend in Les Sables d’Olonne!

The post Day 241 – Uku Randmaa now within 1,200 miles of the finish appeared first on Golden Globe Race.

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Day 234 – Uku Randmaa handed 72 hour penalty for weather routing violation

Day 234 – Uku Randmaa handed 72 hour penalty for weather routing violation

Istvan Kopar suffers broken tiller – now down to his emergency rudder
Tapio Lehtinen neck-and-neck in virtual race against Suhaili

Dateline: 14:00 UTC – 20/02/2019 Les Sables d’Olonne. France

Third placed Estonian skipper Uku Randmaa has escaped disqualification from the Golden Globe race after breaching the strict rules forbidding outside assistance, but has been handed a 72-hour penalty for asking and receiving weather routing information during radio contact with a Ham radio operator.

A 16-minute recording of the radio communication was received at Race HQ yesterday (19th February). The first five minutes covers a legitimate publicly available weather information, but at -9:15, Randmaa asks: “I have a question…How can I say it…I’m heading 90°. Can I be sure that I can take the wind if I’m sailing east?

Ham operator: If you go directly east you will be staying in the light area. You need to continue North… and then you will catch the westerly winds. I don’t know if I can tell you that, but I think you need to go at least to 28°North and then maybe start going Northeast.”

Randmaa: Ok, but I can’t do that…the wind is coming exactly from 35° and 25°

Ham Operator: If you go too far east…. I will have a look…I can’t give you too much information. It might make you get disqualified and I don’t want to do that. The wind is at a 45° angle…and so is the wind hole.

Randmaa: So I have to move north west again?

Ham operator: Definitely. Not too much east at the moment.

Race Chairman Don McIntyre explained: “This is a retro race with skippers restricted to using a sextant, paper charts and wind-up chronometers just as Sir Robin Knox-Johnston used in the first Sunday Times Golden Globe Race 50 years ago. All digital equipment is banned, including sat phones and GPS. Skippers can only communicate via Single Side Band (SSB) radios and amateur Ham radio net, which the whole world can listen in to if they wish. The GGR has attracted hundreds of Ham Radio operators around the world who are listening in and connecting with the skippers, and they play a valuable part in providing a communication network for the Race. But the skippers know that while they can ask for public weather information, weather routing – given directions on where to go – is strictly banned.

The Race Committee has accepted Uku Randmaa’s explanation that he did not fully appreciate that the information he received was routing and reduced the penalty from disqualification to a 72-hour penalty.

He served part of this penalty at sea overnight, but following a plea for mitigation on the grounds that he has very little food left for the final 2,000 miles to the finish in Les Sables d’Olonne, the Race Committee has agreed that Randmaa can continue racing and the remainder of his penalty time – 65hrs 40 minutes – will be added to his finish time.”

Uku caught another Marlin last weekend, which will have given him 3 days nourishment, but his basic stocks onboard now consist of:

60 spoons of rice,
20 packets of dried soup,
23 freeze dried meals,
15 tea bags
Four spoons of sugar

The latest ETA for Uku’s return to Les Sables d’Olonne is now March 13, so this has to last him 21 days!

Click here to download the Radio recording

Click here to read official ruling

Istvan Kopar, trailing 422 miles behind Uku Randmaa in terms of distance to finish today, reported that his makeshift tiller on his Tradewind 35 Puffin broke last Friday and he is now reduced to using his emergency rudder. His health issues also continue with an aching tooth abscess, fungal infection under his fingernails and mould growth in the dank conditions below decks all sucking on his morale. In consideration of these steering issues, the Race Committee has agreed that the 24-hour penalty he sustained stopping in the Cape Verde Islands to fix his self-steering will now be added to his finish time, rather than served in a penalty box at sea.

5th placed Tapio Lehtinen is making good speed up the South American coast despite the barnacle growth on his Gaia 36 Asteria. He reported at the weekend that the barnacles are now growing in large clumps up to 30cm thick around the keel area, which must be sapping speed considerably. But not enough it seems for the Finn to overcome his fear of sharks and dive overboard to scrape the hull clean. Tapio’s ETA back at Les Sables d’Olonne is now May 14th.

Asteria continues to run neck-and-neck with Suhaili in her virtual race against Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s solo circumnavigation. Lehtinen’s yacht has a 74-mile lead today, but that is set against Suhaili’s last known relative position four days ago, so is really running 3-400 miles astern.

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GGR NOTICE of RACE Determination No. 6 UKU RANDMAA 20th FEBRUARY 2019

GGR NOTICE of RACE Determination No. 6 UKU RANDMAA 20th FEBRUARY 2019.

UKU RANDMAA Breach of NOR 3.1.3.1 Routing is forbidden.

BACKGROUND.

19th FEB. 2019 at 1400hrs Race HQ received a recording of radio traffic between Uku Randmaa and a Ham operator discussing weather forecast conditions. During that exchange, UKU asked for and received specific information on the position of areas of no wind and how he should proceed to avoid those areas. The Ham operator provided a course and heading for UKU to follow. On two occasions during the exchange, the Ham operator made it clear to UKU that he was concerned the information being given may cause disqualification from the GGR, but UKU continued the exchange seeking further clarification. UKU was not able to act on the directions given due to the prevailing weather conditions.

RULES APPLICABLE

3.1.3.1 Routing Forbidden. Personalised meteorological or geographical assistance, also named Routing is forbidden from one month before the start.
3.1.12 Failure to comply with any one of these rules will lead to the skipper having to abandon his Race.

FINDINGS

1. The Recording is proven to be an accurate account of information exchange.
2. UKU RANDMAA freely admitted the exchange of information, but declared he did not fully appreciate it was information defined as routing.
3. On explanation by the GGR committee, he accepted and agreed it was routing and would accept a penalty.
4. A breach of the Notice of Race 3.1.3.1 is confirmed.

PENALTY

In the Spirit of the GGR and to allow the Entrant to stay in the event, a time penalty is approved.

TIME PENALTY SUBSTITUTE

Based on the position of the next Ranked entrant ISTVAN KOPAR being approx. 519 miles astern of UKU RANDMAA and sailing at 4.9kts at the time of the incident, a time penalty of 4.5 days, 108 hours is determined, to be served in a penalty box immediately on Notification to the Entrant.

The GGR Committee accepts that while Routing is proven, UKU RANDMAA did NOT knowingly intend to breach rules within the Notice of Race. A further 33% decrease in time penalty is allowed.

For the Routing directions received a 72-hour time penalty is applied.

GGR Penalty determination No. 7. UKU RANDMAA 20th February 2019

UKU RANDMAA Request for special consideration on 72hr time penalty.

BACKGROUND

At 0900UTC 20th February 2019 UKU RANDMAA officially advised and declared he is short of food and requests that he be allowed to make direct to the finish line and the remaining time penalty be added to his finish time. He declared for the first time, that he has only 60 spoons of Rice, 20 packets of dried soup, 23 freeze dried meals, 15 tea bags and four spoons of sugar to eat on the boat.

FINDINGS

1. UKU RANDMAA declared his Penalty start time of 02:40 UTC 20th February 2019.
2. In the Spirit of the GGR and considering UKU has 2063 miles still to travel to the finish, it is agreed that the balance of his 72 hr Time Penalty may be added to the finish time and he may make for the finish line from 1000UTC. On 20th February 2019.

CONCLUSION.

UKU RANDMAA will have a penalty time of 65hrs 40 minutes added to his finish time.
ENDS.

The post GGR NOTICE of RACE Determination No. 6 UKU RANDMAA 20th FEBRUARY 2019 appeared first on Golden Globe Race.

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Day 227 – The Race for 3rd continues

Day 227 – The Race for 3rd continues

Uku Randmaa overcomes rigging failure and sliced finger, but sees lead over Istvan Kopar shrink
Kopar struggling with emergency steering and health issues
Tapio Lehtinen makes most ground after rounding Cape Horn but now faces a fishing blockade and calms

Dateline: 14:00 UTC – 13/02/2019 Les Sables d’Olonne. France

here has been good and bad news from 3rd placed Uku Randmaa and his Rustler 36 One and All. Now within 2,500 miles of the Les Sables d’Olonne finish line, the Estonian skipper has solved his immediate hunger problems by catching two large marlin during the past week, which should extend his meagre supplies of basic freeze dried food to the end of the race.

Not so good, was news that one of his running backstays supporting the mast broke on February 9, which lost him vital miles over 4th placed Istvan Kopar who is now enjoying the same Tradewind conditions 433 miles astern in terms of distance to finish. As One and All’s course meandered around on the tracker, Randmaa was forced to climb the mast twice to set up a replacement adjustable stay, and in doing so, gashed a finger badly. The deep cut has been festering since, which led him to seek medical advice from the GGR 24hr tele-medicine team at MSOS last weekend. He is now treating the wound daily and doctors are monitoring the situation.

Kopar, who is looking to take advantage of any situation to overtake Randmaa, is also fighting health issues. The American/Australian is suffering a recurring abscess under one tooth and a fungal infection under his nails. He too has called on the MSOS doctors for advice and is now taking a course of antibiotics to combat the toothache and applying antiseptic cream to his digits.

“I could not ventilate the boat in the Southern Ocean and the interior is now covered in black mould.” He reported on Monday, adding: “The black stuff is everywhere: on the plywood, sail bags, just everywhere. It is becoming a serious health issue, which could weaken my resistance to infections. I am washing everything down with bleach, but so far this doesn’t seem to be having much affect.”

Other issues onboard Kopar’s Tradewind 35 Puffin continue to centre on steering. The cogs within the gearbox linking rudder and wheel pedestal, are disintegrating and ‘jump’ whenever there is any load on them, so he has ‘retired’ the system and made up a new emergency tiller from scrap materials to replace the one that broke several months ago. He has since managed to harness this to Puffin’s wind vane self-steering. “I’m very proud of the new tiller. I had to machine a new key from a piece of rigging, which I filed down by hand to make a perfect fit. The tiller is very long, so the big challenge now is getting around the cockpit because it gets in the way of everything. I’m keeping my safety line strapped on, because it is not easy – So much so that I’m thinking of taking up Yoga classes!” he joked, adding: “The big question is whether the tiller will last for the rest of the race. There is a wooden connecting piece which could break under load and I have no more epoxy resin.”

But he has come up with a novel solution for one problem – stopping water running down the rudder stock into the boat. “I’ve cut up my hot water bottle to act as a seal which has stopped the water dripping down.” He reports.

Finland’s Tapio Lehtinen, running in 5th place aboard his Gaia 36 Asteria, rounded Cape Horn on February 6, and has made most ground during the past 9 days despite the barnacle infestation on his hull. He will need to keep his wits about him during the days ahead, first because of a huge fishing fleet – perhaps 150 trawlers – working the banks 100 miles east of Puerto Deseado, Argentina, directly ahead of Asteria’s, course. The second issue are calms forecast to descend on this region tomorrow, which will slow his progress north. That’s a worry because in the virtual race between Tapio and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s progress in Suhaili 50 years before, the 1968/9 winner is calculated to be 300 miles ahead when you compare Suhaili’s last confirmed position on February 9 with Asteria’s plot today.

Plans for the 2022 Golden Globe Race.

GGR organisers are in discussions with Les Sables d’Olonne Agglomeration to host the start and finish of the 2022 Golden Globe Race. The French port, which also hosts the Vendée Globe Race, has become a global centre for solo yacht racing and is keen to repeat the commercial adventure again in three years time. Yannick Moreau, the Mayor of Les Sables d’Olonne said this week:

“The arrival of the Golden Globe Race has shown once again just how much maritime culture is entwined within the genes of the Les Sables region. The massive public welcome Jean-Luc Van Den Heede and Mark Slats received at the finish will now remain in the annals of solo sailing history.

This success results from the close collaboration that has developed between the Agglomeration of Les Sables d’Olonne and the Don McIntyre’s GGR organizational team. This is an excellent base from which to consider a new edition in 2022.

We must also consider the three sailors still competing in the current race. It’s our duty to welcome them properly and I have no doubt that Les Sables will respond just as enthusiastically to their return.”

Don McIntyre, Chairman of the Golden Globe Race, added. “A host port for the UK activities during the build-up to the 2022 Race cannot be addressed until BREXIT negotiations have been settled. Once a deal between Britain and the EU has been finalised, efforts will be made to find an enthusiastic partner to celebrate the original Race back in 1968/9. In the weeks ahead, GGR officials will be discussing with Les Sables the opportunities of basing the 2022 edition in this French port. Their support and passion for the 2018 GGR is to be admired and we hope we are here for the next edition. We are extremely grateful for the warm welcome received for this edition from officials and public “

Position of skippers at 08:00 UTC 13.02.19

  1. Jean- Luc VDH (FRA)Rustler 36 Matmut    Finished   211d 23h 12m 19s
  2. Mark Slats (NED)Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick  Finished  216d 00h 18m 30s Inc. 36h penalty
  3. Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All
  4. Istvan Kopar (USA) Tradewind 35 Puffin
  5. Robin Knox-Johnston (GBR) Suhaili virtual race position in 1969 (9th Feb)
  6. Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria

CHICHESTER CLASS

  1. Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Endurance 35 Esmeralda

RETIRED

  1. Ertan Beskardes (GBR) Rustler 36 Lazy Otter
  2. Kevin Farebrother (AUS) Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha
  3. Nabil Amra (PAL) Biscay 36 Liberty II
  4. Antoine Cousot (FRA) Biscay 36 Métier Intérim
  5. Philippe Péché (FRA) Rustler 36 PRB
  6. Are Wiig (NOR) OE 32 Olleanna
  7. Gregor McGuckin (IRE) Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance
  8. Abhilash Tomy (IND) Suhaili replica Thuriya
  9. Francesco Cappelletti (ITA) Endurance 35 007
  10. Loïc Lepage (FRA) Nicholson 32 Laaland
  11. Susie Goodall (GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight
  12. Mark Sinclair (AUS) Lello 34 Coconut

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