Archivio della categoria Golden Globe Race

Day 247: Capt Gugg Set for GGR Podium Tomorrow, Last of Three from 16 Starters!

  • Michael Guggenberger (44 / Austria / Biscay 36 “ NURI” ) enters Biscay on final approach to Les Sables d’Olonne. ETA: 1900hrs UTC Thursday 11th May, 2100hrs local FRENCH time!
  • No breakdowns, no knockdowns, no survival storms – just serious planning, preparation, and execution bring him home. But what about the mind game?
  • Jeremy Bagshaw (59 / South Africa / OE32 “ OLLEANNA” ) last Chichester sailor 1,000 miles behind.
  • GGR Public Prize-giving set for Saturday, 24th June – all are welcome.

With just under 200 miles to the finish in Les Sables d’Olonne and nearly 30,000 miles sailed over the past 247 days, this 44-year-old Austrian sailor Michael Gugg is completing an eight-year dream that has changed his life! Stable weather and favorable following winds are now driving him home, with an ETA across the line set for Thursday night, 11th May. He will take third place in a challenge that saw 16 competent sailors in 16 well-prepared yachts set out on a grand adventure into the unknown, with only three finishing!

Michael Guggenberger (44) / Austria / Biscay 36 – “NURI” – Lanzarote Film Drop Gate Credit: Aïda Valceanu/ GGR2022

Now an accomplished sailor, this was not the case when Capt GUGG decided to enter the GGR. In 2015, he was one of the first to enter the 2018 GGR. He learned to sail only a few years before. He bought an Endurance 35 and started work preparing himself for the challenge. Life then got in the way! His personal situation changed, and he decided he was not ready. He pulled out a year before the start but insisted he would be back for the 2022 edition.

With more time to think hard about planning and preparation, he sold that yacht and bought a Biscay 36 from a 2018 GGR entrant. Over two years, he completely rebuilt it. He qualified himself as a yacht master sailing instructor and built his ocean miles. By the time the start of the GGR 2022 came around, he and his boat were surely ready. Desperately short of money but going anyway, he secured a sponsor in NURI sardines just months before the start. Life was good, but was it?

Capt Gugg‘s efforts to make the start is quite a back story. It proves that following dreams can achieve big things. But completing the adventure has been far from easy for him, even if his weekly safety calls and tweets appear all OK. His meticulous preparation shows in a boat that has had very few breakdowns, and while he has ridden a few solid storms, none were considered extreme. Some of his biggest storms and challenges were instead the mind game of his huge GGR challenge. He more than any other entrant has been riding hidden storms in an emotional and psychological roller coaster of highs and lows hidden below the surface. This as yet untold story is the brutal reality of a quest that most would never fully understand.

Michael Guggenberger (44) / Austria / Biscay 36 – “NURI” Credit: Nora Havel / GGR2022

Michael‘s challenges have been more than just sailing around the world. He has logged it all on camera. He is producing a documentary that is sure to surprise many. For now, he is focused on getting the job done and getting off the boat. You can fly to Mars quicker than completing the GGR, and Michael will tell you all about it very soon!

Michael Gugg maybe final call before his GRAND #lessablesdolonne arrival

Chichester Class

Meanwhile, 1,000 miles behind GUGG, Jeremy Bagshaw (SA) sailing OLLEANNA, his OE32 in Chichester class, has been enjoying mild sailing conditions for the last few weeks and making steady progress north. Forced to stop in Hobart to remove barnacles, he is no longer in the running for the GGR goal of a solo non-stop unassisted circumnavigation but will be happy to complete his one-stop solo voyage in a few weeks.

Jeremy Bagshaw pulled out in Hobart Gate to sort his Barnacles Problems. Credit: GGR2022 / DD&JJ
Jeremy Bagshaw / South Africa / OE32 – ” OLLEANNA” – 5th sail through Hobart Gate. Credit: GGR2022 / DD&JJ

GGR Public Prize-giving

All 16 GGR entrants who set out will assemble once again in Les Sables d’Olonne, France, on the weekend of 24th-25th June for the official GGR 2022 Prize-giving. Quite a few of the GGR boats will also be on the Vendée marina. A marine festival weekend of activities is planned. The GGR 2022 Prize-giving and public concerts on Saturday night on the foreshore of the city, overlooking the ocean and Les Sables d’Olonne, are expected to draw thousands of followers. We look forward to welcoming you all to this grand finale of the Golden Globe Race.

There were a lot of fun at the GGR2018 Prize Giving Day on April 22, 2019 in Les Sables d’Olonne, come join us for this time. Credit: GGR 2018 / Christophe Favreau

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DAY 237 “Abhilash Tomy’s Remarkable Comeback: From Broken Back to 2nd Place in the Golden Globe Race”

Retired Navy commander, 43 year old Abhilash Tomy, the renowned sailor and first Indian to complete a solo non stop voyage around the world in 2013, made history on Saturday by securing an outstanding second-place finish in the gruelling 2022 Golden Globe Race. Tomy‘s yacht, BAYANAT crossed the finish line at 06:46hr in Les Sables d’Olonne, France, after an intense 236-day 30,000mile journey around the globe. This incredible achievement is especially noteworthy given the numerous setbacks Tomy faced leading up to and during the race, making his triumph a true testament to his exceptional skill, determination, and perseverance.

In 2018, Abhilash Tomy experienced a catastrophic accident during his first attempt at the Golden Globe Race when a violent storm in the Indian Southern Ocean caused his yacht to roll, losing both masts and resulting in a broken back unable to move and trapped below. An international rescue effort followed and then major operations and rehabilitation before walking then sailing again. Undeterred by this harrowing experience, Tomy set his sights on returning to the GGR, displaying immense resilience and unwavering commitment to the dream.

Tomy‘s entry into the 2022 Golden Globe Race was fraught with challenges from the beginning. As the last participant to join the race he was pushed for time to prepare.He faced a collision with a ship just two weeks before the start, which severely damaged the bow of his yacht. Despite this significant obstacle and rushed Euro 50,000 repair, Tomy remained steadfast in his determination to complete the race.  Once underway he was often struggling to cope with the memories of his 2018 accident, until he passed the spot in the ocean where it all happened. A huge weight lifted from his shoulders and in his mind and the world looked a better place!

Throughout the race, BAYANAT was beset by a series of breakdowns in his rigging and windpilot windvane. However, Abhilash Tomy earned the nickname “Mr Fixit” for his tireless efforts to keep his vessel afloat and on course. He demonstrated extraordinary resourcefulness and ingenuity, solidifying his reputation as one of the world’s leading sailors.

Ultimately, Tomy crossed the finish line just behind the winner, 39 year old South African sailor Kirsten Neuschäfer, who became the first woman ever to win a solo around-the-world yacht race. Their respective accomplishments have inspired sailors and sports enthusiasts worldwide, especially in Asia and the UAE showcasing the power of perseverance and determination in the face of adversity.

Kirsten Neuschäfer wins the Golden Globe Race 2022

Abhilash Tomy‘s remarkable journey in the 2022 Golden Globe Race highlights his unwavering passion for sailing and his dedication to overcoming even the most challenging obstacles. We offer our heartfelt congratulations to him on his impressive second-place finish, the highest placing for any Asian sailor in any major sailing event. His success serves as an inspiration to aspiring sailors around the world.

For more information about Abhilash Tomy and his remarkable achievements, please visit or contact

Abhilash’s support team and Kirsten also came out to cheering for him. (credit GGR2022)

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Day 236 Kirsten makes history, Simon first boat home, Les Sables gearing up for Abhilash Tomy Bayanat Welcome

  • Kirsten Neuschäfer wins the Golden Globe Race in 233 d 18h 43m 47s
  • Clara/Howdens was the first boat home in Les Sables d’Olonne
  • Abhilash Tomy expected in the LSO channel Saturday 29/04 @ 10:00 am local (0800UTC)

It’s been a long time in the making for Kirsten Neuschäfer who got becalmed just hours before going through the finish line, off the coast on the world’s solo sailing capital Les Sables d’Olonne. Several boats joined her 8 miles offshore and this is when she learnt that she was going to be the winner of the GGR.

Earlier in the same day, Simon Curwen GBR sailed up the Channel as the first boat home despite his stop in Puerto Montt to repair a broken windvane, and came up the channel with his wife Clare, cheered by many supporters under a slight drizzle under the Howdens spinnaker.

Clara/Howdens was the first boat home of the GGR fleet and sailed magnificently. Credit Nikki Curwen

He was welcomed by Yannick Moreau, the Mayor of Les Sables d’Ollonne, GGR 2018 winner and International Association of Cape Horners’ President Jean-Luc Van Den Heede and GGR President Don McIntyre and presented with the Cape Horners ensign have done a fantastic round the world trip, leading the fleet from Cape Finisterre until the 31st of January.

At 19:43:47 on Thursday the 27th Minnehaha crossed the GGR finish line before going up a channel lit in red, where the people of Les Sables gave her the warm welcome, she deserved for coming first in the gruelling GGR 2022-2022. She had spent 235 days at sea, with an official time of 233 days, 18 hours, 43 minutes and 47 seconds after her 35 hours of compensation awarded for Tapio’s rescue were discounted, and no fuel penalty since she only consumed 30.7 litres of fuel in her round-the-world voyage.

Kirsten Neushafer received a hero’s welcome in the Channel of Les Sables d’Olonne where thousands of Sablais, Sablaises and fans from all around the world greeted her. She hugged her mother Annett on the dock after many months away, saw her friends and Eddie Arsenault (CAN) from Prince Edwards Island who guided the refit of the Victorious Cape George 36, which did not suffer any significant failure in the voyage.

“I did not know where the others were after being stopped so long in the doldrums, so I kept pushing the boat as hard as I could.” Credit Rob Havill/GGR2022

Vendée Globe legend Catherine Chabaud (FRA), came specially to greet and congratulate Kirsten on her historic win. “Kirsten is at the image of the race which promotes simplicity and sobriety, and it’s led her to victory” she said on the stage were officials joined Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, Yannick Moreau and Don McIntyre to congratulate her: Kirsten becomes the first woman to win a round the world race vias the three great cape!

Abhilash Tomy (IND) is expected to cross the line on Saturday 29 of April around 10:00 local time.

The Indian Navy Commander who got heavily injured in 2018 came back with unfinished business in 2022. It was not an easy battle since his Rustler 36 Bayanat had a collision with a bulk carrier during the Prologue from Gijon and suffered from PTSD in the first week of the Race, later passing the point of his Indian Ocean rescue and sailing a superb race into the leading group of the GGR.

Abhilash has been a fierce competitor and resourceful sailor, bringing Bayanat around the world back to Les Sables Credit Abhilash Tomy/GGR2022

Not only has he shown incredible skills in keeping his Rustler together but sailed a very competitive race ahead of the fleet, briefly sweeping first place to Kirsten only arriving a day and a half later, after 236 days at sea.

No doubt that the people of Les Sables will give him a warm welcome up the Channel after a line crossing expected around 10:00 am.

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GGR Day 233: Les Sables d’Olonne gearing up for a HUGE GGR finish on Friday 28th!

  • Kirsten Neuschäfer holding first place, set to possibly break many records with only 180 miles to finish and a 100 mile lead and 23hr time credit on Abhilash Tomy on Bayanat.
  • GGR ETAs? Routing programs vs. Don McIntyre brains, the battle of titans!
  • Models differ but we should have a Friday arrival for the leaders
  • How to follow updated ETA’s and plan the arrival follow up
  • Interest for the GGR grows rapidly in the global sailing community

Estimated Times of Arrival are easier for Swiss trains than sailing boats for sure, and with very unstable light weather on arrival at 48 hours from the finish, there still is some discrepancy between weather models and routing programs moderated by Don’s predictions.

We have run several offshore racing routing program’s and the earliest predictions are

  • Simon Curwen HOWDENS Thursday 27 afternoon
  • Kirsten Neuschäfer MINNEHAHA Friday  28 morning
  • Abhilash Tomy BAYANAT Friday 28 evening

However, the weather is very unstable on Friday and synoptic predictions do not take local weather influences into account. Furthermore, the routing programs take into consideration that boats follow the path crafted for them by another computer routing program onboard, which they do not have, so those predictions could easily slip 12-18 hours back or more.

Weather routing programs work on precise polars and Velocity Predictions Programs, however the GGR boats do not have precise polars, much less after 233 days at sea, tired sails and potential growth. Also, the sailors do not  have the weather and are not following the best route.

Don McIntyre, GGR Founder and Chairman

Don is suggesting, based on current weather forecast for Kirsten

2200 hr UTC 26th 147 miles Distance To Finish

0800 hr UTC 27th 90 miles DTF

2200 hr UTC 27th 50 miles DTF

0800 hr UTC 28th 20 miles DTF …but with complete calms around and light headwinds forecast for late Friday it could take another 5-10 hours or ?

Come and greet the sailors as they come up the famous Les Sables d’Olonne channel after more than 230 days at sea! Credit: Etienne Messikommer/GGR2022

How to follow the Boats’ arrivals?

The ETA will be updated early morning and evening local time on the GGR Facebook page, the daily reports and the GGR Website.

The Live tracker will be on a 1-hour update starting Thursday 27th in the morning

On Land

Check the live tracker for positions . The boats will enter the Channel 20 minutes after crossing the line, you will see official boats leaving Port Olona 90 minutes before the planned line crossing.

The Vendée Globe dock  is open to the public and the stage is set next to the Ecole des Formations Maritimes.


There will be LIVE feed of all arrivals and interviews by Aïda and Don on both the GGR Facebook page and GGR Youtube pages.

We’ll be happy to see some familiar faces over the weekend! Photo: GGR/2022.(credit RCAR)

GGR sailors in the dark, while the sailing community gathers in Les Sables d’Olonne.

The Race Office had thought that the lead trio as they entered a zone of intense traffic could get information on their respective positions, but the VHF chatter has not yet let the cat out of the bag.

We spoke to both Abhilash and Simon on the phone on Monday. Both of them have no idea where the others are, and they both think they are hundreds if not thousands of miles behind the leader. It appears from our last conversation with Kirsten that she also thinks the same after spending several weeks in the Doldrums. Pretty unique  233 days after the start.

Sébastien Delasnerie GGR Race Director

Kirsten just called, and also has no idea she is winning, listen to her last call here before her grand arrival.

Jean-Luc Van den Heede (FRA), Edward Walentynowycz (CAN), Damien Guillou (FRA) and Ian Herbert-Jones (GBR),  freshly off the F/V ZI DA WANG in Cape Town are planning to be in town to welcome their friends   Several round the world sailors of Vendée Globe fame have also expressed their interest to welcome the skippers and show their appreciation for the history in the making that is underway.

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GGR Day 232- Kirsten likely to break all records. ETA Les Sables d’Olonne Friday 28th!

  • Kirsten is holding a strong lead in the GGR. If she is first home to Les Sables d’Olonne, she will create many firsts!
  • Lead trio slowed down by light winds on Sunday and will again on Wednesday!
  • How to welcome the three heroes in Les Sables d’Olonne? 
  • The film of the GOLDEN GLOBE RACE 2018 is now available for pre-order

The trio of Simon, Kirsten and Abhilash are close now sailing within 170 miles of each other as they approach the Bay of Biscay and the final run toward Les Sables d’Olonne. But the Race is on for Kirsten Neuschäfer (ZAF) who is leading by 90 miles on her runner up. With a 23-hour compensation for Tapio’s Indian ocean rescue, she looks unbeatable, but it’s not over! First they need to negotiate the heavy traffic in the Bay of Biscay after months sailing empty oceans, and Abhilash Tomy (IND) on Bayanat is not slowing down!

Both have steady downwind conditions, but on Wednesday winds drop and become much lighter from the West and then South on Thursday. The two different boat designs act differently in different weather, so there could be last minute surprises! But with just a few days to run in light westerlies from Thursday onwards, it is a huge challenge for Abhilash. The finish will be under a spinnaker and a timid sun, so it all points to a Kirsten  !

ETA’s are still to be refined after Wednesday’s light winds and will be updated on the GGR website. Kirsten continues to push hard with at times 8.1kt speeds.  She could cross the line on Friday the 28th in the morning, followed by Abhilash less than a day later. Simon Curwen (GBR) in Chichester class could arrive in Les Sables d’Olonne as early as Thursday 27th.

If Kirsten was crossing the line in first place, she would be the first woman to win a round the world race by the three great capes, including solo and fully crewed races, non-stop or with stops, and the first South African sailor to win a round-the-world event! She would join the famous Bertie Reed (ZAF) in the South African Hall of Fame, and Isabelle Autissier (FRA) who in 1994 famously led the BOC  Challenge after her win in the first leg before dismasting in December in the Pacific, 920 miles SE from Adelaide.  She would also join Sir Robin Knox Johnston (GBR) and Jean-Luc Van Den Heede (FRA) the winner of the Golden Globe Race.

Who would have guessed that after 233 days alone we have a photo finish. Everyone who reaches the finish line of the Golden Globe is a winner yet Kirsten and Abhilash have played out an epic battle right to the end. The GGR is all about the stories and this one is EPIC!!!

Don McIntyre GGR founder

A guide to the heroes’ welcome in Les Sables d’Olonne

Don will update the ETA daily on the GGR Facebook Page. Once the competitors cross the line, they will be towed into the Channel so as to not use precious fuel, and enjoy the legendary welcome from the people of Les Sables leading into Port Olona. There, they will moor in the Vendée Globe dock where they will be welcomed by Yannick Moreau, the Mayor of Les Sables d’Olonne, Don McIntyre, the GGR Founder and Chairman and Jean Luc Van Den Heede, the 2018 winner, the media and the public

They will then cross to the stage next to the Centre des Formation Maritimes des Sables d’Olonne where the GGR Race Control is housed. They then move to a quiet room to see their family and friends for 30 minutes before heading to the Press conference. Should they dock after 10.00 pm, the press conference will be held the next day. Media willing to attend need to ask for accreditation at

No doubt the people of Les Sables d’Olonne will give a hero’s welcome to Simon Curwen in Chichester Class who led the GGR fleet from Cape Finisterre until January 31st when he was forced to divert to Puerto Montt for repairs. Simon has no line crossing as he is not racing, but will take his own time for his incredible round the world voyage.

He will moor on the Vendée Globe dock where he will receive the same welcome as the GGR competitors on the marina, open to the public before heading to the GGR office to meet with his family, friends and members of the media. Simon is in great form, listen to his last ever call to Race Control here!

All the action will be covered LIVE on GGR Facebook and GGR Youtube

  • The film of the GOLDEN GLOBE RACE 2018 is now available for pre-order, watch trailer below:

The Voyage of Madmen is the story of Don McIntyre’s 50 year anniversary recreation of the infamous race and his quest to attract amateur sailors to compete in small boats, taking on the perils of the sea entirely against the odds. It’s a race without modern technological aids where actually surviving a non-stop lap of the world is the achievement. Of the 18 solo sailors to depart France in 2018 – five solitary skippers cross the finish line – the final finisher spending 322 days alone at sea.

This is the story of the longest sporting event in history. A display of brutal individualism by characters longing for a by-gone era who are hell-bent on recreating the longest, loneliest and most gruelling sports event on the planet. 

Buying this film helps and supports us greatly…THANKS and we hope you really enjoy it. To us the 2018 edition of the GGR will go down in history for many reasons. It is a tribute to the 18 sailors who risked all to follow a simple dream!

Don & Jane

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