Golden Globe Challenge – One Month On

Post by: Dee White
26 September 2018

By derivative work: Flappiefh [CC BY-SA 3.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

17 intrepid sailors set out a month ago from Les Sables D’Olonne in France. Now there are 14.

The Italian, Francesco Cappelletti was to have been the 18th, but his late preparations delayed his departure with the main fleet on July 1st. Although he was given one week’s grace to complete safety inspections and a 360 mile solo trial sail, it was too much and he announced his withdrawal from the race. He has however elected to continue as an independent Carozzo sailor. (see below)

The rules

These need to be understood by anyone trying to follow the race and comprehend the various categories of competitor.

The rules allow for one breach of the strict solo, non-stop, unassisted circumnavigation without the aid of modern electronic navigation aids. Those that do, move down to the Chichester Class. (Sir Francis Chichester made one stop during his solo circumnavigation in 1966/7). Anyone breaching the rules for a second time are considered to have retired from the GGR event and the organizers have no responsibility for them. They will however continue to be tracked as independent Carozzo Sailors. (Alex Carozzo was the Italian entrant in the original Golden Globe race who left Cowes on the very last day allowed within the rules and then sat in isolation on a mooring for a further 5 days, completing his preparations. He was forced to stop in Lisbon to seek medical attention).

Then there were 16

Ertan Beskardes was the next skipper to pull out of the race. The Turkish born British skipper decided that he could not cope with the isolation and not being able to communicate with his family. By day 6 he had had enough and pulled into La Corunna where his wife joined him. Another factor swaying his decision was the fact that his HF radio was not working, which would have left him at great disadvantage communicating with the outside world and receiving weather forecasts.

Two more drop out

By day 16 the Australian mountaineer and adventurer Kevin Farebrother had decided that he was not cut out for solo sailing. The former Paratrooper who has made 3 successful assents up Mt Everest, found that sleeping below decks was something he couldn’t come to terms with, resulting in 2 weeks with hardly any sleep. His solo sailing days are over and his boat is sold.

Antoine Cousot’s problems with faulty self-steering equipment, became so overwhelming that he decided to pull into Marina Rubicon to make necessary repairs. As a result he became the first to be demoted to Chichester Class.

12 skippers remain

By day 18 the US based Palestinian, Nabil Amra had retired to Tenerife after being plagued by faulty equipment and illness and fellow American Istvan Kopar announced his retirement. He too had problems with his self-steering and decided to stop in the Cape Verdi Islands for repairs and drop down to Chichester Class.

So at this stage the 12 skippers remain in the main race ……
…….. or that would have been the case if it had not been for a strange sequence of events. Istvan Kopar has apparently had second thoughts about his Cape Verde stop and requested re-consideration of his demotion to Chichester Class due to stress effecting his decisions and explaining that he received no outside assistance and that no material advantage was gained through his actions. Surprisingly he has now won his appeal and will move from Chichester Class back into the GGR Entrant status, but will have 2 time penalties of 18 hours and 6 hours for breaching two of the rules.

Meanwhile the main pack were making their way through the Doldrums, sailing SE and trying to gain as much wind as possible. Mark Slats was well west of the others, while Philippe Peche, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, Suzie Goodall and Uku Randmaa, have taken a more easterly route.

The latest news on day 30 of the race, as the leaders cross the equator, shows the positions as follows:-

1. Philippe Péché (FRA) Rustler 36 PRB

2. Jean- Luc VDH (FRA)Rustler 36 Matmut

3. Mark Slats (NED)Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick

4. Susie Goodall (GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight

5. Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All

6. Are Wiig (NOR) OE 32 Olleanna

7. Gregor McGuckin (IRE) Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance

8. Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria

9. Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Endurance 35 Esmeralda

10. Abhilash Tomy (IND) Suhaili replica Thuriya

11. Loïc Lepage (FRA) Nicholson 32 Laaland

12. Mark Sinclair (Aus) Lello 34 Coconut

13. Istvan Kopar (USA) Tradewind 35 Puffin

These are the places according to the computer tracking, which works in straight lines, in this case from the Cape Verde Islands to the Cape of Good Hope, taking no notice of the South Atlantic High pressure system, which the sailors have to skirt round before reaching the Roaring Forty latitudes. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few days with Mark Slats almost 1,000 miles west of the main pack.

News from the skippers:-

Jean-Luc VDH reported that nothing had broken on his boat since the start, he was picking up excellent weather forecasts from the Ham radio net and he had not experienced any rain yet.

Mark Slats had used a heavy downpour to replenish his water.

Susie Goodall made the most of some calm weather by diving over the side and scrubbing the bottom of the boat. She had to do it with the brush she uses for the dishes, having left her deck brush behind.

Istvan Kopar now back in the GGR fleet and Antoine Cousot in the Chichester class are currently trapped in the Doldrums at the back of the fleet.

We wish them luck and good winds as they move into the second month of their voyage.

Watch this space for more news.