French champion Eric Loizeau and Estonian solo circumnavigator Uka Randmaa are the latest entrants to set their sights on winning the 2018 Golden Globe yacht race.
They made their announcements at the event’s first competitor conference, held at the Little Ship Club, London this week.
Four more potential competitors: Graham Applin (52) from Addlestone, Surrey, UK; Francesco Cappelletti (37) from Montevarchi, Italy; Loïc Lepage (59) from France and an anonymous entrant from New Zealand, now brings the number who have paid the initial A$3,000 entry fee to 30. Other entrants hail from America, Austria, Australia, Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Palestine, Russia Switzerland and UK.
Race to be run under the burgee of the Royal Nomuka YC
The 2018 Golden Globe Race (GGR) will be sailed under the auspices of the Royal Nomuka Yacht Club in the Kingdom of Tonga. His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Tupouto’a Ulukalala has agreed to become Patron of the Race, and Sione Sonata Topou, the Tongan High Commissioner in London attended the GGR Conference.
Race founder Don McIntyre has close links with these Pacific islands. In 2012 the Australian adventurer led a four-man re-enactment of the Mutiny of the Bounty voyage from Tonga to West Timor, in a similar boat and with same limited supplies available to Captain Bligh 221 years before.
The Royal Nomuka Yacht Club is the world’s youngest Royal club, formed on October 22 this year as part of a joint initiative between HRH The Crown Prince and McIntyre to establish a sailing base and adventure centre on the otherwise deserted island of Nomuka IKI to encourage Tongan youth to take up sailing as a sport and cultural activity.
‘For Nomuka and Tonga to be involved with the Golden Globe Race is exciting,’ said HRH the Crown Prince Tupouto’a Ulukalala, adding. ‘Tonga was once a great sailing nation. I wish all entrants safe sailing and extend an open invitation to visit our beautiful Islands and the Royal Nomuka Yacht Club’
Start and finish port
Falmouth has been confirmed as the start and finish point for the 2018 Golden Globe Race, where Sir Robin Knox-Johnston set out and completed his pioneering voyage back in 1968/9.
Competing yachts will be based in Pendennis Marina, and the Race will be started by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club using the historic gun emplacement on Pendennis Point overlooking Falmouth harbour.
In addition, three of the yachts that competed in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race – Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili, Bernard Moitessier’s Joshua, and Loïck Fougeron’s Captain Browne – are also expected to attend the start.
Race founder Don McIntyre will stay ashore
Don McIntyre had planned to compete in the 2018 Golden Globe Race and has already bought a Tradewind 35 yacht to prepare for the event, but the unprecedented interest in the Race has made him realise that the event requires his fulltime leadership.
‘When I first came up with the idea to mark the 50th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s success in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, I thought we would be lucky to match the 9 entries that started in the first race back in 1968. But interest in this retro race has struck a chord with so many sailors around the world. We already have 28 on the entry list and there is a further 150 who have expressed interest in competing. Management of the Race has to match everyone’s expectations, it has to be run on a very professional basis and it is simply not possible to create the event and compete. My role has to be to manage this race through to its conclusion – and perhaps wait to take part in the next one in 2022.’
Background to the Golden Globe Race
Like the original Sunday Times event, the 2018 Golden Globe Race is very simple. Depart Falmouth, England on June 14th 2018 and sail solo, non-stop around the world via the five Great Capes, and return to Falmouth. Entrants are limited to use the same type of yachts and equipment that were available to Robin Knox-Johnston in the first Race.
That means sailing without modern technology or benefit of satellite based navigation aids. Competitors must sail in production boats between 32ft and 36ft overall (9.75 â 10.97m) designed prior to 1988 and having a full-length keel with rudder attached to their trailing edge. These yachts will be heavily built, strong and steady, similar in concept to Robin’s 32ft vessel Suhaili.
In contrast to the current professional world of elite ocean racing, this edition travels back to a time known as the ‘Golden Age’ of solo sailing. Suhaili was a slow and steady 32ft double-ended ketch based on a William Atkins ERIC design. She is heavily built of teak and carried no computers, GPS, satellite phone nor water-maker, and Robin completed the challenge without the aid of modern day shore-based weather routing advice. He had only a wind-up chronometer and a barograph to face the world alone, and caught rainwater to survive, but was at one with the ocean, able to contemplate and absorb all that this epic voyage had to offer.
This anniversary edition of the Golden Globe Race is a celebration of the original event, the winner, his boat and that significant world-first achievement. Competitors in this race will be sailing simple boats using basic equipment to guarantee a satisfying and personal experience. The challenge is pure and very raw, placing the adventure ahead of winning at all costs. It is for ‘those who dare’, just as it was for Knox-Johnston. They will be navigating with sextant on paper charts, without electronic instruments or autopilots. They will handâwrite their logs and determine the weather for themselves. Only occasionally will they talk to loved ones and the outside world when long-range high frequency and ham radios allow.
It is now possible to race a monohull solo around the world in under 80 days, but sailors entered in this race will spend around 300 days at sea, challenging themselves and each other. The 2018 Golden Globe Race will be a fitting tribute to the first edition and it’s winner, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.
The yachts will be tracked 24/7 by satellite, but competitors will not be able to interrogate this information unless an emergency arises and they break open containing a GPS and satellite phone. Doing this however, has consequences. By breaking the seal, competitors will be deemed to have retired from the Golden Globe Race, and instead will be relegated to the Gipsy Moth Class as if they had made a stop.
For these 25 sailors, this marks the initial stage towards completing all the entry requirements, which include gaining further sailing experience and preparing their boat to meet all the qualifications. Only when these hoops have been jumped will the provisional entrant become an official entry in the Race. Just prior to the start when final scrutineering and certification has been completed, will the sailor and boat together become an official competitor. Then and only then are they absolutely assured of starting in the Golden Globe Race.
Prior to this, should any sailor miss a deadline, they may be relegated to the Golden Globe Race Wait list and the first Qualified Wait listed sailor will move into that vacated entry position.
There will only be a maximum of 15 on this list. It is the last chance. The organisers expect some of the current provisional entries will not make it to the start line. That is the way with history for any great endeavour, but when one drops out, this gives a chance for another to join.
In addition, five Special Invitations will be offered to deserving sailors nearer to the start. The first of these has been awarded to French yachtsman Eric Loizeau. Those still on the wait list will be remembered closer to the start. We may eventually see a fleet of 30 sailors set out from Falmouth on June 14 2018.
Find out more at www.goldengloberace.com
The 2018 Golden Globe Race will test the mettle of modern sailors by limiting them to the same types of…
A new Golden Globe Race will set sail in June 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's…
Eight British solo circumnavigators were in London yesterday - how many more can you name?
The 68-year-old cheered into Porsmouth's Gunwharf Quays on Saturday
'Age has nothing to do with it. I am fitter than most', says the 75-year-old British sailing star