Ertan Beskardes now joins Susie Goodall and Robin Davie in flying the flag for Britain
A third British sailor has now signed up to compete in the Golden Globe Race.
Ertan Beskardes, 56, is currently refitting his Rustler 36, Lazy Otter, in Fertilia Marina in Sardinia, ahead of the race start in Les Sables-D’Olonne, France on 1 July 2018.
The Turkish-born British national, who is originally from Istanbul, was initially planning to enter the second Golden Globe Race in 2022.
‘I have always been self-employed and always wanted to do something special like sail around the world. I first learned about the Golden Globe Race on Facebook in 2017 and thought to enter the second race in 2022, but then learned that there were places available for the 2018 event,’ he said.
‘I quickly found a Rustler 36 in Sardinia and have just started to prepare her for the race,’ added Beskardes, who has been cruising regularly since 1998.
All race competitors must show prior ocean sailing experience of at least 8,000 miles and another 2,000 miles solo in any boat, by 30 April, 2018.
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Beskardes is planning to set out on his qualifying solo trip from Sardinia to Falmouth in February.
Entrants are only allowed to use equipment that was available in the very first race – so no GPS or modern technology on board, and Beskardes says he’ll use his solo trip to practice his sextant.
Beskardes will join Susie Goodall and Robin Davie as the UK entrants in the race.
Goodall, who at 28 is one of the youngest skippers taking part, is now also the only woman in the race, following the withdrawal of 51-year-old Brazilian Izabel Pimentel due to a lack of sponsorship.
Goodall, who has secured the backing of DHL, has already completed a double Atlantic solo crossing in her Rustler 36, Ariadne, prior to the boat being refitted at Rustler Yachts in Falmouth, Cornwall.
Meanwhile, Robin Davie, who admits not even looking for sponsorship, is busy ‘rebuilding’ his Rustler 36 at Falmouth Boat Yard.
The experienced offshore sailor, who has competed in the 1990, 1994 and 1998 BOC Challenge Around Alone Races, is doing most of the work himself, installing watertight bulkheads and checking every piece of equipment on board his 30 year old boat.
‘My whole focus is getting the boat in the water,’ he told PBO. ‘I will do my best with what we’ve got in the time we’ve got. Time is my biggest enemy at the moment, as it is even for the well-funded boats. I know I will have enough to meet my needs.’
Despite the pressures, Davie, who was inspired to take up solo sailing as a result of following the original 1968/69 race, is confident that he will be sailing the boat by March, ‘tweaking’ the Rustler before heading to Les Sables-D’Olonne.
‘It will be the happiest day of my life when I cross the start line and begin heading south,’ he added.
With 6 months to go until the start of race, organisers have announced that 23 skippers are at advance stages for the start, with six others hopeful of finding a boat and sponsor in time.