3 Months to the Start of the Golden Globe Race
• 3 Months to the start: Pressures build to complete qualifying distances and preparations
• American Carl Huber forced to withdraw from 2018 GGR but keeps options open to compete in 2022 Race
• Entries: 19 sailors from 12 countries to complete– France 4, Britain 3, Australia 2, and one each from Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, India, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Palestine and Russia.
• Falmouth 50th anniversary Parade of Sail – Joshua unable to attend, but Joshua crew will be there to fly the flag
With just 3 months to the June 1st start from Les Sables d’Olonne, it is now a race against time for some of the 19 sailors to complete their boats, jury rig tests, and in one case their solo qualification distance before the fleet gathers in Falmouth on June 14 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s departure at the start of the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race back in 1968/9
For American Carl Huber, who sold his house and just about everything else in the garage to compete, time has already run out. Cost overruns in preparing his Baba 35 Jamma Jeanne have forced him to withdraw in the hope that he can return for the next GGR in 2022. Huber had just returned from crossing the Pacific aboard the famous New Zealand maxi yacht Ceramco NZ, to meet the strict 8,000 mile general sailing experience each competitor must have under their belt, only to find the escalating costs involved in repowering and rigging Jamma Jeanne had exceeded all expectations. “I’ve been holding out for a miraculous event but none was forthcoming and am now very reluctantly and painfully conceding.” He says, adding: “I consider the 2018 event to be very unique and continue to support the vision and the race. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Race Founder Don McIntyre and his team and reserve judgment on 2022.”
Suhaili 50 Falmouth Parade of Sail – June 11 – 14
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is busy preparing his yacht Suhaili
to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his departure from Falmouth at the start
of the original Golden Globe race back in 1968, during a 3-day jamboree between
June 11 -14.
Joshua’s place alongside Suhaili at the head of the 2¬–hour
Parade of Sail around Falmouth Harbour on Thursday June 14 will now be taken up
by Sir Francis Chichester’s Gipsy Moth IV, the path-finding yacht that proved
for the first time that small boats can survive in the Southern ocean.
Chichester went on to become the first to make a solo one-stop
circumnavigation. Gipsy Moth will also mark the leeward end of the line at the
start of the SITRaN Challenge race from Falmouth to Les Sables d’Olonne
commencing straight after the Parade of Sail.
Nabil Amra, Francesco Cappelletti, Gregor McGuckin, Tapio Lehtinen, Philippe Péché, Uku Randmaa and Igor Zaretskiy have still to complete their 10-mile jury rig trials around a triangular course, and Nabil still has some miles to go to meet the minimum 8,000 mile general sailing and 2,000 mile solo qualifications in order to start.
Yachts on the move
Susie Goodall relaunched her Rustler 36 DHL Starlight in March and completed her jury rig test during a passage to Plymouth where a new Selden mast was stepped before she set sail for Southampton where Goodall will complete her preparations prior to the start.
Having completed initial sail and jury rig trials of his Suhaili replica yacht Thuriya, Indian entrant Abhilash Tomy had her shipped by road to Kochi at the end of March and loaded on a ship bound for Rotterdam. Tomy expects to have her relaunched and sailing in Holland by the end of April and plans to base his final preparations there.
French skipper Antoine Cousot is sailing his Biscay 36 ketch Métier Intérim down to the Loire Valley this week and motoring up river to Nantes for a private naming ceremony on April 5. He then plans to continue mixing sea trials and work on the boat to ready her for solo voyage across the Celtic Sea to Cork and Dublin before returning to Falmouth early June for a final haul out and antifoul in readiness for the Suhaili 50 Falmouth Parade of Sail and the SITRaN race back to Les Sables d’Olonne on June 14.
British/Turkish skipper Ertan Beskardes is mid-way through a solo
voyage from the Med back to Falmouth and made a stop in Gibraltar just before
Easter to continue on-going repairs and upgrades to his Rustler 36 Lazy Otter
Estonian solo circumnavigator Uku
Randmaa plans to return to Les Sables d’Olonne on April 9 for a
week of sailing trials with his Rustler 36 One and All and to check up on work
carried out in his absence to fit a watertight bulkhead. He also has new sails
to test and a new liferaft to install.
Philippe Péché has been busy sailing his
Rustler 36 PRB since her launch a month ago. His first trial sail was from La
Trinite to Lorient with GGR Race Director Patrice Carpentier when the cold
Spring weather confirmed the need for a heater to be fitted. Early attempts to
complete his jury rig test were thwarted by a complete lack of wind on the day
and he will now re-attempt to set up and complete the 10-mile triangular course
test with his A-Frame system with the main mast in situ.
Australian Kevin Farebrother’s Tradewind 35
Sagarmatha was offloaded in La Havre in March and transported by road to Les
Sables d’Olonne ready to be relaunched and have her rig stepped on Kevin’s
arrival from Australia at the beginning of April 2.
French veteran Jean-Luc van Den Heede still has a list
of work to prepare his Rustler 36 Matmut, and since most of this has to be done
outdoors, the cold, wet Spring weather has not helped. “I prefer to
anticipate wear rather than improvise makeshift repairs and plan a long
navigation to test sail the boat before the start.”
Australian Mark Sinclair plans to be reunited with his Lello 34 Coconut, at the end of April. The yacht arrived in the UK in March on the same ship that dropped fellow Australian Kevin Farebrother’s Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha in Le Havre. Mark will be based at Plymouth Haven Marina throughout May making final preparations before sailing west to Falmouth for the Suhaili 50th anniversary celebrations between June 11-14.
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