Entrants Step Forward For Race That Steps Back

Published on November 18th, 2015

London, UK (November 18, 2015) – Sailors from America, Australia, Britain and France head the preliminary entry list for the 2018 Golden Globe solo round the world race. The event commemorates the 50th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s pioneering victory in the Sunday Times Golden Globe race back in 1968/9 which led to the British yachtsman becoming the first person to sailor solo non-stop around the globe.

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.

The 24 men and 1 woman – Britain’s Susie Bundegaard Goodall – have each paid an initial A$3,000 entry fee, though some names remain confidential until sponsorship announcements are made later this year. Other entrants hail from Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Palestine, Russia and Switzerland.

But 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.

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.

Knox-Johnston’s 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 he completed the challenge without the aid of modern day shore-based weather routing advice.

Knox-Johnston 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 race will be 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 hand-write 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 their sealed safety box 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 Chichester 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.

Coverage for the Golden Globe Race has been massive, yet each day more sailors are finding out about this ‘Real Solo Race’ around the world. With the entry list now nearly full, interested entrants will soon be forced to join the WAIT LIST. There will only be a maximum of 15 on this list. 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 have yet to be offered. These will to deserving sailors nearer to the start and those still hanging in on the wait list will be remembered. The prospect is for a fleet of 30 sailors setting out from Falmouth on June 14 2018.

Event website: mcintyreadventure.com/goldengloberace

Source: Barry Pickthall, PPL Ltd

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