Golden Globe: Disaster for Philippe Péché
Published on August 11th, 2018
(August 11, 2018; Day 42) – The 57–year old Philippe Péché, who has been among the leaders of the Golden Globe Race, made an emergency call to the race headquarters at 18:10 UTC yesterday to report that the tiller on his Rustler 36 yacht PRB had broken in 45-50 knot winds and he had no steering.
The Frenchman from La Trinité Sur Mer, who was lying in second place, reported that he had dropped all sail and was leaving the yacht to drift until the winds abate before assessing his options. He told race organisers last night that the spare parts he carried for the special telescopic alloy tiller fitted on PRB had already been utilised to repair the self steering system on the yacht.
PRB is currently in mid Atlantic, some 1,500nm west of Cape Town, the nearest port. Péché said that he was in no immediate danger, but two other competitors, race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede (Matmut) and Dutchman Mark Slats (Ohpen Maverick) are close, with the rest of the fleet following up behind.
Don McIntyre, the Race Chairman said today, “Philippe Péché has told us that he is in no immediate danger. His yacht is very seaworthy and he is a highly experienced sailor with two previous circumnavigations under his belt.
“We are continuing to monitor the situation but expect the current gale to blow through within the next 24 hours when he hopes to fashion another tiller.
“He also made a satellite call to his partner, not allowed under the GGR rules, which relegates him to the Chichester class and is now out of the GGR Rankings.” The Chichester class is for competitors that make one breach of the strict solo, non-stop unassisted circumnavigation without the aid of modern electronic navigation aids regulations that make this Race unique.
Jean-Luc Van Den Heede who is riding the same strong winds, also reported problems with the self-steering on his Rustler 36 Matmut. A bolt sheered under the strain of steering the yacht downwind in the strong conditions, but he was able to replace it.
The next compulsory turning gate for the fleet is off Hobart, Tasmania.
The 2018 Golden Globe Race started for 17 skippers from Les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday July 1, 2018, with the inaugural solo non-stop around the world yacht race expected to take 9-10 months to complete.
The event marks the 50th anniversary of the Sunday Times Golden Globe solo non-stop round the world Race in 1968-69 when rules then allowed competitors to start from ports in northern France or UK between June 1st and October 31st.
A notable twist to the 2018 Golden Globe Race format is how entrants are restricted to using the same type of yachts and equipment that were available in that first race, with the premise being to keep the race within financial reach of every dreamer.
The rules allow for one breach of the strict solo, non-stop un-assisted circumnavigation without the aid of modern electronic navigation aids regulations that make this Race unique. However, those that do move down to the Chichester Class as if, like Sir Francis Chichester in 1966-67, they have made one stop during their solo circumnavigation.
Those who breach the rules for a second time are deemed to have retired from the GGR Event and the organisers have no responsibility or obligation to them.