Dismasting in the Golden Globe Race
Published on August 27th, 2018
(August 27, 2018; Day 58) – Golden Globe Race skipper Are Wiig made a satellite phone call to Race HQ at 16:30 UTC today to report that his 32ft yacht Olleanna had been rolled through 360° and dismasted some 400 miles south west of Cape Town.
The 58-year old yacht surveyor from Svelvik, Norway was one of 12 sailors still competing in this solo non-stop race around the Globe, and was below decks at the time with the yacht lying hove-to in 35-45knot winds and 7-8m seas.
One cabin porthole was lost, but Are reported that he was not injured and there was no damage to the hull. He quickly cut the mast and rig away from the hull but left the forestay and it is currently hanging from the bow of the boat in the water with the sail attached acting as a sea anchor
“Are sounded confident and very much in control,” reports GGR Race Chairman Don McIntyre. “His windvane self-steering system had broken, and before going below, he had been hand-steering for seven hours. Down below is a mess, but he plans to tidy up and monitor the situation and then develop a plan.
“He has everything onboard to make a jury rig. Are confirmed that he had NOT activated his EPIRB and did not require any assistance at this time. All his safety equipment is secure and in good order. His satellite communications are working well and he has full electrical power.”
Race HQ in Les Sables d’O’lonne is monitoring the situation and alerted rescue authorities in Cape Town and the fleet of race yachts. The nearest competitor to Are Wiig is Ireland’s Gregor McGuckin sailing the Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance, some 40 miles north east of Wiig’s position, but he too is facing the same strong westerly winds, reporting earlier today: 3RD NIGHT OF GALES. NO SAIL. TOWING WARPS. ALL WELL, JUST TIRED.
McIntyre continued: “We have alerted the GGR fleet but since Are has not asked for assistance at this stage we have not called on any yachts to divert from their course.”
Last night, Wiig, who had been lying 4th overall before the dismasting, called Race HQ a second time to confirm that the situation onboard was stable. He was preparing to plug the broken porthole and was committed to set up a jury rig as soon as conditions allow and head slowly for Cape Town.
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.