Golden Globe: Rescue logistics continue
Published on September 26th, 2018
(September 26, 2018; Day 88) – The Australian frigate HMAS Ballarat will be within helicopter range of Ile de Amsterdam at first light tomorrow and will commence operations to pick up Gregor McGuckin, one of two Golden Globe Race skippers dismasted during a fierce storm mid-way across the South Indian Ocean on September 21.
The second skipper, Indian Naval Commander Abhilash Tomy, who sustained serious back injuries when his yacht was rolled through 360° by 15m high seas, will remain in hospital until the arrival of the Indian Navy Frigate INS Satpura in two days. He’ll then be transferred by helicopter for ongoing medical treatment and return to India.
HMAS Ballarat will proceed back to Fremantle with McGuckin who remains in good health, arriving there on October 2 or 3.
Capt. Dilip Donde, Abhilash Tomy’s manager, reported today that Thuriya’s skipper can now stand and is eating and drinking, but requires complete rest. He will be evacuated on a stretcher from Ile de Amsterdam, the French administered island in the southern Indian Ocean.
Capt. Donde also announced plans to salvage Tomy’s yacht Thuriya, left drifting in the Indian Ocean when he was recovered by the crew of the French Fisheries Patrol ship Osiris two days ago. The plan is for the Indian Navy to tow Thuriya to St Paul’s Island some 40 miles north, and leave a crew to make repairs and sail her to land.
McGuckin’s yacht Hanley Energy Endurance was also left drifting when the Osiris crew picked him off the yacht. In a statement today, McGuckin’s Neil O’Hagen for McGuckin explains the status of his Biscay 36:
“During the controlled evacuation of Hanley Energy Endurance, McGuckin was instructed to leave the vessel afloat. The French fisheries patrol vessel Osiris instructed McGuckin that scuttling the vessel would be in breach of international maritime regulations.
“Hence, McGuckin removed all debris from the deck that could become separated, secured all equipment on board, and ensured the AIS beacon was active. The power source to the AIS device is solar panels which should remain active without any outside assistance, reducing the risk to other vessels.
“Precautionary steps were also taken to ensure the relatively small amount of fuel onboard is secure.”
Meanwhile, the eight remaining Golden Globe Race skippers continue to race eastwards through the Indian Ocean. French leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, sailing the Rustler 36 Matmut, passed the Cape Leeuwin longitude on September 24 and is expected to arrive at the next compulsory turning gate – a film drop point off Hobart, Australia – on October 3 or 4.
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.