Sensible seamanship in the Indian Ocean
Published on September 27th, 2018
(September 27, 2018; Day 89) – Nowhere amid the oceans of the world do sailors need to rely on their brethren more than when deep into the southern latitudes, and this understanding among the sailing community was recognized yesterday when the Golden Globe Race HQ in Les Sables d’Olonne received a request at 20:00 UTC for assistance.
The 32-foot sailing yacht Selene, whose skipper Kjell Litwin is on a personal solo non-stop circumnavigation, was running out of water. Selene is currently some 3000 miles west of Perth, Western Australia and has only 10 liters of water after unexpectedly losing his additional water supplies overboard.
Golden Globe Race skipper Istvan Kopar (above), the American/Hungarian sailing his Tradewind 36 yacht Puffin, was 20 miles to the west and has agreed to assist. The plan is for Kopar to throw a rope to Seline’s skipper with a 20 liter water container attached as he sails past. The GGR has approved the use of his motor if needed.
Puffin’s GPS position is being relayed by Race HQ and Kopar has confirmed that he is in VHF radio contact with Selene’s skipper.
Kopar is sailing in 30-35 knot NW winds and 3-4m seas though the wind and sea is forecast to moderate slowly during the day.
While Litwin is not in distress, and in the opinion of GGR organisers he knows the likelihood is good to catch rain water over the next month while sailing to Australia, it is sensible seamanship for him to ask for water from any close vessels just in case. Equally, Kopar was more than happy to assist another sailor, with the yachts expected to meet today in the Indian Ocean.
Race update: 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, 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.