Love it when a plan comes together
Published on October 1st, 2018
(October 1, 2018) – Golden Globe Race skipper Gregor McGuckin arrived into Perth, Western Australia today aboard the Australian frigate HMAS Ballarat following the dismasting of his Biscay 36 yacht Hanley Energy Endurance during an Indian Ocean storm on September 21st.
“While Australia was never my intended final port, I couldn’t be happier and more grateful right now,” said the 32-year old Irish yachtsman. “My journey started some 92 days ago, when I departed France on Hanley Energy Endurance in an attempt to sail alone non-stop around the world.
“In a horrendous storm, my yacht was capsized and dismasted, as was my competitor Abhilash Tomy’s yacht. I was uninjured and was planning to sail to safety. However, Abhilash was not so lucky. He suffered a back injury and was in immediate danger, so I built a jury rig and set a course for his location. Thankfully, we were both picked up and Abhilash is now recovering.
These two retirements now leave 8 of the original 18 Golden Globe Race entrants remaining.
“The real heroes today are the professionals that coordinate and execute such missions. All services were tested to their limits and excelled. The international cooperation between Australia, France, and India has proven that no matter how remote, there is always cover, and the investment in naval assets and training paid off.
“I understand the Ballarat crew had returned early from leave and I pass on my deep gratitude to them and their families for their dedication to duty.”
“Of course, the Golden Globe Race continues and my thoughts are very much with my fellow competitors. My incident merely underpins the challenges they face and I am sure we would all wish the remaining boats a safe passage until the race completes next year. I would also like to thank (race organizer) Don McIntyre and his team for their support.”
Indian Abhilash Tomy, who was rescued at the same time, is now enroute to his home waters and recovering.
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.