All good for Golden Globe Race leader
Published on October 6th, 2018
(October 6, 2018; Day 98) – Jean-Luc Van Den Heede reached the BoatShed.com Hobart film gate in Australia at 07:30 local time today (21:30 UTC yesterday) to drop film and letters before resuming his lead in the Golden Globe Race.
All skippers are compelled to pick up a buoy and stop in Storm Bay, a large bay in the south-east region of Tasmania, for a minimum of 90 minutes to hand across film and letters, be interviewed by the media and meet family and team members. No one can board the yachts or provide any assistance and the skipper cannot disembark.
The 73-year old Matmut skipper was in good spirits and sighted the lengthy preparation work for his 1,600 mile lead. “The boat is good, the self-steering works well, and I have only minor problems like a leaking window to deal with.”
Jean-Luc remained at anchor for 3 1/2 hours completing media interviews before making most of the calm conditions to check his mast and rigging. He also tried to catch some sleep, but after 15 minutes returned on deck complaining that the conditions were “too calm to sleep!”
He then set off to cross the South Pacific Ocean and round Cape Horn predicting that he would complete this solo circumnavigation back in Les Sables d’Olonne within 210 days, arriving during the first week of February.
Dutchman Mark Slats, the second placed skipper, is not expected to reach Hobart for another 10 days. Eight of the original 18 Golden Globe Race entrants continue in the race.
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.