Golden Globe Race leader penalized
Published on November 9th, 2018
(November 9, 2018; Day 132) – The Golden Globe Race has issued a time penalty against leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede as a result of his actions when he sustained mast damage during a storm 1,900 miles west of Cape Horn.
On Nov.6th at 0200hrs French solo yachtsman Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, the current Golden Globe Race leader, rang GGR organisers to advise that his yacht Matmut had sustained mast damage, that all was OK, and that he intended to sail for Chile when conditions improved. Race Officials advised this would mean moving to the CHICHESTER CLASS on arrival. J-L VDH said he would make a decision on his final intention in the weeks ahead, after making his landing and repair.
Subsequently GGR organisers became aware that J-L VDH may have made a call on the GGR satellite phone. At 1035hrs NOV. 6th GGR made contact with his team manager to clarify that J-L VDH should NOT make any Satphone calls and should only use his radio for advice about his mast. If calls had been made on the Satphone he would be moved to the Chichester class and could apply for a time penalty, but ONLY as long as NO material assistance or advice was given during these phone calls, and ONLY if no further calls were made.
At 1900hrs on NOV. 8th, GGR received a call from J-L VDH advising that he had changed his mind and now intended to continue in the Race and not head to Chile, and confirmed that he had rung his wife in the hours after the mast problem. GGR advised that he would be moved to the Chichester Class. J-L VDH requested that he be considered for a TIME PENALTY instead of being relegated to the CHICHESTER CLASS for his Satphone use, since no support was provided by the phone use and his HAM radio comms were good and providing all advice and assistance.
It is confirmed that J-L VDH did use his Satphone in the first hours after the mast damage. This action breached NOR 3.1.4 TELEPHONE CONTACT. It is confirmed that NO MATERIAL assistance was provided by the use of the phone and no further phone use was made during subsequent days.
In the spirit of the GOLDEN GLOBE RACE and noting the fact that J-L VDH received NO MATERIAL ASSISTANCE through the use of his GGR Satphone, GGR Organisers have applied an 18-hour time penalty to J-L VDH to be served in the GGR PENALTY BOX.
As of 1600 UTC today, Van Den Heede is 1860 nm from Cape Horn and 1527 nm ahead of second placed Dutchman Mark Slats.
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.