Harken Derm

Golden Globe: Shrinkage in the lead

Published on January 8th, 2019

(January 8, 2019; Day 192) – Golden Globe Race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede has seen his margin over Mark Slats continue to narrow, now down to 353nm with 2095nm to the finish (as of 1200UTC). Van Den Heede remains plagued by light winds while Slats benefits from the norheasterlies off the African continent. As Van Den Heede approaches the Canary Islands, the French skipper hopes to gain relief within the next two days while his Dutch threat finds the same trap he seeks to escape.

Elsewhere in the fleet, Tapio Lehtinen (5th place) finds himself again in the South Pacific crosshairs in his approach to Cape Horn. He has a storm coming in from the west and needs to get north now having been pushed south over the past two days. The storm is due to arrive in the next two days but he will run out of wind soon and sit in a clam while it approaches.

Istvan Kopar (4th place) has some heavy weather passing over him in the next 24 hours so is also running North off the Argentinian coast to move away and should be blown away from it as it approaches being on the safe side of it. Alongside Uruguay, Uku Randma (3rd place) is using the winds from a storm which will pass just below him to propel north so he is happy to miss it.

NOTE: Jean-Luc Van Den Heede absorbed an 18-hour time penalty as a result of his actions when he sustained mast damage during a storm 1,900 miles west of Cape Horn. His mast remains structurally unsound which may impact his performance for the remaining miles.

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Background:
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.

Source: GGR

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