Golden Globe: The rubber band stretches
Published on January 20th, 2019
(January 20, 2019; Day 204) – Golden Globe Race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede (FRA) and Mark Slats (NED) are in the final weeks of their epic battle, and while the Dutchman had been gobbling miles on Van Den Heede, the rubber band is now stretching in favor of the French skipper. With 1111 nm to go, Van Den Heede has a lead of 190 nm, having covered 162 nm compared to 79 nm by Slats in the past 24 hours (as of 20:00 UTC). The leader is above the Azores archipelago with the promise of reaching angles compared to upwind sailing for 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.