Golden Globe: Approaching France
Published on January 27th, 2019
(January 27, 2019; Day 211) – Jean-Luc Van Den Heede is within 204 miles of the Golden Globe Race finish line (18:00 UTC) and expected to receive a huge welcome home in Les Sables d’Olonne on Tuesday January 29th.
The 73-year old Frenchman and his Rustler 36 yacht Matmut have led this 27,000 mile solo circumnavigation since rounding the Cape of Good Hope on August 23rd last year and stretched this out a 2,000 mile lead before suffering a capsize and serious mast damage during a southern ocean storm on November 8th when 1,900 miles west of Cape Horn.
Since then, second placed Dutch rival Mark Slats (41), sailing another Rustler 36, Ohpen Maverick, has been catching up, within 330nm, but running out of time to overtake Van Den Heede.
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.
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.