Golden Globe: Podium near complete
Published on March 7th, 2019
(March 7, 2019; Day 250) – Third placed Estonian Uku Randmaa has survived his last storm – 50 knot winds and vicious 5m high seas – on March 5, which the winds now reduced but the leftover Atlantic swell remains as his Rustler 36 One and All heads into the Bay of Biscay today. With 300 miles to go, Golden Globe Race HQ is now predicting his finish on March 10 at 09:00 UTC off Les Sables d’Olonne, France.
For this 56 year-old solo circumnavigator, his homecoming could not come soon enough. He is out of food, and has not seen his wife and very young children for more than eight months. It will be a warm embrace followed by a dash to get his first square meal since rounding Cape Horn on January 19. He joked with Race organisers yesterday: “My boat is for sale. Any reasonable offer, but without food.”
He is promised a strong welcome in Les Sables d’Olonne led by the first two finishers Jean-Luc Van Den Heede and Mark Slats who are both making an overnight dash back to be first to shake his hand on the dock.
Jean-Luc is returning from the Sail-In festival in Bilbao where the Frenchman will receive their top sailing award on March 9, while Mark will drive through the night straight from his final public presentation at the HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show.
Meanwhile, fourth placed American/Hungarian Istvan Kopar appears to have finally escaped the clutches of the Azores High pressure system, and now within 1,350 miles of the Les Sables finish line, is making great strides towards completing his solo circumnavigation on around March 18-19.
Finland’s Tapio Lehtinen is having less luck. Faced with head winds for the past few days in a boat covered in barnacles which has lost its ability to point high into the breeze, Tapio is currently heading southeast, 90° from where he wants to go to escape the adverse current running down the South American coast. He is not expected to finish until May.
Relative positions of Lehtinen and Knox-Johnston in their virtual race around the Globe.
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.