Golden Globe: The final hemisphere
Published on April 11th, 2019
(April 11, 2019; Day 285) – Finland’s Tapio Lehtinen and his Gaia 36 Asteria remain the last of the Golden Globe race skippers on the course, having crossed the Equator on April 9 to start the last part of his solo circumnavigation back to Les Sables d’Olonne, France. The Finnish skipper has been slowed by increasing barnacle growth on Asteria since crossing the Indian Ocean last October.
Despite being 2988 nm from the finish, and likely to finish two months after fourth placed finisher American Hungarian Istvan Kopar, Tapio reports to have plenty of food on board.
Plans are underway for the 2022 Golden Globe Race, with the Suhaili Class for prescribed long keeled yachts between 32-36ft already fully subscribed with 20 entrants representing 10 countries, 12 of which already have boats.
Three hail from Australia, two from France, seven from the UK, and two from the USA, together with one each from Austria, Canada, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand, and Norway. A wait list is now open to accept provisional entrants and these skippers will be announced at the GGR Press Conference on April 22.
There is also strong interest in the 10 places available in the new Joshua Class for 40ft purpose-built steel replicas of Bernard Moitessier’s classic yacht. The first of these is expected to be launched this winter when entries for this class will open.
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.