Class Globe 5.80 hits the spot
Published on July 9th, 2020
Conceived by Don McIntyre, Australian adventurer and founder of the 2018 Golden Globe Race, as an affordable solo racer for amateur construction, this 19-foot ocean and offshore racing yacht has over 80 sailors setting up to build in 23 countries.
International fleets are expected to appear over the next few years. The yacht’s ability to ship inside a 20ft container is creating real interest and new opportunities travelling to Europe for the 2021 Globe 5.80 Transat and Mini Globe Race.
At a time when some sailors question the escalating technology and money winning races, a whole segment of sailors previously left behind in the rush to speed and winning at any cost, are now embracing the benefits of a simpler more sustainable challenge.
Unlike the highly advanced Mini 6.5 Class, the idea of an affordable wholesome, back to basics, non-foiling and safe Mini yacht, able to sail anywhere, has found great appeal. Being easy to build, own and maintain, then offering fun yet serious one design sailing, seems to have hit the spot.
“The excitement and passion for the 5.80 across all levels of sailing is a pleasant surprise,” admitted McIntyre. “I thought it would take a year to see 100 sailors building, but it is happening in months. Adventurous solo sailors are excited, but there are plenty of club racers who see this as an opportunity for some fun.”
The 32-year-old French sailor Mathilde Lozachmeur has her sights firmly set on the solo 30,000-mile 2024 Mini Globe Race. Inspired by Éric Tabarly who lived near her home in Brittany, and Bernard Moitessier, for his madness and his do-it-yourselfer fashion, she has taken two years off work to build her Globe 5.80.
She will use a CNC cut kit to build her yacht, then train towards competing in the first ever Solo Globe 5.80 Transat, departing Portugal in November 2021, racing 3600 miles toward the Caribbean.
“I have this in my blood, I feel it and I have a year and a half to improve myself, because I will devote my life to this project,” said Lozachmeur. “I’ll be 33 in November 2021, for the Globe 5.80 Transat Race, and my boat was given race number 33! It is a sign. This is to realize a dream, of adventure, of escape and of surpassing oneself.
“Many people take these little boats for toys, but they have all big ones. You have to take this Mini seriously. Being rather manual, I find the idea of having to build your boat too exciting. I never imagined going into boat building, but I like the idea so much. Take on a personal challenge and learn from this adventure, especially now that I have decided to make it a profession!”
The Solo Globe 5.80 Transat is the first major event in a growing calendar for the 5.80 Class. Host Port partners are expected to be announced in the next few months and already there are 13 expressions of interest from around the world.
The 34-Year-old sailor Alenka Caserman from Brisbane is the only woman among six experienced Australian sailors building Globe 5.80’s, all focused on the 2024 Mini Globe Race.
“I’ve always been driven to immerse myself into experiences and seek adventures, so the idea of being hands-on, building a small offshore capable boat and racing competitively against other likeminded people seems like the perfect thing,” said Caserman.
“I’m just an average person yet this is within my means, it feels challenging, but absolutely doable. The main reason I decided to jump in and build a 5.80 is to fulfill my dream to participate in the next Solo Trans-Tasman Challenge in 2022. The 2024 Mini Globe Race is my next big challenge!”
Australian/Slovenian Caserman has been offshore sailing for two years and plans a solid workup program in the years leading up to the Mini Globe Race in 2024.
This unique concept is simple. Buy building plans (Euro$300), hand tools, plywood, glass and epoxy, then clear out the garage and start building your Globe 5.80 dreams. All on a budget of 5-600 hour labor and Euro $16-35,000 depending on where you want to go.
The 5.80 CNC cut timber kits (Boat in a BOX) are proving popular with agents appointed to 15 countries with more to follow. A Plastimo Builders Pack with most hardware to complete a 5.80 is available and one design mast packages are ready from Sparcraft and Selden, or you can build your own.
Ten Sailmakers are currently under review to select an Exclusive One Design Sail Supplier to the 5.80 Class for the next five years. This will deliver identical high-quality racing sails at a realistic price to all sailors through economies of scale. It also caps cost, leveling the playing field ensuring even competition, whether sponsored or unsponsored. A final decision is expected by the end of July 2020.