Three year pit stop in Golden Globe Race

Published on December 3rd, 2021

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede wrote his name into the record books by not only winning the 2018 Golden Globe solo non-stop round the world race, but becoming the oldest in history to complete such a race when he crossed the finish line on January 29, 2019.

But as the 73-year old French veteran of six solo circumnavigations completed the course with an elapsed time of 212d 5h 10m 0s, the trail behind held stories of hardship and hard luck. Curiously, barnacle growth was an issue for several competitors, slowing their progress considerably.

One of those was Australian Mark Sinclair whose Lello 34 Coconut had been plagued by growth when he reached his home port of Adelaide in December 2018 just as his water supplies ran dry. While he had a team of friends rallied to clean the hull and make other repairs to the boat, he decided to retire due to concern that reaching Cape Horn in early March was too late in the season.

However, that was not the end of Sinclair’s story as he sets off December 5 from Adelaide to Les Sables d’Olonne, France to finish his 2018 Golden Globe Race after 3-year hiatus. Under the 2018 GGR Notice of Race, he could continue the race in Chichester Class, aiming to become the sixth finisher of the race.

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.

“I have unfinished business with the GGR and several reasons to complete my voyage,” explained Sinclair. “I sailed the easy part of the course and want to have a go at the second one. It is an interesting route: one week to Tasmania, another week to New Zealand, before another two months to Cape Horn.

“All sailors who finished the 2018 GGR had been around the world at least once, so this is a great preparation for the 2022 edition, rounding the Horn and bringing the boat back to Les Sables d’Olonne!”

The next edition of the Golden Globe Race is slated to start on September 4, 2022.

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Background:
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.

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