Swiss wins first Globe 5.80 Transat Race

Published on December 16th, 2021

Etienne Messikommer (SUI) with his colorful Numbatou (Hull 88) crossed the finish line at 20:48 UTC on December 13, sailing into Antigua after 26 days, 7 hours, and 48 minutes at sea to win the inaugural 2021 McIntyre Adventure Globe 5.80 Transat Race.

“I did not sleep much in the last three days, it’s been intense but I’m very happy to be here in Antigua,” said Etienne after covering 3184 nm since the start on November 17 in Lanzarote, Spain

Followed by Michal Krysta (Czech Republic) who crossed the line with his Menawan (Hull 07) at 01:19 UTC on December 14, after weeks of a captivating mano-a-mano at the forefront of the fleet, sticking together since the very start from Lagos on the Western option, while the rest of the fleet headed East.

Both sailors had sailed their Globe 5.80 together from Les Sables d’Olonne to Lagos, spending valuable time on the water, speed-testing, learning the boat in variable weather and sea conditions. The pair also led the fleet during the 600 nm qualifier from Lagos (Portugal) to Lanzarote (Spain) and were widely seen as the main contenders for the inaugural Globe 5.80 Transat.

Michal Krysta and Etienne Messikommer have been pushing each other since day one, posting superior speed to the rest of the fleet, but what was far from certain, was which one of them would be first in Antigua.

They have distinct – nearly opposite – styles of sailing; Etienne has huge solo mileage and cruising experience, showcasing a laid-back, windvane-steered style, keeping the boat and sailors fresh, perfect for long-distance. Michal in the other end is a through-and-through extreme sports athlete and competitor, known for his full-on and full-sail style, hand-steering most of the time and big on hiking to get the best speed out of Menawan.

In fact, Krysta has consistently been posting the best speed and distances on the 5.80, holding the Class Globe 5.80 speed record at 16.9 knots and the best 24-hour distance at 158 miles, but has been plagued by windvane and autopilot issues, requiring long hours on the helm.

After days of this racing regime keeping close to Numbatou, the lack of sleep has been an issue for the last few days of the race.

“It was a big dream to make it to Antigua and now I’m here. It feels really good!” said Michal on arrival. “It’s been a tough battle and exhausting to steer that much falling asleep on the tiller, I went through the whole emotional spectrum and now can’t wait to go on land and discover Antigua.”

Class Globe 5.80 founder and competitor Don McIntyre with his Trekka (Hull 01) finished third on December 14 at 1143 UTC after 3028 miles and 27 days at sea. Next was Peter Kenyon (Hull 47 Origami) finishing at 2032 UTC on December 15 after sailing a total distance of 3051 nm in 28 days, 7 hours, 32 minutes and 11 seconds.

Still at sea is Jim Schofield (IRL) who has taken a more conservative stance towards the race, and sailed Molly Claire (Hull 57) under reduced canvass. His primary objective being to cross the Atlantic Ocean on his own, on a boat he built himself as a “pandemic project”. He is expected to arrive by December 26.

Race detailsTrackerTwitter

The first ever single-handed Globe 5.80 Transat Race set off November 1 on the qualifying stage of 600 miles from Lagos, Portugal to Lanzarote, Spain, followed by the 3000 mile race on November 17 to Antigua.

The Class Globe 5.80 One Design Ocean Racing yacht provides an affordable solo 19-foot ocean and offshore racing yacht for amateur construction and competition. Since the release of plans in early 2020, the plywood-build class has attracted strong interest with 165 builders in 27 countries. The first six launched from five countries are participating in the 2021 Globe 5.80 Transat.

The Globe 5.80 Transat will be held every two years. In the next 12 months up to 45 new yachts are expected to be launched with 165 builders in 27 countries. The ultimate goal of many builders is to enter the 2024 Mini Globe Race with 14 of the available 30 entries already signed up.

Source: Globe 5.80 Transat

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