Golden Globe: Crossing the South Pacific
Published on January 11th, 2023
(January 11, 2023) – Simon Curwen (GBR) leads the Golden Globe Race, halfway across the Southern Pacific just four weeks from Cape Horn, bound for Les Sables d’Olonne having left 129 days ago. Only Ian Herbert Jones and Guy Waites are yet to pass the magic half way point.
Other than Elliott Smith (USA), cautiously sailing to Fremantle for repairs, all yachts are sailing without equipment issues. The mind game of “no wind” has hit Kirsten Neuchäfer (RSA) hard, watching Curwen sail away Abhilash Tomy (IND) is low on water which could be a game changer. All are holding their breath as the extreme heavy weather is still holding well below the rhumb line.
As 2022 was ending, so was Curwen’s undisputed leadership on the fleet was threatened in a calm high pressure approaching Tasmania, losing huge miles to Neuchäfer and Tomy in second and third position.
But now the tide has turned on the wannabe leaders as the Brit perfectly managed the high pressure through New Zealand while his pursuers became trapped in no wind zones around NZL for several days. This shot Curwen ahead at full speed making the gap 900 miles. Worse, is that both Neuchäfer and Tomy are now in a different weather system altogether.
On the bright side, with Tony’s nimble Rustler 36 being faster in the light winds, there is a race within the race between these two talented sailors that will push both in pursuit of the undisputed leader. All three are reporting no major problems with their boats.
For those behind, any entrant who arrives at the HOBART GATE after 1200hrs Local time on January 31 becomes a GGR Voyager on arrival and may not continue toward Cape Horn earlier than 1000hrs Local time on December 1, 2023. A Chichester Class entrant arriving at the Hobart gate after 1200hrs Local time on January 31 is withdrawn from the event.
Additionally, a decision has been made to drop the Punta del Este film gate. While the previous three gates were part of recreating the original 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race with entrants dropping off films and letters, the Punta Del Este drop was mainly to grab Southern Ocean footage for media opportunities.
The long split of entrants rounding Cape Horn now makes that task not relevant, and its omission will also allow more tactical opportunities for the sailors to make gains, or suffer losses in their choice of course as they round Cape Horn and climb north to the equator.
Credit for helping with rescue of Tapio Lehtinen:
• Kirsten Neuschäfer: 35 hours + 30 litres of fuel
• Abhilash Tomy: 12hrs
2022 GGR Class:
Abhilash Tomy (43) / India / Rustler 36
Ertan Beskardes (60) / UK / Rustler 36
Ian Herbert Jones (52) / UK / Tradewind 35
Jeremy Bagshaw (59) / South Africa / OE32
Kirsten Neuschäfer (39) / South Africa / Cape George 36
Michael Guggenberger (44) / Austria / Biscay 36
Simon Curwen (63) / UK / Biscay 36
2022 GGR Chichester Class:*
Guy Waites (54) / UK / Tradewind 35 (stopped in Cape Town to clean/paint hull)
* Competitors shift to this class by making one stop.
Edward Walentynowicz (68) / Canada / Rustler 36 (dropped out, Sept. 8)
Guy deBoer (66) / USA / Tashiba 36 (ran aground, Sept. 16)
Mark Sinclair (63) / Australia / Lello 34 (retired in Lanzarote, Sept. 22)
Pat Lawless (66) / Ireland / Saga 36 (retired in Cape Town, Nov. 9)
Damien Guillou (39) / France / Rustler 36 (retired in Cape Town, Nov. 14)
Tapio Lehtinen (64) / Finland / Gaia 36 Masthead sloop (sank off Cape Town, Nov. 18)
Arnaud Gaist (50) / France / BARBICAN 33 MKII-long keel version (retired near Saint Helena, Dec. 9)
Elliott Smith (27) / USA / Gale Force 34 (retired, Dec. 20)
About the 2022 Golden Globe Race
On September 4, 2022, the third edition of the Golden Globe Race started from Les Sables d’Olonne, France. Sixteen skippers will face eight months of isolation sailing 30,000 miles before finishing in Les Sables d’Olonne. Along the route there are several marks of the course and media requirements.
In 1968, while man was preparing to take his first steps on the moon, a mild mannered and modest young man was setting out on his own record breaking voyage of discovery. He had entered the original Golden Globe. Nine men started that first solo non-stop sailing race around the World. Only one finished. He was 29 year old Sir Robin Knox Johnston. History was made. Navigating only with a sextant, paper charts and an accurate and reliable time piece, Sir Robin navigated around the world.
In 2018, to celebrate 50 years since that first record breaking achievement, the Golden Globe Race was resurrected. It instantly gained traction with adventurers, captivated by the spirit and opportunity. Eighteen started with five finishers.
To embrace the original race, competitors must sail in production boats between 32 and 36 feet overall and designed prior to 1988 that have a full-length keel with rudder attached to their trailing edge. Additionally, sailors have limited communication equipment and can use only sextants, paper charts, wind up clocks, and cassette tapes for music.