Golden Globe: Gearing up for finish
Published on April 26th, 2023
(April 26, 2023) – The Golden Globe Race competitor Kirsten Neuschäfer is holding first place, set to possibly break many records with only 180 miles to finish and a 100 mile lead and 23hr time credit on Abhilash Tomy on Bayanat.
The models differ but racers should have a Friday (April 28) arrival for the leaders. Estimated Times of Arrival are easier for Swiss trains than sailing boats for sure, and with very unstable light weather on arrival at 48 hours from the finish, there still is some discrepancy between weather models and routing programs moderated by Don McIntyre, GGR Founder and Chairman.
Several offshore racing routing programs have been run, and the earliest predictions are Simon Curwen/HOWDENS arriving Thursday afternoon (April 27), Kirsten Neuschäfer/MINNEHAHA the morning of Friday April 28, and Abhilash Tomy/BAYANAT that same evening.
However, the weather looks very unstable and synoptic predictions do not take local weather influences into account. Furthermore, the routing programs take into consideration that boats follow the path crafted for them by another computer routing program onboard, which they do not have, so those predictions could easily slip 12-18 hours back or more.
“Weather routing programs work on precise polars and Velocity Predictions Programs, however the GGR boats do not have precise polars, much less after 233 days at sea, tired sails and potential growth. Also, the sailors do not have the weather and are not following the best route,” said McIntyre.
McIntyre is suggesting, based on current weather forecast for Neuschäfer:
2200 hr UTC April 26th 147 miles Distance To Finish
0800 hr UTC April 27th 90 miles DTF
2200 hr UTC April 27th 50 miles DTF
0800 hr UTC April 28th 20 miles DTF, but with complete calms around and light headwinds forecast for late Friday it could take another 5-10 hours or?
The ETA will be updated early morning and evening local time on the GGR Facebook page, the daily reports and the GGR Website. The Live tracker will be on a 1-hour update starting Thursday April 27th in the morning.
The Race Office had thought that the lead trio as they entered a zone of intense traffic could get information on their respective positions, but the VHF chatter has not yet let the cat out of the bag.
“We spoke to both Abhilash and Simon on the phone on Monday. Both of them have no idea where the others are, and they both think they are hundreds if not thousands of miles behind the leader. It appears from our last conversation with Kirsten that she also thinks the same after spending several weeks in the Doldrums. Pretty unique 233 days after the start.” Sébastien Delasnerie GGR Race Director. Kirsten Neuschäfer had just called, and also had no idea she is winning.
Jean-Luc Van den Heede (FRA), Edward Walentynowycz (CAN), Damien Guillou (FRA) and Ian Herbert-Jones (GBR), freshly off the F/V ZI DA WANG in Cape Town are planning to be in town to welcome their friends Several round the world sailors of Vendée Globe fame have also expressed their interest to welcome the skippers and show their appreciation for the history in the making that is underway.
Event details – Entry list – Tracker – Facebook
Finish times will be adjusted as race organizers have issued credit for helping with the rescue of Tapio Lehtinen:
• Kirsten Neuschäfer: 35 hours + 30 litres of fuel
• Abhilash Tomy: 12hrs
2022 GGR Class:
1. Kirsten Neuschäfer (39) / South Africa / Cape George 36 – “MINNEHAHA”
2. Abhilash Tomy (43) / India / Rustler 36 – “BAYANAT”
3. Michael Guggenberger (44) / Austria / Biscay 36 – “NURI”
2022 GGR Chichester Class:*
1. Simon Curwen (63) / UK / Biscay 36 – “CLARA” (will stop to repair windvane)
2. Jeremy Bagshaw (59) / South Africa / OE32 – “OLLEANNA” (stopped in Hobart to clean 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)
Ertan Beskardes (60) / UK / Rustler 36 (retired in Cape Town, Nov. 16)
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)
Guy Waites (54) / UK / Tradewind 35 (stopped in Cape Town to clean/paint hull; retired in Hobart after losing his liferaft, Feb. 10)
Ian Herbert Jones (52) / UK / Tradewind 35 – “PUFFIN” (rolled/dismasted northeast of Cape Horn, April 10)
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.