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Golden Globe Race - 30 sailors from 12 countries named for challenge

by Barry Pickthall on 18 Feb 2016
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston onboard Suhaili Clipper Ventures
Sailors from America, Britain and France head the preliminary entry list for the 2018 Golden Globe solo round the world race.

The event commemorates the 50th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s pioneering victory in the Sunday Times Golden Globe race back in 1968/9 which led to the British yachtsman becoming the first person to sail solo non-stop around the globe.

The 29 men and one woman – Britain’s Susie Bundegaard Goodall– have each paid an initial A$3,000 entry fee, though some names remain confidential until sponsorship announcements are made. Other entrants hail from Austria, Australia, Brazil, Estonia, India, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Russia and Switzerland.

Eight more entrants are pending, listed on the wait-list.

There is an entry limit of 30 competitors.

Start and finish port confirmed
Falmouth is now confirmed as the start and finish point for the 2018 Golden Globe Race, where Sir Robin Knox-Johnston set out and completed his pioneering voyage back in 1968/9.

Competing yachts will be based in Pendennis Marina, and the Race will be started by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club using the historic gun emplacement on Pendennis Point overlooking Falmouth Harbour.

In addition, at least, three of the yachts that competed in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race – Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili, Bernard Moitessier’s Joshua, and Loïck Fougeron’s Captain Browne– plan to attend the start.

Invitations have also been sent to John Ridgeway to bring his Westerly yacht English Rose IV, and to the owners of Francis Chichester’s Gipsy Moth IV which set the seed for the first round the world race, and to Sir Alec Rose’s Lively Lady whose solo circumnavigation also preceded the Sunday Times Race

Race to be run under the burgee of the Royal Nomuka YC

The 2018 Golden Globe Race will be sailed under the auspices of the Royal Nomuka Yacht Club in the Kingdom of Tonga. His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Tupouto’a Ulukalala has agreed to become Patron of the Race.

Race founder Don McIntyre has close links with these Pacific islands. In 2012, the Australian adventurer led a 4-man re-enactment of the Mutiny of the Bounty voyage from Tonga to West Timor, in a similar boat and with same limited supplies available to Captain Bligh 221 years before.

The Royal Nomuka Yacht Club is the world’s youngest Royal club, formed on October 22, 2015 this year as part of a joint initiative between HRH The Crown Prince and McIntyre to establish a sailing base and adventure centre on the otherwise deserted island of Nomuka to encourage Tongan youth to take up sailing as a sport and cultural activity.

“For Nomuka and Tonga to be involved with the Golden Globe Race is exciting,” said HRH the Crown Prince Tupouto’a Ulukalala, adding.“Tonga was once a great sailing nation. I wish all entrants safe sailing and extend an open invitation to visit our beautiful Islands and the Royal Nomuka Yacht Club”

Tonga is one of many Pacific Island nations directly impacted by the effects of climate change and rising sea levels. Situated on the southern tip of the Ha’Apai group of islands, the foreshore is under attack from coastal erosion, and the clubhouse (to be built in 2016) on Nomuka IKI will be only two meters above sea level.The Island is surrounded by some of the most diverse corals in the world and is also the home of Humpback whales and turtles, two species struggling to survive under human impacts in the changing environment.

All GGR entrants will become Honorary Members of the Royal Nomuka Yacht Club for the duration of the Race, and those that complete the 27,000-mile solo circumnavigation will become Life Members of the club.

McIntyre, who is the Royal Nomuka Yacht Club Commodore commented: “When you live in such a pure environment on this beautiful island, swim with Humpback whales and turtles, and are surrounded by pristine corals, it is devastating to then see how rising sea levels are impacting on these remote parts of the Globe.This change is a barometer of what we do to our planet. I know every entrant in the GGR is at one with the ocean, and together we hope to highlight some of the issues about climate change and motivate everyone to think about their lifestyle and carbon foot print.”

250 years ago, Tongans ruled much of the Pacific thanks to their superb sailing skills in giant Vakastwin-hulled voyaging canoes that left even Captain Cook impressed and amazed by their ability to sail to windward. Now there are virtually no sailing canoes in Tonga, so McIntyre is launching a programme to re-introduce the lost art of Vaka sailing to the youth of Tonga.

“ We hope to build 12 Vakas over the next four years and create a formal Vaka sail training programme,” said McIntyre, adding,“ Maybe some of the GGR entrants will visit after the Race and enjoy traditional sailing in this Pacific paradise.”

The 2018 Race will be started by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and HRH Crown Prince Tupouto’a Ulukalala of Tonga, Patron of the Race, from the deck of Suhaili, moored at the southern end of the line. To symbolise Falmouth’s strong naval traditions, the old canon on Pendennis Point will also be fired.

Race founder Don McIntyre stands down as a competitor to take up full time role of Race Chairman

Don McIntyre had planned to compete in the 2018 Golden Globe Race and has already bought a Tradewind 35 yacht to prepare for the event, but the unprecedented interest in the event has made him realise that the race requires his leadership.

“When I first came up with the idea to mark the 50th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s success in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, I thought we would be lucky to match the nine entries that started in the first race back in 1968. Interest in this retro-race has struck a chord with so many sailors around the world. We already have 28 on the entry list, and there is a further 150 who have expressed interest in competing. Management of the Race has to match everyone’s expectations, it has to be run on a very professional basis, and it is simply not possible to create the event and compete. My role has to be to manage this race through to its conclusion – and perhaps wait to take part in the next one in 2022”

Background on Don McIntyre:

Don McIntyre (60) Founder of the 2018 Golden Globe Race, Don is an inveterate sailor and recognised as one of Australia’s greatest explorers. Passionate about all forms of adventure and inspiring others, his desire is to recreate the Golden Age of solo sailing

Don finished second in class in the 1990-91 BOC Challenge solo around the world yacht race. In 2010, he led the 4-man Talisker Bounty Boat challenge to re-enact the Mutiny on the Bounty voyage from Tonga to West Timor, in a similar boat and with same limited supplies available to Captain Bligh 221 years before.

Competitor profiles

Istvan Kopar (62)This Hungarian-born professional yachtsman has alreadycircumnavigated the globe twice—first singlehandedly, and then as a prizewinner in the Hong Kong Challenge Round the World Race.
His first circumnavigation was made in a 31ft home-built yacht via the five southernmost capes in 1990/91, stopping once at Perth, Australia. He skippered the Tripp 55Mol-Hungaria 1100in the 1996 Hong Kong race and found himself rounding Cape Horn at the same time as Golden Globe Race founder Don McIntyre, who was competing in the BOC Around Alone Race.
Koper, who holds a commercial master’s ticket, is an instructor with US Sailing and has entered his Tradewind 35 production yacht Puffin.

Roy Butler Hubbard (26) Inspired by Robin Lee Graham’s solo circumnavigation in his yacht Dove, Roy Hubbard has owned boats since the age of 13, cruising the New England coast each summer where he has accumulated all his knowledge and experience so far.

Antonio Felipe García Martínez (41) This American, born to Cuban refugees, grew up in Miami and began sailing Optimist dinghies on Biscayne Bay before graduating to ocean cruising. Ultimately, this led him to purchasing and refitting the Westsail 32 traditional production yachtAyala. In 2016, Antonio, who has duel US/Spanish citizenship, marked out a career in Silicon Valley working as a social media technologist for Facebook and Twitter, but given this up to sail from San Francisco across the Pacific, then continue to Falmouth in 2017 – a near circumnavigation just to get to the start!

Michael Guggenberger (38) This entrant began sailing only in 2009 but quickly fell in love with wind and water. In 2013, he qualified as a skipper and this year started an education programme as an offshore-skipper-trainer. The 38-year old has always been seeking for adventure and is now very excited about taking on the challenge of following in Robin Knox-Johnston’s wake

Carl Huber (54) began sailing a little late in life after realizing that many of the things he had always dreamed of were achievable. After taking several sailing courses in the Chesapeake and the US Virgin Islands, he began bareboat chartering in the Caribbean and began to formulate plans to use small sailboats to transport goods cleanly and inexpensively in support of impoverished areas like Haiti.

A circumnavigation has been a lifelong dream, and Huber intends to use the Golden Globe Race to bring attention to the size and fragility of the planet and the potential to put untapped natural resources like wind to work in practical and creative ways.

Shane Freeman (59) has 35 years of sailing experience at all levels, starting with beach dinghies. He has selected a Tradewind 35 named Mushka. During the delivery trip from Brisbane to Melbourne, Freeman dislocated his shoulder while 35 miles offshore. He made it to the nearest port and decided to have surgery to rectify once and for all, what had become a recurring problem. For him, short-handed sailing has taken on a new meaning, but he has the tenacity to overcome this setback and will undoubtedly make it to the start in 2018

Gustavo ‘Rato’ Pacheco (56) A professional delivery skipper with 23 Atlantic crossings to his credit, Rato, as everyone calls him, competed in the 2003 solo Mini Transat race and also participated in the Pan American Games, the Cape/Rio, Buenos Aires/ Rio and Lisbon to Salvador races. He enjoys sailing in classic regattas and racing offshore.

Susie Bundegaard Goodall (26) started sailing at the age of 3 and raced Laser dinghies until graduating as a sailing instructor at the age of 18. She is currently crewing on a sail-training vessel between Scandinavia and Iceland.
She says: “When I was young, all holidays were spent sailing and my weekends were taken up racing Lasers before I started teaching sailing on the Isle of Wight. I've spent a few years working in the Super yacht industry, and am currently working on a 60ft sail training/expedition yacht in Scandinavian and Icelandic waters.” She has since bought a Rustler 36 yacht currently based in Southampton.

Tim Newson (35) is a furniture maker and Principal of the Gilded Tiller Sailing School based in the UK. Tim began sailing dinghies when he was 13 and has entered his Baba 35 sail-training cutter Black Sheep.

His school concentrates on teaching traditional sailing techniques aboard Black Sheep during regular voyages to the Scilly Isles and Brittany. He has also cruised the North Sea and Spain’s Atlantic coast.

Ian Reid (60)A farmer from Somerset, Reid has long been tormented by the conflict between the allure of the land and the pull of the sea. He says: “I have been fortunate to accompany some very good friends on parts of their on-going voyage around the world. Many weeks of crossing oceans gives you time to think, and dream. The thought of doing an epic voyage myself started to germinate, and then grew, so when the Golden Globe Race 2018 was announced, thoughts were galvanised. There was no question – it has to be done!”

Chris Jacks (30). Chris is an adventurer at heart who began sailing four years ago. He has since clocked up more than 2,000 sea miles, many of them sailing two-handed across the Irish Sea from his homeport of Liverpool. Chris has just bought the Camper & Nicholson 32 Mk XI Roma for the race and intends to sail round Britain alone in 2016 and compete in the 2017 OSTAR singlehanded transatlantic race from Plymouth to Newport, Rhode Island.

Graham Applin (52) No 2 on the wait list. Graham from Addlestone,Surrey is an international architect specialising in hotels, resorts and spectacular shopping precincts across the Globe. His signature work includes the Ritz Carlton hotel in Dubai, the FestivalWalk Retail Centre, Hong Kong, and Plantation Island

Resort, Fiji. He has had a life-long interest in sailing and a string of cruising boats starting with Westerly Renown, followed by a Jeanneau Sunlight 30, Bavaria 38, anOceanis 46 and a Swan 57.


Uku Randmaa (52). A lifelong sailor, Uku began sailing at the age of 3 aboard his father’s yacht, then graduated through the junior ranks sailing Optimist, Cadet, OK, Laser and 420 dinghy classes
After leaving Tallinn Marine University with a Master’s ticket in 1984, he got back to competing in regattas at a serious level, then graduated to offshore sailing with his Hanse 430 yacht Temptation, completing a solo voyage to Iceland and back prior to sailing solo around the world with stops between 2011 and 2012.
Randmaa’s preferred yacht is a Rustler 36, which he hopes to purchase next Spring and have Rustler Yachts refit for the Golden Globe Race at their yard in Falmouth. “This is dream event – a round the world race for real gladiators,” he says. Adding.“for me, the best is to take part; the worst – not to finish. If I’m not going to win, then simply finishing will fulfill my dreams.”

Antoine Cousot (44) He is a professional sailor and adventurer at heart, now living in Stavanger, Norway with his wife and three children.

Antoine has sailed more than 50,000 sea miles many of them skippering large charter yachtsHe has also hiked from Istanbul to Sudan, spent extended periods in the Libyan desert and sailed down the River Nile.

Jean-Luc van den Heede (70) This 5-time circumnavigator already holds the record for the fastest solo west-about non-stop circumnavigation against the prevailing winds and currents and has been a podium finisher in four previous solo round the world races. He finished second in the 1986 BOC Challenge Around Alone Race, third in the 1990 Vendee Globe Race, second in the 1993 Vendee Globe Race and third in the 1995 BOC Challenge Around Alone Race. Van den Heede has chosen to race a Rustler 36 yacht.

Eric Loizeau (66) – *First GGR wildcard entrant. A disciple of Eric Tabarly, Loizeau spent his formative years crewing for the great Frenchman on Pen Duick VI before graduating to skipper Gauloises 2 in the 1977/8 Whitbread round the world race, winning two legs outright. He then skippered a series of offshore multihulls, and set a solo Atlantic solo record in 1982 and became the Multihull World Champion in 1986. He was elected French Yachtsmanof the Year in 1978.

Luc Mery (57)Another professional sailor, Luc has more 40 oceans crossings to his credit, sailing across Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans, five of them singlehanded.

Philippe Peche (54) One of France’s prominent sailors, Peche has covered more than 300,000 miles racing everything from monohulls to giant multihulls. He has competed in three round the world races and is a two-time holder of the Jules Verne trophy completing the circumnavigation within 50 days. Peche has also competed in three America’s Cup series. He says: “For me, the time has come to go solo and enter the most exciting challenge, the ‘Real Solo Race’ – the 2018 Golden Globe Race.' He has set up his base in La Trinite, France.

Loïc Lepage (59) No 3 on the wait list. Loïchas more than 20,000 miles of solo sailing under his belt including three trans-Biscay and four transatlantic crossings. In2011, he set out on a non-stop circumnavigation record attempt but collided with a container ship and was shipwrecked of Madeira.

Gregor McGuckin (1986) Another adventurer, McGuckin swapped his hiking and climbing boots for sailing gear at the age of 18 and never looked back. For many years, he combined both skills teaching at outdoor adventure centres at home and abroad before gaining his Ocean Yachtmaster ticket. Since then he has made several Atlantic and Indian Ocean crossings. Now with more than 35,000 sea miles under his belt, McGuckin is currently skippering a 62ft yacht in the Caribbean.

Eduardo Raimondo (26) Sailing since he was 5, Raimondo main competitive experience is racing small boats and catamarans at the top level in his native Italy.

Neree Cornuz (26)Born and raised on his parent’s ketch, Cornuz completed his first Atlantic ocean crossing at the age of 2. He has been sailing and racing all kind of boats ever since. For the past six years, he has been an officer in the Merchant Navy but has now set up base in Geneva, Switzerland as a sailing instructor

Are Wiig (56) A sailor for more than 40 years, Wilg finished second in class with his 30ft yacht Granada in the 1988 OSTAR. He later covered more than 30,000 miles in that boat before buying a sistership to the 56ft multihull Umupro Jardin, winner of the 1984 OSTAR. He has used her to win several shorthanded and fully crewed races in his native Norway. A professional seaman, engineer and yacht surveyor, he says: “The Golden Globe is a dream come true.”

Nabil W Amra: Nabil is an American based Palestinian who began sailing six years ago on Lake Calhounnear Minneapolis, Minnesota. Last year, he sailed a catamaran with a friend across the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal. The foreign exchange trader says: “The effect on me was so profound that I began to look for a blue-water boat of my own and bought a Contessa 32 based in St. Maarten.

My salt-water journey is just beginning! Now I'm preparing to start a new chapter in my life that has more to do with adventure. The Golden Globe Race came along at just the right time to turn an incessant daydream into reality!”

IgorZaretskiy (64) is one of Russia’s most experienced international sailors. He has twice won the Russian ¼ Ton championship, competed in multiple RORC Caribbean races, together with such classics as the Fastnet, Newport-Bermuda and Middle Sea races. In 2010 he won the Jester Challenge singlehanded transatlantic race, a feat crowned with Russia’s Yachtsman of the Year title.

Fabrizio Ladi Bucciolini (49) Italian born Fabrizio has been sailing since the age of 10 when his parents took to living on a boat. He says: “I have logged many miles hitchhiking across the seas, hopping from boat to boat, doing deliveries, crewing with friends or simply cruising with my family. I have a strong fascination for the sea, navigation and adventure. As life got more complex, first with studies, then work and later a family, sailing got progressively cornered into a holiday activity. It is now time to bring it back to centre stage, to start honing dormant skills and to use recently acquired ones for better causes! “

Background to the Golden Globe Race – Stepping back to the golden age of solo sailing
Like the original Sunday Times event, the 2018 Golden Globe Race is very simple. Depart Falmouth, England on June 14th 2018 and sail solo, non-stop around the world, via the five Great Capes and return to Falmouth. Entrants are limited to use the same type of yachts and equipment that were available to Robin Knox-Johnston in that first race. That means sailing without modern technology or benefit of satellite-based navigation aids. Competitors must sail in production boats between 32ft and 36ft overall (9.75 – 10.97m) designed prior to 1988 and having a full-length keel with rudder attached to their trailing edge. These yachts will be heavily built, strong and steady, similar in concept to Robin’s 32ft vessel Suhaili. ?

The following Yachts-type have been approved
• Aries 32
• Baba 35
• Biscay 36
• Bowman 36
• Cape Dory 36
• Nicholson 32 MKX-XI
• Rustler 36
• Westsail 32
• Tradewind 35
• Saga 34
• Saltram 36
• Vancouver 32 & 32
• OE 32
• Eric (sistership to Suhaili)

In contrast to the current professional world of elite ocean racing, this edition travels back to a time known as the ‘Golden Age’ of solo sailing. Suhaili was a slow and steady 32ft double-ended ketch based on a William Atkins ERIC design. She is heavily built of teak and carried no computers, GPS, satellite phone nor water-maker, and Robin completed the challenge without the aid of modern day shore-based weather routing advice. He had only a wind-up chronometer and a barograph to face the world alone, and caught rainwater to survive, but was at one with the ocean, able to contemplate and absorb all that this epic voyage had to offer.

This anniversary edition of the Golden Globe Race is a celebration of the original event, the winner, his boat and that significant world-first achievement. Competitors in this race will be sailing simple boats using basic equipment to guarantee a satisfying and personal experience. The challenge is pure and very raw, placing the adventure ahead of winning at all costs. It is for ‘those who dare’, just as it was for Knox-Johnston. They will be navigating with sextant on paper charts, without electronic instruments or autopilots. They will hand–write their logs and determine the weather for themselves. Only occasionally will they talk to loved ones and the outside world when long-range high frequency and ham radios allow. ?

It is now possible to race a monohull solo around the world in under 80 days, but sailors entered in this race will spend around 300 days at sea, challenging themselves and each other. The 2018 Golden Globe Race will be a fitting tribute to the first edition, and it’s winner, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

The yachts will be tracked 24/7 by satellite, but competitors will not be able to interrogate this information unless an emergency arises and they break open containing a GPS and satellite phone. Doing this, however, has consequences. By breaking the seal, competitors will be deemed to have retired from the Golden Globe Race, and instead will be relegated to the Gipsy Moth Class as if they had made a stop.

Provisional entry.
For these 30 sailors, this marks the initial stage towards completing all the entry requirements, which include gaining further sailing experience and preparing their boat to meet all the qualifications. Only when these hoops have been jumped will the provisional entrant become an official entry in the Race. Just prior to the start when final scrutineering and certification has been completed, will the sailor and boat together become an official competitor. Then and only then are they absolutely assured of starting in the Golden Globe Race.

Prior to this, should any sailor miss a deadline, they may be relegated to the Golden Globe Race Waitlist, and the first Qualified Waitlisted sailor will move into that vacated entry position.

Wait list

Coverage for the Golden Globe Race has been massive, yet each day more sailors are finding out about this ‘Real Solo Race’ around the world. Some cannot sleep! The pull is irresistible. What can they do? A dream is borne and now the entry list is nearly full. For those with passion and commitment to compete, the path is clear. They must join the WAIT LIST. There will only be a maximum of 15 on this list. It is the last chance. The organisers expect some of the current provisional entries will not make it to the start line. That is the way with history for any great endeavour, but when one drops out, this gives a chance for another to join.

In addition, four of the five Special Invitations have yet to be offered. These will go to deserving sailors nearer to the start and those still hanging in on the wait list will be remembered. We now expect to see a fleet of 30 sailors set out from Falmouth on Saturday, June 16 2018.

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