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Golden Globe Race: Pressures mount on skippers to complete qualifying distances and preparations

by Golden Globe Race 6 Apr 2018 00:51 PDT 1 July 2018
French skipper Philippe Péché putting his Rustler 36 PRB through her paces off Lorient last week. © Benoit Stichelbaut / GGR / PPL

With just 3 months to the June 1st start from Les Sables d'Olonne, it is now a race against time for some of the 19 sailors to complete their boats, jury rig tests, and in one case their solo qualification distance before the fleet gathers in Falmouth on June 14 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's departure at the start of the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race back in 1968/9.

For American Carl Huber, who sold his house and just about everything else in the garage to compete, time has already run out. Cost overruns in preparing his Baba 35 Jamma Jeanne have forced him to withdraw in the hope that he can return for the next GGR in 2022. Huber had just returned from crossing the Pacific aboard the famous New Zealand maxi yacht Ceramco NZ, to meet the strict 8,000 mile general sailing experience each competitor must have under their belt, only to find the escalating costs involved in repowering and rigging Jamma Jeanne had exceeded all expectations.

"I've been holding out for a miraculous event but none was forthcoming and am now very reluctantly and painfully conceding." He says, adding: "I consider the 2018 event to be very unique and continue to support the vision and the race. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Race Founder Don McIntyre and his team and reserve judgment on 2022."

  • American Carl Huber forced to withdraw but keeps options open to compete in 2022
  • Entries: 19 sailors from 12 countries: France 4, Britain 3, Australia 2, and one each from Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, India, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Palestine and Russia.
  • Suhaili 505 Falmouth Parade of Sail – Joshua unable to attend, but crew will fly the flag
For more information visit event website, www.goldengloberace.com

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