Please select your home edition
Edition
Hyde Sails 2022 One Design SALE LEADERBOARD

Golden Globe Race - Day 113: Loïc Lepage rescue update

by Barry Pickthall, Golden Globe Race 22 Oct 2018 19:09 PDT 22 October 2018
Loïc Lepage - highly experienced with three solo transatlantic crossings under his belt before the Golden Globe Race © Christophe Favreau / PPL / GGR

French solo yachtsman Loïc Lepage is expected to be evacuated from his dismasted yacht Laaland shortly after first light on Tuesday (23:30 UTC Monday). By then both the bulk carrier Shiosai and the sailing yacht Alizes II will have reached Laaland's position in the South Indian Ocean some 670 miles SW of Perth Western Australia, and will await the arrival of an Australian P-8A search and rescue plane overhead before starting the rescue operation.

The forecast for the region is good – 15-20 knot winds and a 3 metre swell. The primary plan is for Lepage to be recovered from his liferaft tethered on a long line to his dismasted yacht, by a boat crew from the bulk carrier Shiosai. Francis Tolan, skipper of the S/V Alizes II, a Beneteau Ocean 43 competing in the Long Route solo circumnavigation will providie backup. If conditions prove adverse, then the MV Shiosai may provide a weather lee for Alizes II to conduct the transfer instead.

Lepage has been fully briefed by GGR Organisers and will evacuate wearing his survival suit and carrying a second EPIRB on standby, VHF radio, personal location beacon and his grab bag. He has set up a bright strobe light on deck and rigged his Echomax inflatable SOLAS radar reflector 2 metres off the deck.

The 62-year old Frenchman from Vannes has also cut away all rigging so that there are no water hazards around the yacht, and has his engine ready to start should he be called to manoeuvre his boat. Both Satphone and VHF radio are on standby for incoming communications.

The Australian P-8A search and rescue plane will remain on station until the evacuation has been completed.

Click here for first update - 20.10.18
Click here for second update -21.10.18

Susie Goodall survives ' horrific' storm

In a satphone call to Race HQ today, British skipper Susie Goodall spoke for the first time about a 'horrendous' few days when her Rustler 36 yacht DHL Starlight was caught in a horrific Southern Ocean storm some 250 miles south of Cape Leeuwin, Australia.

The storm developed just as suddenly and with the same ferocity as the one that led to Gregor McGuckin and Abhilash Tomy being rolled and dismasted two weeks ago. "The storm really kicked in between 9pm and 9am. I had 70knot winds and 13 metre seas. They were nasty...practically vertical with breaking crests. I don't know how we got through it. My self-steering broke and I had to hand-steer for 7 hours. We suffered several knock-downs and I feared that we might get rolled at any time."

Susie explained that everything was soaked through above and below deck including bunk cushions and her sleeping back. "I definitely lost some weight during the storm because I couldn't leave the helm to eat and I am now constantly cold and can't get warm."

Her hands suffered particularly. "I've never had such soft hands" she joked, adding "They are not a pretty sight. They are covered in sores and cuts, and now taped up to keep the salt out."

With the storm closing in around her, Susie took the decision to turn round and head back west and get herself in the better sector. She didn't escape the big winds but at least she had them hitting her from one direction only before passing overhead. What did for McGuckin and Tomy were the countering seas caused by the winds swinging through 180 degrees. As a result, Susie may well boast that she is the first solo sailor to have passed by Cape Leeuwin three times during a circumnavigation! "I'm just glad the boat is still going." She admitted

The storm has now passed but left an ugly sea, making it impossible for the moment to repair her wind vane self-steering. "It's working but not very well. It will only hold a course on a beam reach, so I am having to hand steer with little sail up at the moment."

With 1,000 miles to go to the Boatshed.com Hobart film drop, Susie is predicting an ETA on November 1st.

Igor Zaretskiy suffers broken forestay

Russian skipper Igor Zaretskiy sailing the Endurance 35 Esmeralda, now trailing at the back of the fleet, almost 6,000 miles behind race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, was forced to spend 4 hours at the top of his mast, repairing a forestay fitting. In a message to his team, he said "I thought I might die because the waves were breaking over the boat."

On his return to deck Igor reported that he had lost all feeling in his hands and feet and has since been resting up in his bunk. That explains his very slow progress in recent days, but the Russian says that he is now looking forward to get sailing again and today's tracker plot shows Esmeralda making 4.3 knots in the right direction again.

Both he and 7th placed Australian Mark Sinclair (Lello 34 Coconut) have some catching up to do even to beat Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's relative position in Suhaili 50 years ago. The Tracker now shows Suhaili as being more than a day ahead of them.

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede sailing the Rustler 36 Matmut, is now well out in the Pacific, enjoying a 2 week lead over 2nd placed Mark Slats (Ohpen Maverick) who left the BoatShed.com Hobart film gate behind yesterday. Speaking via Satphone to Race HQ today, the 73-year old Frenchman reported "Good winds today and yesterday...I try to go as fast as possible." He made repairs to his gennaker and was full of praise for his Hydrovane self-steering. "In a gale it has a big advantage because it is not steering the boat's rudder, but has its own. This little rudder is far more efficient than the big rudder."

The next GGR skipper to pass through the BoatShed.com Hobart film gate will be Estonian Uku Randmaa (Rustler 36 One and All). His current ETA is Friday 26th October, followed by Susie Goodall on1st November.

Latest positions at 16:30 UTC 22.10.18

 SkipperDistance  to finishVMG during last 24 hoursApprox. distance behind leader 
1Jean- Luc VDH (FRA)
Rustler 36 Matmut
 10811  7.1 knots 0
2Mark Slats (NED)
Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick
 12840  6.2 knots  2034
3Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All  13480  5.9 knots  2669
4Susie Goodall GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight  13990  6.2 knots  3179
5Istvan Kopar (USA)Tradewind 35 Puffin 14348  4.9 knots  3537
6Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria  14385  3.0 knots  3574
7Mark Sinclair (Aus) 
Lello 34 Coconut
 16591  2.5 knots  5780
8Igor Zaretskiy (RUS)
Endurance 35 Esmeralda
 16833  4.3 knots  6022

Retired:

  • Ertan Beskardes (GBR) Rustler 36 Lazy Otter
  • Kevin Farebrother (AUS) Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha
  • Nabil Amra (PAL) Biscay 36 Liberty II
  • Philippe Péché (FRA) Rustler 36 PRB
  • Antoine Cousot (FRA) Biscay 36 Métier Intérim
  • Are Wiig (NOR) OE32 Olleanna
  • Abhilash Tomy (IND) Suhaili replica Thuriya
  • Gregor McGuckin (IRE) Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance
  • Francesco Cappelletti (ITA) Endurance 35 007
  • Loïc Lepage (FRA) Nicholson 32 Laaland

Related Articles

Golden Globe Race lifesaving regulations
Asteria sinking, lessons to be learnt Many people talk about the eye watering effort GGR entrants make to meet the tough safety and qualifying requirements of this gruelling mind game called the Golden Globe. When all the boxes are ticked, they finally receive a "green card". Posted on 29 Nov
Tapio Lehtinen rescued in the Indian Ocean
Picked up by fellow Golden Globe Race competitor GGR entrant Kirsten Neuschäfer (ZAF) was first to reach Tapio's position this morning at 0510 UTC. The South African sailor whisked GGR Veteran and Finnish sailing legend, Tapio Lehtinen, from his liferaft where he had been since Friday 0700 UTC. Posted on 19 Nov
Tapio Lehtinen abandons ship in Golden Globe Race
Liferaft floats 460 nautical miles SE of Port Elizabeth, South Africa Tapio Lehtinen is sailing in the 2022 Golden Globe Race (GGR). He departed from Les Sables d'Olonne France on September 4th this year and after passing through the Cape Town film gate, was heading toward Australia in the Southern Ocean. Posted on 18 Nov
Golden Globe sailors through Cape Town gate
Pat Lawless and Damien Guillou forced to retire due to wind vane failures Two front runners of the Golden Globe Race have retired into Cape Town with wind vane failures. Damien Guillou arrived in Cape Town this monday having lost his windvane rudder. Posted on 15 Nov
Golden Globe sailors through Cape Town gate
The Southern Ocean on their doorstep! Dreams shattered for a $20 part, some too slow to finish the challenge, others living life to the extreme and loving it, while a few are troubled by the mind game that is the Golden Globe. Posted on 10 Nov
Golden Globe Race arriving at the Cape Town Gate
Simon Curwen (UK) should be the first arrival on Sunday afternoon Simon Curwen (UK), first arrival on Sunday afternoon, South African entrants Kirsten Neuschäfer in 2nd place Monday afternoon and Jeremy Bagshaw in 9th place with serious Barnacle problems, 1200 miles to go. Posted on 4 Nov
Golden Globe Race Cape Town Gate gets interesting
Battling High Pressure Systems, barnacles (again) and local hero makes a big bet GGR fleet on the way to Cape Town, last call before the Southern Ocean, battling High Pressure Systems and barnacles (again), and a local hero making a big bet! Posted on 3 Nov
Golden Globe Race windvane safety
And GGR 2026 open for entries Deep in the Southern Ocean battling 12 mtr seas and 70kt winds, you need to know your self-steering gear will keep working. If it fails you are seriously struggling to keep the odds in your favour that you will still be smiling when it blows over! Posted on 27 Oct
Damien Guillou breaks windvane in the Golden Globe
Tapio in the lead, but is he really? Next gate favours eastern positioned yachts Cards are reshuffled and more breakage as the South Atlantic starts testing boats and sailors on their way to the Southern Ocean, and the next film drop in Cape Town. Posted on 21 Oct
Trade wind twist for Golden Globe Race fleet
Wet windy trades on the nose with confused sea sand low 30 degrees temperatures Following weeks of upwind sailing out of Europe, and a nerve-racking doldrum experience, the fleet was desperate for beam reaching trade winds to Trindade and on to Cape Town. Posted on 13 Oct
Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - 728 x 90px - 002 gif BottomUpffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERMarine Resources 2022 Salary Survey FOOTER