Please select your home edition
Edition
Vaikobi 2019AUG - Leaderboard 3

Golden Globe Race - Day 127: Istvan Kopar passes through Hobart gate safely

by Barry Pickthall, Golden Globe Race 5 Nov 2018 23:26 PST 6 November 2018
Istvan Kopar arrives in Hobart in 5th place battered, bruised but still smiling © Jessie Martin / PPL / GGR

Istvan Kopar, the American/Hungarian GGR skipper sailing the Tradewind 35 Puffin gave a chilling account of the recent southern ocean storm to have swept the through the fleet as the mid-placed runners were attempting to reach or leave the compulsory BoatShed.com Hobart film drop in Storm Bay Tasmania.

"I am not happy in my ship, I can tell you!" Exclaimed an exhausted Kopar who had been forced to seek shelter off South Port beach, before continuing on around Tasmania's South East Cape. Trying to make landfall during the height of the storm and find a safe anchorage at night was he said, "Brutal – The last four days have taken me to the bottom. I would have been much happier to have been offshore"

He arrived at the Hobart stop without a radio, direction finder nor an accurate idea of time. "You really don't know where you are and it was blowing a minimum of 50 knots. Right now, I'm more attracted to gardening than offshore sailing."

Race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede suffers knock-down and mast damage

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede called GGR Founder Don McIntyre to advise that his Rustler 36 Matmut had been knocked down badly to about 150 degrees which had damaged the connecting bolt attachment to the mast that holds all four lower shrouds. The mast was not in danger of falling, but it was not securely tensioned. The bolt has slipped 5cm down in the mast section and slackened the rigging.. He is still in the storm with 11 metre seas and 65knot winds. Conditions are expected to moderate in the next few hours.

The 73-year old race Frenchman from Les Sables d'Olonne is now running downwind with no sails until conditions improve. He will then effect a repair that will allow him to hoist sail again and make for Valparaiso, Chile where he will make a permanent repair.

Jean Luc was not injured during the knock-down, has requested no assistance at this time and is confident he can make Valparaiso safely. This will mean that he will move to the Chichester Class once he makes that port to effect repairs.

This is not a code orange situation for GGR and Jean-Luc is well in control of the situation. GGR will monitor his progress to port.

Kopar blamed a lack of preparation for his poor start to the race. "I dropped to last place before I could work out how to fix my self-steering, and had never put my spinnaker up before the start – that first time was scary!"

"My main goal is to save the rig, save the boat and to arrive back at the finish. Right now, I feel closer to Joshua Slocum's achievement (first to sail solo around the world in 1895-1898) than Robin Knox-Johnston's (first to complete a solo non-stop circumnavigation and win the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968/69). I can't even get a time signal – It's not good. Everything is guesswork."

Kopar's 'bad luck' started with getting to grips with an unfamiliar wind vane self steering system at the start and extends to a rogue wave that washed out much his electronics and books, and flooded the main cabin with 300 litres of water. The last straw was a bird that attempted to land on his masthead wind vane, bending one of the arms into his VHF radio antennae and interrupt the signal.

He didn't check his fresh water tank before the start and says now. "In Ghana they have cleaner water than I do." He also added that the inside of his mould-ridden boat "is not healthy – not good at all."

Could these situations be affecting his hands? "My nails are separating from the flesh. Cuts don't bother me, but I'm scared about the state of my nails. They are black. I don't know if it is caused by a fungal infection, the drinking water or the fungus inside the boat."

He bemoans chasing cross the Atlantic to get to the start on time, rather than focusing on getting to know his boat. But still smiling, he added more positively. "Now I am on catch-up and would like to catch up with Susie Goodall in 4th place – I gave my word to her mother before the start that I would look after her!" He joked.

There is certainly a race now, not for 4th, but to capture a podium position at the finish back in Les Sables d'Olonne. Kopar, Goodall and even 6th placed Tapio Lehtinen, due to reach Hobart tomorrow (Tuesday) all have eyes on Estonian Uku Randmaa and his struggle to maintain pace with his barnacle encrusted yacht One and All.

4,000 miles ahead of this group, Race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede is currently facing what my become one of his biggest tests so far. In a 2-minute conversation with Race HQ in Les Sables d'Olonne today he spoke about 65knot winds and 11 metre seas. But at least he is now within 1,900 miles of Cape Horn, which the Frenchman expects to round on November 21st.

Contrast this with the performance of last placed runners Australian Mark Sinclair and Russian Igor Zaretskiy, now a whole ocean apart from Jean-Luc's Rustler 36 Matmut. Zaretskiy, who has had his problems fixing a broken forestay and suffering hand sores, has chalked up an average VMG of just 2.1knots over the past two months.

Sinclair is clearly getting much more enjoyment from his solitude, but still, his average VMG over the same period is only 2.3knots. Last week he took time out to track down and photograph Gregor McGuckin's abandoned yacht Hanley Energy Endurance. "Still afloat and emitting an AIS signal" he reported to Race HQ. Sinclair expects to reach the Boatshed.com Hobart film gate on Saturday December 8. By then both Van Den Heede and second placed Dutchman Mark Slats (Ohpen Maverick) are likely to have rounded Cape Horn and heading north up the Atlantic.

Standings:

 

Skipper

Distance  to finish

VMG during last 24 hours

Approx. distance behind leader 

1

Jean- Luc VDH (FRA)
Rustler 36 Matmut

 8960

  5.4 knots

 0

2

Mark Slats (NED)
Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick

 11006

  6.7 knots

  2046

3

Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All 

 12023

 4.5 knots

  3063

4

Susie Goodall GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight 

 12729

  6.8 knots

  3769

5

Istvan Kopar (USA)Tradewind 35 Puffin

 12951

  5.4 knots

  3991

6

Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria 

 13107

  5.4 knots

  4147

7

Mark Sinclair (Aus) 
Lello 34 Coconut

 15617

  4.1 knots

  6657

8

Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) 
Endurance 35 Esmeralda

 16253

  4.1 knots

  7293

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

Three years to the start of the Golden Globe Race
2022 Notice of Race published An independent analysis report compiled by Meltwater on media coverage secured during the 2018 Golden Globe Race shows that the Race gained US$185m worth of coverage world-wide. Posted on 18 Sep
Les Sable d'Olonne to host 2022 Golden Globe Race
Confirmed as host start/finish port for the event Following the success of the 2018 Golden Globe Race, the Vendée City of Les Sables d'Olonne and its 3-town Agglomeration have voted unanimously to host the next Golden Globe Race in 2022. Posted on 11 Jul
2023 Ocean Globe Race: The Whitbread Race is back!
This retro race reopens once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for ordinary sailors The spirit of the Whitbread Round the World Race is back with the announcement of the 2023 Ocean Globe Race, a retro event starting from a European port on September 10th 2023 celebrating the 50th anniversary of this major milestone in adventure sailing. Posted on 1 Jul
Golden Globe Race 2019 overall
Final GGR finisher takes 5th place Barnacle growth was the root cause of Finnish skipper Tapio Lehtinen's slow solo circumnavigation but the 110 day difference between his and Race winner Jean-Luc Van Den Heede's time was definitely enjoyable. Posted on 20 May
Golden Globe Race day 322
Tapio Lehtinen takes 5th place Tapio Lehtinen, the 5th and final placed Finnish skipper competing in the Golden Globe Race crossed the finish line at 20:21 hours today accompanied by Bernard Moitessier's famous yacht Joshua and a flottila of excited wellwishers Posted on 19 May
Golden Globe Race day 312
Now 1,100miles from the finish line Tapio Lehtinen, the fifth and final placed Finnish skipper competing in the Golden Globe Race enjoyed an unexpected rendezvous off Faial Island in the Azores yesterday with the local representative of his Windpilot self-steering sponsor. Posted on 9 May
Celebrating Sir Robin and Earth Day
And a cleaner vision for our planet This week marks the 50th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's mind-bending solo circumnavigation, and a day when people consider ideas for lowering our species' collective environmental wake. Posted on 23 Apr
Jean-Luc Van Den Heede crowned winner
2018 Golden Globe Race prize giving held in Falmouth Exactly 50 years to the day that Sir Robin Knox-Johnston returned to Falmouth UJK after 312 days at sea to become the first man to sail solo non-stop around the Globe, 73-year old Frenchman Jean-Luc Van Den Heede was crowned winner. Posted on 23 Apr
Sailor's salute Sir Robin
On 50 year anniversary of Golden Globe victory Britain's leading sailors are paying tribute to Sir Robin Knox-Johnston today on the 50th anniversary of the date, 22 April 1969, that he entered history books as the first person to ever sail solo, non-stop around the world. Posted on 22 Apr
Golden Globe Race day 284
Tapio Lehtinen crosses Equator As Tapio Lehtinen, the last of the Golden Globe race skippers, crossed the Equator on Tuesday to start the last part of his solo circumnavigation back to Les Sables d'Olonne, plans are now well advanced for the GGR prize-giving celebrations Posted on 11 Apr
Marine Resources 2019 - FooterSOUTHERN-SPARS-MISSY-FURLING-BOOMS-728-X-90 BottomRS Sailing 2019 - Footer