Please select your home edition
Visit Pensacola 2023 LEADERBOARD

Golden Globe Race 2022 fleet sets sail on 240 nm SITraN Challenge, Gracias Gijón, see you soon!

by Don McIntyre 14 Aug 2022 15:46 PDT 14 August 2022
15 Golden Globe Race 2022 yachts on the same start line, finally! © Paco Hispán Miranda

15 Golden Globe Race entrants, representing 10 yacht designs and nationalities racing from Gijón to Les Sables d'Olonne in the SITraN Challenge.

  • 15 GGR yachts set off from Gijón for the Start of the 240 nm SITraN Challenge.
  • Incredible hospitality from Gijón city and sailors and an emotional send-off.
  • First time the GGR fleet is racing together comparing speeds across the Bay of Biscay.
  • Jeremy Bagshaw first across the line, Damien Guillou leading the fleet off San Lorenzo Bay.
  • Les Sables d'Olonne ready to host the GGR village for the opening on August 20th.

It was a beautiful day in Gijón, and an emotional send-off from local sailors and boats who came in great numbers to wave goodbye to the 15 Golden Globe Race yachts after a week of briefings and festivities. Yannick Moreau, mayor of Les Sables d'Olonne, Ana Gonzalez, mayor of Gijón, Enrique Fernandez Consejero de Industria, Empleo y Promoción Económica also went out on the water, accompanying the sailors out of Asturian waters into the Bay of Biscay.

The fifteen boats of the GGR are for the first time sailing as a fleet and measuring up to each other for this 240-mile friendly race towards les Sables d'Olonne in a nice westerly breeze, under the sun. The SITraN Challenge has no racing rules and allows boats to be sailed solo or fully crewed, with friends and family, spending quality time together before the build-up of the village leading up to the start in three weeks.

It also allows the organizers to check and validate critical safety and communication systems on this offshore voyage, including the Yellow Brick tracking and 2-way satellite communications systems, before they set off around the world. All this before final safety briefings and safety checks in Les Sables d'Olonne when entrants receive the much anticipated "Green Card" that finally lets them start!

The start was spotlessly organised by the Real Club Astur de Regatas and very hotly contested, crossed first by South African sailors Jeremy Bagshaw and Frans Loos on the OE32 Olleanna, followed by Damien Guillou sailing solo on his Rustler 36 PRB in race configuration with 230 days of food and water onboard, and the father-daughter crew of Simon and Nikki Curwen, both competitive solo sailors on the Biscay 36 Clara.

Damien soon took a solid command of the fleet, out the Ensenada de San Lorenzo, with impressive ease and speed, while the leading group was later joined by Abhilash Tomy, Kirsten Neuschäfer, Ian Herbert-Jones and Arnaud Gaist. The winds are fair towards France for a 2-day sprint to Les Sables d'Olonne.

"Today is the culmination of an intense week here in Gijón, with critical safety briefings, systems set-up and tested leading up to the race state" said Don McIntyre, president and founder of the GGR "Most importantly it has been a special time and place where the solo sailors and teams who arrived a week ago, are now leaving as friends, through helping each other and enjoying each other's company during the Semana Grande. This is the best outcome possible, for them and for us."

The week was filled with activities and visits to the neighbouring towns of Candàs and Villaviciosa, while the open boat morning of the Saturday was a huge success among the Asturian sailing community, especially children and young sailors who had the occasion to visit the boats and meet the skippers. "Gijon and the Asturians have been an integral part of this success, and we thank them for their incredible hospitality, enthusiasm and "ternura asturiana", Don added.

Meanwhile, Les Sables d'Olonne are gearing up for the race village that will welcome the public in the Esplanade du Vendée Globe three weeks from now, hosting heaps of activities, boats on display, coastal race on local traditional sailboats and the grand opening with GGR 2018 winner Jean-Luc VDH live in concert!

"I am delighted that the beautiful city of Gijón writes its name in the history of the GGR, a legendary race. Many thanks to our Spanish cousin city and its Mayoress, Mrs Ana Gonzales, for launching the prologue of this adventure which promises to be thrilling." Said Yannick Moreau, mayor of Les Sables d'Olonne, "On the other side of the Bay of Biscay, the town of Les Sables d'Olonne is ready to welcome the skippers and the public: fireworks, large race village, entertainment... 2 weeks of festivities starting on August 20th. The pressure is mounting for those who are about to set off on the longest sporting event in the world."

15 Golden Globe entrants, representing 10 yacht designs and nationalities racing from Gijón to Les Sables d'Olonne in the SITraN Challenge, list below:

1. Abhilash Tomy (43) / India / Rustler 36
2. Arnaud Gaist (50) / France / BARBICAN 33 MKII (long keel version)
3. Damien Guillou (39) / France / Rustler 36
4. Edward Walentynowicz (68) / Canada / Rustler 36
5. Ertan Beskardes (60) / UK / Rustler 36
6. Guy deBoer (66) / USA / Tashiba 36
7. Guy Waites (54) / UK / Tradewind 35
8. Ian Herbert Jones (52) / UK / Tradewind 35
9. Jeremy Bagshaw (59) / South Africa / OE32
10. Kirsten Neuschäfer (39) / South Africa / Cape George 36
11. Mark Sinclair (63) / Australia / Lello 34
12. Michael Guggenberger (44) / Austria / Biscay 36
13. Pat Lawless (66) / Ireland / Saga 36
14. Simon Curwen (63) / UK / Biscay 36
15. Tapio Lehtinen (64) / Finland / Gaia 36 Masthead sloop

Related Articles

Golden Globe Race 2022 Day 249
Michael Guggenberger 3rd across the line with Provisional time of 249 days Michael Guggenberger (AUT) started the race with a few impediments compared to other entrants in the GGR. First, he is coming from land-locked Austria when most of the other entrants grew up on the seaside. Posted on 12 May
Guggenberger arrival in Les Sables D'Olonne
Third on the podium of the longest sporting event in the world Austrian sailor Michael Guggenberger, also known as "Captain Gugg", is only a few miles away from the third step of a historic podium: the Golden Globe Race. Posted on 10 May
Golden Globe Race 2022 Day 247
Capt Gugg set for GGR podium tomorrow, last of three from 16 starters! With just under 200 miles to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne and nearly 30,000 miles sailed over the past 247 days, this 44-year-old Austrian sailor Michael Gugg is completing an eight-year dream that has changed his life! Posted on 10 May
Anything but ordinary
235 days at sea is a long, long time on any boat 235 days at sea is a long, long time on any boat. Couple that with being alone, sailing non-stop around the world, via the five Great Capes, without any outside assistance, and you have what has to be one of the greatest challenges available in sailing. Posted on 2 May
Golden Globe Race 2022 Day 237
Abhilash Tomy's Remarkable Comeback Retired Navy commander, 43 year old Abhilash Tomy, the renowned sailor and first Indian to complete a solo non stop voyage around the world in 2013, made history on Saturday by securing an outstanding second-place finish in the 2022 Golden Globe Race. Posted on 30 Apr
Abhilash Tomy arrives second
Finishing the Golden Globe Race 2022 in Les Sables D'Olonne The Indian skipper completed his circumnavigation of the globe at 6:46am this morning, taking second place in the Golden Globe Race after 236 days, 14 hours and 46 minutes at sea. Posted on 29 Apr
Golden Globe Race Day 236
Kirsten makes history, Simon first boat home It's been a long time in the making for Kirsten Neuschäfer who got becalmed just hours before going through the finish line, off the coast on the world's solo sailing capital Les Sables d'Olonne. Posted on 28 Apr
Kirsten Neuschäfer wins the Golden Globe Race 2022
Making history as the first woman to win a solo round-the-world race By crossing the finish line of the ancestor of the Vendée Globe in Les Sables d'Olonne this Thursday at 21:43:47 CET, the South African sailor has achieved one of the greatest accomplishments in ocean racing. Posted on 28 Apr
Golden Globe Race Day 233
Les Sables d'Olonne gearing up for a huge GGR finish on Friday 28th ETAs 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's predictions. Posted on 26 Apr
Yann Eliès: Neuschäfer will be our new heroine
During this winter, the old way has been celebrated with the current Golden Globe Race When you look at the history of the IMOCA Class, you can see the link with the Golden Globe, the retro race that recreates the first non-stop, solo round-the-world race of 1968-'69 that featured legends like Bernard Moitessier and Robin Knox-Johnston. Posted on 26 Apr
Selden 2020 - FOOTERSailGP_Technologies_Metal_1456x180 BOTTOMNorth Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTER