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Last finisher in Golden Globe Race 2022, prize giving celebration Les Sables d'Olonne

by Golden Globe Race 15 Jun 11:31 PDT 15 June 2023
277 days #GGR2022 last Chichester Jeremy OLLEANNA crossing Les Sables d'Olonne finishline © Jean-Luc Lhomond

It's all over! Once again, the third edition of the Golden Globe Race has delivered an incredibly spectacular human adventure that no one could ever have imagined when the 16 sailors set out from Les Sables d'Olonne on Sept 4th last year.

Armed only with sextant, paper charts, radios and their own determination to follow a dream, they faced fear, incredible deprivations and hardships completely alone. Just three completed the challenge. Once again, sailors and non-sailors around the world followed every minute of this extraordinary event.

Jeremy Bagshaw in Chichester class officially closed the GGR when he moored Olleanna on the GGR dock after 277 days at sea! It was an excruciating finish for him, following 24 days of headwinds with a broken forestay. When 400 metres from the finish, he was becalmed and the current took him back to sea. He crossed the line 6 hours later with no food, or water. He was welcomed on the water by fellow GGR competitors Mark Sinclair (AUS), Simon Curwen (GBR) and Arnaud Gaist (FRA) and many people of Les Sables in the Channel.

Jeremy had an excellent start of the GGR in the North Atlantic, battling an impressive duel with Guy Waites (GBR) who is expected to complete his circumnavigation early next week. Guy will be welcomed by the South African sailor as he comes into the legendary Channel of Les Sables d'Olonne.

Both sailors were plagued by barnacle invasion and started bleeding miles on the fleet after the Trindade Island rounding. After deciding to retire from the GGR and turning towards Uruguay for several days to lift and clean Sagarmatha's hull, Guy Waites (GBR) altered course and finally lifted in Cape Town to scrape and antiful the hull, moving into Chichester Class. Jeremy Bagshaw (ZAF) moored Olleanna in False Bay facing his hometown of Simon's Town, to dive and manually scrape the dreaded barnacles for several days before continuing on.

Chichester Class, not for the faint-hearted!

After leaving South Africa, both sailors faced their race-defining moment forcing both to stop in Hobart Tasmania. The shells came back on Olleanna's hull with a vengeance in the Indian Ocean and Jeremy, slow and low on water, was forced to stop in Hobart, Tasmania on the 16th of January, therefore moving into Chichester class.

Sagarmatha had very heavy weather in the Indian Ocean, and posted some of the best daily speeds of the fleet, but lost the life raft overboard in a storm, eventually stopping a second time in Hobart for Guy to pick-up a new raft, therefore out of the GGR but deciding to continue his circumnavigation.

Jeremy pushed through in the Pacific Ocean encountering numerous storms that made him the GGR fleet record holder for the most days in foul weather. He rounded Cape Horn on March 17th, 193 days after the start between two low pressure systems after days of bad weather, breaking his dodger and losing his inflatable danbuoy.

The barnacle-free Olleanna was doing good time in the Atlantic, and Jeremy's plan to hold the unofficial record between Hobart and Les Sables d'Olonne well under way until May 19th. Olleanna's stainless steel forestay fitting broke just as the wind turned East, straight into Jeremy's face for 24 days.

Slow progress under staysail only meant Jeremy soon ran out of food and water. He started using his emergency manual water maker, while eating his very last tin of food several days before his arrival. Never however did he run low on his signature, quirky and sometimes dry, sense of humour, making the best on what would have been a critical situation for many and getting out some of the best tweets of the GGR.

Jeremy, latest member of the South African solo circumnavigators club.

Jeremy is used to heavy weather and big seas, starting form the Optimist Class into offshore sailing, and winning the Governor's Cup from Cape Town to Saint Helena twice. Olleanna, the smallest yacht in the fleet impressed by her pace and steadiness, and Jeremy was quick, always in the game and first boat on the start line in Gijon for the SITraN Prologue and top three on the LSO start line!

It is during one expedition on Skip Novak's Pelagic, where fellow South African sailor Kirsten Neuschäfer worked that he decided to take part in the GGR. After 277 days at sea, he now joins Kirsten, the winner of the 2022 GGR, and Sailors Hall of Fame Bertie Reed, who circumnavigated the world 3 times, placing first in the inaugural BOC Challenge 1981-82, in the small club of solo South African circumnavigators.

"Once again, the GGR has been a display of the human spirit under great pressure. It has captivated followers around the world. It is not about money, technology, speed or even athletes. It is about who we are as humans and why we exist. Each of the entrants are there to prove something to themselves. It is personal and it is hard. It is not for everyone, but all of us watching and living this day by day come away stronger for being part of it. We owe all of them, the sailors, a debt of gratitude for sharing their story...Thanks to them and you for following!!! We look forward to seeing all the skippers safely together again in les Sables d'Olonne gathering the GGR family in its home for some exciting celebrations!" Don McIntyre, GGR Founder & Chairman

GGR 2022 celebrations and prize-giving ceremony under preparation.

The city of Les Sables d'Olonne, the world's Capital of solo sailing, and the GGR Race Office are gearing up for the upcoming Prize Giving Ceremony on Saturday 24th of June. That same week-end, Les Sables d'Olonne, home of the Golden Globe Race is hosting the Enjoy Ocean Festival dedicated to the promotion of water sports, a unique opportunity to get into discovery initiation and cultural activities linked to water sports for free at three sites across the city: the sea base, Port Olona and Lac de Tanchet on June 23 and 24. The GGR will have Stands at the Base de Mer and Port Olonna by the Vendée globe dock to meet the GGR family and members of the public on the 24 and 25 of June

Saturday, June 24, is the official closing date for the Golden Globe Race 2022 with a full festive programme.

  • Accredited Media interviews from 10:00 to 12:00 upon request at (there will not be a formal press conference)
  • Meet the skippers by their yachts on the "Ponton du Vendée Globe" in Port Olonna from 14:00 to 16:00!
  • Prize Giving ceremony at 18:00, Place du Tribunal, along the famous beach of Les Sables, voted one of the most beautiful bays in the world, joining the Bay of Cartagena de Indias in Colombia or the Bay of San Francisco in California, and the mythical Bay of Along in Vietnam.

Greet the skippers as they receive their trophies in the presence of the Mayor Yannick Moreau, GGR founder Don McIntyre, GGR patron Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, 2018 Winner Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, and celebrate the victory of South Africa's Kirsten Neuschäfer as she receives both the GGR trophy and the Kay Cottee trophy.

The prize-giving will be followed by a concert at 19:45 from "UK on the Rock" for two hours of rock and brit pop from the rolling Stones to Oasis, and DJ Set by the latest sensation of the French Touch of electro music from 22:30 onwards to celebrate way into the night.

On Sunday 25th enjoy the initiation to Water sports, Catamaran, Kayak, Stand Up Paddle, check the local Ollonnois on the great beach of Les Sables d'Olonne and get your GGR Merch at the GGR Stands.

Event website:

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