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The Golden Globe Race 2018 | Stepping back to the Golden Age of solo sailing

by Simone Balman

18 sailors…30,000 miles non-stop…Alone…With no outside assistance

To celebrate Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s historic 1968/9 world first solo non-stop circumnavigation in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Yacht Race, a new Golden Globe Race is being staged to mark the 50th Anniversary of that epic.

The only woman in the race, Suzie Goodall, is embarking on a challenge only achieved once before – in the Golden Globe Race. Sail + Leisure magazine has been invited as a media partner by DHL, Suzy’s sponsors, for the rounding of Cape Point.

Like the original Sunday Times event, the 2018 Golden Globe Race is very simple. Depart Les Sables-d’Olonne, France on July 1st, 2018 and sail solo, non-stop around the world, via the five Great Capes and return to Les Sables-d’Olonne. Entrants are limited to sailing similar yachts and equipment to what was available to Sir Robin in that first race. That means sailing without modern technology or benefit of satellite based navigation aids.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnson on Suhaili

Sir Robin Knox-Johnson on Suhaili

Competitors must sail in production boats between 32ft and 36ft overall (9.75 – 10.97m) designed prior to 1988 that have a full-length keel with rudder attached to their trailing edge. These yachts are heavily built, strong and sturdy, similar in concept to Sir Robin’s 32ft vessel Suhaili. In contrast to the current professional world of elite ocean racing, this edition travels back to a time known as the ‘Golden Age’ of solo sailing. Suhaili was a slow, sturdy 32ft double-ended ketch based on a William Atkins ERIC design. She was heavily built of teak and carried no computers, GPS, satellite phone nor water-maker, and Robin completed the challenge with no outside assistance or aid of modern day shore-based weather routing advice. He had only a wind-up chronometer and a barograph to face the world alone, and caught rainwater to survive. But he was at one with the ocean, able to contemplate and absorb all that this epic voyage had to offer.

Competitors in this race will be sailing simple boats using basic equipment to guarantee a satisfying and personal experience. They will be navigating with sextant on paper charts, without electronic instruments or autopilots. They will hand-write their logs and determine the weather for themselves. Only occasionally will they talk to loved ones and the outside world when long-range high frequency and ham radios allow. It is now possible to race a monohull solo around the world in under 80 days, but sailors entered in this race will spend around 300 days at sea in little boats, challenging themselves and each other. The 2018 Golden Globe Race will be a fitting tribute to the first edition and it’s winner, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

For more information about the race and Suzie Goodall go to:

http://goldengloberace.com/ or http://goldengloberace.com/skipper/susie-goodall/

The Golden Globe Race 2018 route

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