Golden Globe Race – Day 51: Why is Susie Goodall heading North?
As race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede closes on a very stormy Cape of Good Hope, Race organisers posted two navigation warnings to the fleet on Sunday, and today have raised the southern limit to 42 degreesS from Longitude 40 degreesE to keep the fleet clear of the worst conditions in the South Indian Ocean.
Don McIntyre, the Race Chairman explains: “This is early Spring in the Southern Ocean and the fleet will be 2-weeks or more ahead of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston 50 years ago in rounding the Cape of Good Hope and entering the Roaring Forty latitudes. From the satellite images, which of course were never available to the original Golden Globe Race skippers, it is clear that the remnants of the winter storms are still running through the 40 and 50 latitudes. Raising the exclusion line to 42 degreesS now is a prudent measure to keep the 2018 GGR fleet from straying into the worst of this weather.”
Van Den Heede and his followers still face some uncomfortable sailing. South of the Cape, the Agulhas Current is running in a clockwise cauldron at between 3-4knots, which when mixed with strong south westerly winds, is creating a vicious sea state for these small yachts to cross. Van Den Heede’s Rustler 36 Matmut will be the first to experience this during the latter part of this week followed by second placed Dutchman Mark Slats currently trailing the Frenchman 515 miles astern.
Behind them, the 10 other sailors within the GGR have been reporting mixed weather. Indian Abhilash Tomy (Suhaili replica Thuriya) has been dogged by light winds all last week as a high pressure system followed his every move. Britain’s Susie Goodall (DHL Starlight), currently 450 miles ENE of Tomy, has been facing strong head winds and rough cross seas all week – so much so that to tack would force her to head straight into them. That is why she is heading North Easterly today in search of a more favourable wind further east. She fears that to tack south right now, the sea state would stop her Rustler 36 in its tracks. More worryingly, Susie reported today that some of the chain plates connecting the yacht’s rigging to the hull have lifted some 2mm above the deck and are now letting in water. She is monitoring the problem.
Susie also reported that her yacht has been sailing through a large area of flotsam and jetsam in recent days some of which has been hitting the hull with quite a bang. Ireland’s Gregor McGuckin (Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance) has made most progress this past week, moving up from 8th to 5th, despite running into stray ropes, fishing nets and other debris. This worrying ecological state in mid South Atlantic was first underlined a week ago when Abhilash Tomy reported hitting an unknown object hard.
Two other skippers have reported bigger issues. Finland’s Tapio Lehtinen is suffering a power meltdown on his Gaia 36 Asteria. Her engine stopped working two weeks ago, the yacht’s solar panels, which should be providing a 300watt trickle charge are producing barely 5% that amount, and the connections to his water generator keep burning out. Tapio made an unscheduled call to the Race Organisers yesterday to discuss the possibilities of running ‘Dark Ship’ for the remainder of the circumnavigation. Bernard Moitessier did so in the first Golden Globe Race 50 years ago but this GGR requires at least one position report a day for safety reasons. Don McIntyre explained: “Tapio could turn off all power in the boat, including his satellite tracker. He is looking at the option of hot-wiring one or more of his solar panels direct to the ship’s batteries and that would allow him to send us one position update a day. Tapio is a ‘stayer’. He is not considering stopping to make repairs. He is determined to battle on regardless”
Frenchman Loïc Lepage (Nicholson 32 Laarland) may not have that option. His fresh water supplies are running low following a unusual lack of rain experienced in the Doldrums. He is now considering a stop in Cape Town which would demote him to the Chichester Class.
Fellow Frenchman Philippe Péché has remained silent over his intentions to stop in Cape Town to replace the broken wind vane self steering system and tiller on his Rustler 36 PRB but has been making remarkable progress in keeping pace with Van Den Heede while hand-steering all week. At the current rate, he is likely to reach Cape Town on Thursday or Friday.
One other man with worries is Dutchman Mark Slats. Now down to 32 degreesS, the second-placed Dutchman is beginning to feel the cold, and reported last week that he forgot to pack gloves for the Southern Ocean stages. He has hanked headsails rather than roller furling on his Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick and it is going to be cold changing sails on that foredeck!
Invitations for the 2022 GGR open today!
Applications for an invitation to compete in the 2022 Golden Globe Race are now available, four years ahead of the start. A new Class of strict One Design steel replicas of Bernard Moitessier’s famous Golden Globe yacht JOSHUA has been added for the next edition, joining the current traditional long-keeled yachts of between 32-36ft in the SUHAILI Class. There will be an overall line honours trophy and individual class winners.
Events start in a UK port on August 15th 2022 when GGR entrants assemble ahead of a SITraN Challenge Race bound for a port in France, starting on Sunday 21st August 2022. This date commemorates the anniversary of French legend Bernard Moitessier setting off in the original Sunday Times Golden Globe from Plymouth England on August 22nd 1968. The Golden Globe Race will start from a port in France on Sunday 11th Sept 2022.
Don McIntyre, the GGR Race founder current Race Chairman says: “With hundreds of enquiries from sailors around the world interested in the 2022 Golden Globe Race, we need to give early notice of our plans. The 2018 Golden Globe has just begun and the Southern Ocean awaits, yet some 70 sailors are looking seriously at entering the 2022 Race already. These men and women from countries across the globe have been inspired by the core values of this very special adventure and recreation of the original GGR 50 years ago.”
“The addition of a JOSHUA Class sailed in new one-design steel replicas is an exciting prospect that may attract a new class of sailor who prefers to buy new, rather than go through the sometimes expensive and lengthy refit on an older boat.” Said Don McIntyre…”This is quite apart from the challenge of sailing in the footsteps of Bernard Moitessier. I am looking forward to sailing one in 2022!”
All JOSHUAS are built in Turkey by ASBOAT for McIntyre Adventure ltd. Details and full specifications and prices are at Joshuagg.com.
Whilst the proven formula of the 2018 Notice of Race will remain substantially unchanged, there are some additions for this third running of the Golden Globe.
Sailors must have completed at least 4000 Ocean sailing miles before applying for an invitation to compete.
- 20 entry limit in the SUHAILI class
- 10 entry limit in the JOSHUA class
- A further five special invitations may be awarded to sailors with particular merit
- An entry limit of 7 sailors from any one country
- A new Cape Town film Drop has been added to the course
- An extra 1000 mile non-stop solo qualifying voyage in the GGR entered yacht, using only celestial navigation is required on top of the previous minimum of 8000 ocean miles and a further 2000 solo miles
- The Entry fee is AU$16,000
Leaderboard on Day 51:
|Pos||Skipper||Boat Type / Name||Distance to finish||Miles run last 24hrs||Distance behind leader|
|1||Jean‑ Luc VDH (FRA)||Rustler 36 Matmut||19245||116||0|
|2||Mark Slats (NED)||Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick||19760||118||515|
|3||Are Wiig (NOR)||OE 32 Olleanna||19952||95||707|
|4||Uku Randmaa (EST)||Rustler 36 One and All||19954||98||709|
|5||Gregor McGuckin (IRE)||Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance||19997||95||752|
|6||Susie Goodall GBR)||Rustler 36 DHL Starlight||20091||57||846|
|7||Igor Zaretskiy (RUS)||Endurance 35 Esmeralda||20272||78||1027|
|8||Tapio Lehtinen (FIN)||Gaia 36 Asteria||20341||21||1096|
|9||Loïc Lepage (FRA)||Nicholson 32 Laaland||20362||26||1117|
|10||Abhilash Tomy (IND)||Suhaili replica Thuriya||20408||63||1154|
|11||Istvan Kopar (USA)||Tradewind 35 Puffin||20819||5||1574|
|12||Mark Sinclair (Aus)||Lello 34 Coconut||21026||62||1772|
1 Philippe Péché (FRA) Rustler 36 PRB
2 Antoine Cousot (FRA) Biscay 36 Métier Intérim
1 Francesco Cappelletti (ITA) Endurance 35 007
Ertan Beskardes (GBR) Rustler 36 Lazy Otter
Kevin Farebrother (AUS) Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha
Nabil Amra (PAL) Biscay 36 Liberty II
For more visit goldengloberace.com
by Barry Pickthall / GGR