Dateline Les Sables d’Olonne, 5th December 2017 – FFV attempt to ban Golden Globe Race
Don McIntyre, the Chairman of the 2018 Golden Globe Race, proclaimed surprise at the announcement from the FFV today that the rules for the Golden Globe Race, set to start from Les Sables d’Olonne on July 1st next year, do not meet their regulations. “We have opened discussions with the FFV and have already changed some critical elements of the Rules, and are working hard to accommodate all their suggestions. We have a meeting with the FFV set for December 14 to discuss these issues so I am at a loss to understand why the FFV would go public before that meeting.
Jean-Luc van den Heede is a competitor in the GGR on Matmut, and has completed five solo circumnavigations, said tonight: “I have some experience with races that everyone predicted would be impossible, dangerous, suicidal etc. During the build-up to the first Mini Transat Race which started from England in 1977, the French skippers were very much targeted by the French Maritime Affairs who wanted to prevent us from competing. It was hardly better in the second edition …until the race became French, and a few years later, Mr Le Pensec, the Minister of the Sea, started the race.
During the first Vendée Globe Race the ‘specialists’ also predicted the worst, but look what this event has become today. At the time, the FFV was not responsible for this type of competition, but now in 2017, the rules that the Federation want to apply are made for modern boats equipped with the latest technology. We will have the latest technology in terms of safety, but our boats are old and have proven themselves over decades. I very much hope that the FFV will relax some rules, because our slow boats do not create a danger to shipping.”
by Golden Globe Race