Susie Goodall Rejects Marriage Proposal, Cleans Bottom, and Fixes Windvane in Longest Ever Hobart Stop in the Golden Globe Race

Susie Goodall had the longest film drop in Golden Globe Race (GGR) history, but she got a lot done on October 30, 2018, UTC. She swatted down a marriage proposal from a man she did not know, which was delivered by way of the race organizer Don McIntyre. She donned wetsuit, mask, and snorkel to clean barnacles off the bottom of her Rustler 36 sailing yacht. Then, she took off her Monitor windvane to make a 20-minute repair. GGR race headquarters worried that she would have to drop out of the race to obtain parts for her windvane, but the fix to its inner workings went more smoothly than expected.

In all, she spent twelve hours in Hobart at anchor. That was longer than the preceding three skippers in the solo-nonstop, unassisted race for 32-to-36-foot sailboats. The only woman and the youngest skipper at 29-years old is in fourth place in the race with only eight boats remaining.

Ten of the eighteen starters have dropped out the race. Most of the boats are less than halfway finished. Hobart is the psychological halfway point, but it is east of the international dateline which would be the halfway point in terms of lines of longitude. The 2018 Golden Globe Race sails from west to east in the stormy Southern Ocean south of Australia, the Cape of Good Hope, New Zealand, and Cape Horn.

Here is a summary from GGR race headquarters:

Looking fit and relaxed, she remained at anchor for 12 hours, using the opportunity to try and catch up on sleep before starting maintenance work on her boat at first light.


Susie Goodall in good form last night after arriving at the Hobart pit-stop in 4th place. Photo: Christophe Favreau/PPL/GGR

The barnacles were not nearly as bad as on Uku Randmaa’s boat One and All when the 3rd placed Estonian sailor passed through the Hobart film drop last Friday. “I keep going into the water to scrub the bottom each time I am becalmed, so it shouldn’t be too bad.” She explained before donning a wetsuit to dive on the hull. Two hours later, and at the cost of one scrubbing brush and snorkel, which had dropped to the bottom, Susie proclaimed the hull clean again.

Problems with her Monitor wind vane self-steering were thought to be more challenging, but after unbolting the system from the back of the boat, it took just 20 minutes to re-align the cogs so that it would self-steer the boat down wind again.

Recalling the adventure since starting this solo non-stop circumnavigation from Les Sables d’Olonne on July 1st, Goodall, the sole woman and youngest competitor in this race, joked: “The Indian Ocean has just been awful. The Pacific will be all blue skies and 25-knot winds behind me all the way to Cape Horn.”

It was the Southern Ocean storm experienced two weeks ago that remains most vivid. “That was brutal – It took me a week to recover! The seas were coming from four directions and I kept being knocked down. I was really struggling with the wind vane, which had been bent and would no longer steer downwind. I had to hand steer to keep the boat stern-to the waves, but even so, some waves would come and hit us side-on. Even after the big blow, I still got knocked down a couple more times by the confused swells.”

Lessons were learned, and as a result of that experience in 70-knot winds and 15-metre seas, Susie has changed here storm tactics. “Every storm is different, and before this one, I used to deploy a drogue to slow the boat down. I don’t know why, but in that last storm, I simply towed warps and hand-steered to keep the boat stern-to and it seemed better. My tactic had been to let the boat sail though it, but that time I couldn’t.”

Deprived of modern-day digital communications throughout this retro race, Susie did at least get the opportunity to chat live to her family back in the UK, thanks to one of her supporters holding up their iPad to provide a Facetime link home.

Thousands of well wishers  also sent her messages of good luck and many questions, some of which were read out to her. ‘Harry’ sent a proposal of marriage. “Prince Harry?” she inquired optimistically.

What have been the most challenging moment? Asked another. “Being becalmed”.

Is the ocean a friend or foe? “The ocean is a friend who turns on me now and again”

What have been the best parts of the voyage so far? There have been a lot of good parts – but passing the Cape of Good Hope was one highlight”

What has been the most useful gadget onboard? “A portable cassette player”

What do you miss most onboard? “Fresh food, my iPod and Kindle”

How much water do you still have? “A month’s supply – not enough to get to Cape Horn. I hope it rains.”

What will be your first meal when you return to Les Sables d’Olonne? “A big salad, fruit, a bowl of steamed broccoli, a pizza – and a glass of red wine.”

Latest positions at 08:00 UTC today 31.10.18

  Skipper Distance  to finish VMG during last 24 hours Approx. distance behind leader 
1 Jean- Luc VDH (FRA) Rustler 36 Matmut  9673   6.7 knots  0
2 Mark Slats (NED) Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick  11687   5.5 knots   2014
3 Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All   12577  4.7 knots   2904
4 Susie Goodall GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight   13014   6.3 knots   3341
5 Istvan Kopar (USA)Tradewind 35 Puffin  13250   5.3 knots   3577
6 Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria   13589   4.6 knots   3916
7 Mark Sinclair (Aus) Lello 34 Coconut  15920   2.5 knots   6247
8 Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Endurance 35 Esmeralda  16482   1.2 knots   6870

SV Sea Nymph Skipper MISSING in Lake Champlain

The owner of the SV Sea Nymph went missing in Lake Champlain. You will hear the story of how he was found and the cause of his disappearance near his moored sailboat at Point Bay Marina, Lake Champlain near Thompson’s Point in Charlotte, Vermont.  His last contact with anyone was on 11 AM on Sunday, October 21, 2018, when he texted a friend that he was rowing out to his sailboat the Sea Nymph which was moored next to Point Bay Marina, in Charlotte, VT on Lake Champlain. He was not reported missing until he missed a meeting on Wednesday, October 24, 2018.

The Vermont State Police is identifying the missing man as George Ruhe, 67, of Wethersfield, Connecticut, and Brattleboro, Vermont. Mr. Ruhe was an accomplished photographer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, and Sports Illustrated. His dinghy was found on October 25, 2018, on a marshy shore.

His body was found soon afterward underneath a moored sailboat. The water temperatures were between 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit in late October on Lake Champlain according to Hypothermia in those temperatures can lead to loss of manual dexterity in 10 to 15 minutes in that cold of water. Once manual dexterity is lost drowning is very possible without the use of a life jacket.

Some press releases from the Vermont State Police are below written by Cpl. Andrew Leise, VSP Williston below:

Mr. Ruhe was last seen at the Point Bay Marina in Charlotte, Vermont, at about 11 a.m. Sunday, and indicated in a message to a friend that he was rowing at that time. A dinghy used by Mr. Ruhe to reach his sailboat, which is moored at the marina a short distance from shore, also is missing. His vehicle was found Wednesday parked at the marina. He was reported missing Wednesday afternoon after failing to appear for meetings earlier in the week.

At about 4:30 p.m., crews including the Vermont State Police Dive Team recovered a body from the vicinity of a sailboat moored in Lake Champlain at Point Bay Marina in Charlotte. The body was preliminarily identified as that of George Ruhe. The body will be brought to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy to confirm identification and determine the cause and manner of death.”

“***Update 2:40 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018***

At about 2 p.m. the crew of a fixed-wing aircraft from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations unit assisting in the search located what appeared to be the missing dinghy in a swampy, shallow area in the south end of Town Farm Bay. The Vermont State Police with help from Point Bay Marina staff recovered the dinghy about 20 minutes later and brought the boat to shore.

Another publication, The Shelburne News, adds more detail, indicating he went into the water deliberately.

It was windy, and the water was a cold 50 degrees Sunday as Ruhe was out on the Lake, Lt. Garry Scott said. Police believe the dinghy was not tied to the boat, and drifted away.

“It looks like he stripped off his pants and shoes and was attempting to swim the dinghy,” Scott said. “Everything we are seeing looks like an accidental drowning.”


Ep. 53: Paul Trammell Reads Becoming a Sailor A Singlehand Sailing Adventure; Sailing Kittiwake Questions if Vlogging is a Goldmine; Another Rescue and Dismasting in the Golden Globe Race; Slow Boat Sailing Podcast

In this episode, we feature Paul Trammell reading chapter 1 of Becoming a Sailor, A Singlehand Sailing Adventure. Linus Wilson talks about the latest dismasting (number four) of the solo-nonstop 2018 Golden Globe Race of French sailor Loic Lepage’s yacht. Elana from Sailing Kittiwake reads her blog “Cruising Stories: Kittiwake on Having a YouTube Channel”.

Get the Slow Boat Sailing Podcast on Stitcher and iTunes!


Becoming a Sailor, A Singlehand Sailing Adventure talks about Trammell’s purchase and upgrades to Sobrius, a 1972 Dufour Arpege and his single-handed sailing around Florida and the Bahamas. Trammell plans to release his second book of his sailing adventures Journey to the Ragged Islands before Christmas 2018. Becoming a Sailor, A Singlehand Sailing Adventure is available on Amazon and Kobo:

Sailing Kittiwake is sailing the Med and making awesome vlogs on YouTube. Check out their channel at

The blog Elana reads is at

My study on how much YouTube vloggers really make is

Wilson, Linus, A Little Bit of Money Goes a Long Way: Crowdfunding on Patreon by YouTube Sailing Channels (February 17, 2017). Available at SSRN: or


This study finds that YouTube channels crowdfunding on Patreon have more frequent video creation. The median YouTube channel that crowdfunded on Patreon produced a video every 7.5 days compared to 105 days for the median comparable channel that did not link to Patreon. Crowdfunders have more views per video, are more likely to link to their Facebook pages, and uploaded videos more frequently. While two channels in the sample, each earned over $150,000 in 2016 from Patreon, the typical crowdfunding sailing channel earned $73 per video, per month, or creation. It appears that a little bit of money was associated with a big increase in new video production.

I talked about the study in this video:

I also talked about the devastation to Panama City Marina in the following video:

“Sailboats WRECKED by Hurricane Michael in Panama City Marinas”

Category 4, 155 mph, Hurricane Micheal made landfall on October 10, 2018, in Mexico Beach, Florida. It devastated the marinas, boats, and sailboats in Panama City, Florida. You’ll see the rescue of the crew of the sailing vessel Old School abandoned in 8-foot seas near Boca Grande, Florida, as the yacht was experiencing the outer bands of a major hurricane.

Photos by Kip and Stacie Snell of Panama City Municipal Marina were reproduced with their permission.
Stacie Snell does great portrait and wedding photography at
They lost their boat in the Panama City Municipal Marina in Hurricane Michael.

Sailing La Vagabonde recently asserted boaters have lots of advance warning to get out the way of Hurricane. The experience of Hurricane Michael disputes that claim in
“Why we Chose to Sail during Hurricane Season! (Hurricane Gordon & Florence)” at

Some recent blogs and videos about the GGR are

The only woman in the race Susie Goodhall is still hanging in there!

Something happened that I never suspected. The blog surpassed the podcast this year in terms of views v. downloads. The blog at has 152K views with 234 posts. The Slow Boat Sailing Podcast has 118K downloads in 52 podcasts. The Slow Boat Sailing YouTube channel has 902K views from 100 public videos. I always expected the YouTube channel to have the greatest growth potential, but I never thought that blog could surpass the podcast. The blog was started as an afterthought, and its traffic was always low until the YouTube channel and thus the blog started focusing on news of interest to cruising sailors in September 2017.

The eBook of AROUND THE WORLD SINGLE-HANDED: The Cruise of the Islander is at
Get all your Mantus gear at
Mantus Anchors is a title sponsor of this video.Support the videos at
On the Slow Boat Sailing Podcast Linus Wilson has interviewed the crew of Sailing SV Delos, WhiteSpotPirates (Untie the Lines), Chase the Story Sailing, Gone with the Wynns, MJ Sailing, Sailing Doodles, SV Prism, Sailing Miss Lone Star, and many others.
Get Linus Wilson’s bestselling sailing books:
Slow Boat to the Bahamas

Slow Boat to Cuba
and How to Sail Around the World-Part Time
have been #1 sailing bestsellers on Amazon.
Associate Producers Anders Colbenson, Larry Wilson, Ted Royer, Sam Balatsias, Kevin Yeager, and Rick Moore (SSL).
Sign up for our free newsletter for access to free books and other promotions at

Copyright Linus Wilson, Vermilion Advisory Services, LLC, 2018

He thought he would die atop the mast in the Golden Globe Race

Here is Igor Zaretskiy’s account of how he broke his forestay and fixed it in the Southern Ocean. Igor, age 67, is eighth out of eight remaining Golden Globe Race competitors. Last week he topped my list of the most likely racer of 32-to-26-foot boats to drop out of the solo-nonstop around the world race, (and there was a lot of competition for this honor). Igor’s story of his broken forestay got lost in the rescue of French sailor Loic Lepage who lost his mast and holed his boat. Lepage was rescued by a 289-foot cargo vessel.


Caption: 2018 Golden Globe Race – Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Endurance 35 Esmeralda, sailing in heavy weather; Photo Credit: Group V team/PPL/GGR

On October 17, 2018, Igor said the following over the sat phone, which is translated into English from his native Russian. He was 2,600 nautical miles from Perth, Australia at the time. His English is somewhat better than my Russian. That is why we need a translator:

Hello, my friends. So, trouble never comes alone. When the wind beat the foils with the furled genoa, I was afraid that it would break the forestay. Now it happened. Good thing I got rid of the furling system, otherwise it could be worse. The staysail was free, the boltrope just bent and the sail went downwind. I examined the forestay. It got broken right at the swaged end fitting. I looked through the binoculars at the top of the mast. The fitting is still hanging there. I have everything ready to solve this problem, waiting for the calm weather.

He did get his calm weather, but he still thought he was going to die atop the mast. This is what GGR headquarters wrote:

Igor spent four hours up his mast repairing the forestay now completed. He thought he may die up there as the sea built up. When he came down he could hardly move his hands and feet so rested for a day with many bruises. He is now looking forward to making progress to the east but worries he may have to go up the mast again??

Many folks have commented on Igor’s slow speeds even after the forestay repair. On an October 11, 2018, post on the GGR Facebook page, the translation said:

I have just hung the camera overboard to check the hull underwater. And guess what I saw there: bunches of black worms. They stuck to the new antifouling with two years guarantee. It turned to be the perfect growth medium for those worms. It will take the whole day with a jackhammer to clean the bottom. I’m not going to do this.

I wonder how Captain Coconut (7th place in the GGR) and Igor’s chats go. I suspect the word “OK” is said a lot.



Lepage’s yacht sinks 4.5 hours after pumps stop–Lepage set to be first GGR sailor to round Cape Horn

Loic Lepage’s yacht SV Laaland did not last long without Lepage manning the pumps. It sank hours (UTC 06:30 October 23, 2018) after he was rescued by the MV Shiosai at UTC 02:00 October 23, 2018, the Golden Globe Race reported. Lepage was pumping by hand to conserve batteries and said it was taking on 160 liters (40 gallons) of water per hour.


Lepage got a hole in his boat after, according to Golden Globe Race organizer Don McIntyre, the forestay failed in 25 knot winds an 3 meter seas on October 20, 2018. That lead the mast to break in two pieces and one holed his boat leading to a leak that accelerated from 30 liters to 160 liters over 24 hours. The leak’s location behind a water tank made it hard to stop the flow.

Lepage activated his rescue beacon and the 289-meter Japanese ship Shiosai turned around to save him. Also the Longue Route 2018 participant Francis Tolan in the 43-foot Beneteau Alizes II paused his non-stop round the world trip to assist. In the end, the conditions allowed the man overboard boat of the Shiosai to rescue the French Golden Globe Race participant Lepage. Shiosai is bound for Las Palmas, Argentina. The bulk carrier is headed west, most likely via Cape Horn. The ship is expected on November 26, 2018, in Las Palmas.

Lepage is the third Golden Globe Race participant to be rescued out of eighteen starters in the solo, nonstop, unassisted, sailing race for 32-to-36-foot yachts since it began on July 1, 2018, in France. Four sailboats have been dismasted.  Only eight GGR participants are still in the race. Most of the remaining eight sailors are not half-way done, and the race for the slowest participant could last well over 300 days. Lepage’s yacht sunk in day 114 of the race.

Susie Goodall knocked down 3 times in the last 24 hours in the Golden Globe Race

In her latest call with Golden Globe Race headquarters, Susie Goodall said that she could only sail a beam reach with her broken wind vane. In the confused 9-meter seas that she has been experiencing, she said that her boat had been knocked down three times in the last 24 hours. The 28-year-old, solo sailor hopes to use lighter weather or the film drop in Hobart in a little over a week to repair the inner workings of the broken wind vane steering gear. Earlier in the week her 36-foot sailboat was swamped in a knockdown with the companionway hatch open.

Below is part of the day 113 press release from the Golden Globe Race Headquarters, which describes her ordeal with a cyclonic storm a week ago:

In a satphone call to Race HQ today, British skipper Susie Goodall spoke for the first time about a ‘horrendous’ few days when her Rustler 36 yacht DHL Starlight was caught in a horrific Southern Ocean storm some 250 miles south of Cape Leeuwin, Australia.

The storm developed just as suddenly and with the same ferocity as the one that led to Gregor McGuckin and Abhilash Tomy being rolled and dismasted two weeks ago. “The storm really kicked in between 9 PM and 9 AM I had 70-knot winds and 13-metre seas. They were nasty…practically vertical with breaking crests. I don’t know how we got through it. My self-steering broke and I had to hand-steer for 7 hours. We suffered several knock-downs and I feared that we might get rolled at any time.”

out of control

Susie explained that everything was soaked through above and below deck including bunk cushions and her sleeping back. “I definitely lost some weight during the storm because I couldn’t leave the helm to eat and I am now constantly cold and can’t get warm.”

Her hands suffered particularly. “I’ve never had such soft hands” she joked, adding “They are not a pretty sight. They are covered in sores and cuts, and now taped up to keep the salt out.“

With the storm closing in around her, Susie took the decision to turn around and head back west and get herself in the better sector. She didn’t escape the big winds but at least she had them hitting her from one direction only before passing overhead. What did for McGuckin and Tomy were the countering seas caused by the winds swinging through 180°. As a result, Susie may well boast that she is the first solo sailor to have passed by Cape Leeuwin three times during a circumnavigation! “I’m just glad the boat is still going.” She admitted. 

The storm has now passed but left an ugly sea, making it impossible for the moment to repair her wind vane self-steering. “It’s working but not very well. It will only hold a course on a beam reach, so I am having to hand steer with little sail up at the moment.”

With 1,000 miles to go to the Hobart film drop, Susie is predicting an ETA on November 1st.



Sailing the Eagle Barque: America’s Tall Ship is Training USCG Cadets

The USCG Cutter Eagle Barque is America’s tall ship sailboat. You will see and hear the story of how this amazing tall ship and square rigger, the USCGC Eagle is manned by U.S. Coast Guard Cadets sailing the seven seas. Hear the story of how it became the only active duty tall ship sailing vessel in the U.S. military.

From the USCG press kit:

…This Eagle was built in 1936 by the Blohm and Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and originally commissioned as Horst Wessel in 1936. Originally operated by Germany to train cadets for the German Navy, the ship was a reparation for the United States after World War II. In 1946, a U.S. Coast Guard crew – aided by the German crew still on board – sailed the tallship from Bremerhaven to its new homeport in New London, Connecticut. Eagle returned to Bremerhaven for the first time since World War II in the summer of 2005, to an enthusiastic welcome.
Built during the twilight era of sail, the design and construction of Eagle embody centuries of development in the shipbuilder’s art. Te hull is steel, four-tenths of an inch thick. There are two full-length steel decks with a platform deck below. The raised forecastle and quarterdeck are made of three-inch thick teak over steel, as are the weather decks. Eagle eagerly takes to the elements for which she was designed. Effortlessly and gracefully, she drives under full sail in the open ocean at speeds up to 17.5 knots. Currently Eagle’s homeport is the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Maryland, as part of a Service Life Extension Project that will keep the ship away from its standard homeport of New London, Connecticut, for several years. At the end of this restoration period Eagle will return to New London, where she will rest along the pier on the Tames River near the Coast Guard Academy when not on a training sail.
Te Coast Guard Academy was originally founded in 1876 when nine students boarded the Revenue Cutter Dobbin. Approximately 1,000 men and women attend the Academy each year, all of whom will sail at one time or another on America’s only active duty square-rigger…

To maneuver Eagle under sail, the crew must handle more than 22,000 square feet of sail and five miles of rigging. Over 200 lines control the sails and yards; every crewmember, cadet and officer candidate must become intimately familiar with the name, operation, and function of each line.
A permanent crew of eight offcers and 50 enlisted personnel maintain the ship year round. They provide a strong base of knowledge and seamanship for the training of up to 150 cadets or officer candidates at a time. On the decks and in the rigging of Eagle, young men and women get a taste of salty air and life at sea. They are tested and challenged, often to the limits of endurance. Working aloft, they meet fear and learn to overcome it. ”
Video by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Lally
U.S. Coast Guard District 7
The cutter Eagle serves as a training vessel for Coast Guard Academy cadets and candidates from the Officer Candidate School. It is the only active-duty sailing vessel in America’s military, and one of only two commissioned sailing vessels, along with the USS Constitution.
U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Lally
Video by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Masaschi
U.S. Coast Guard District 5 PADET Baltimore
Video by Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew Masaschi
U.S. Coast Guard District 5 PADET Baltimore
Video by Petty Officer 1st Class William Colclough
U.S. Coast Guard District 1
Video by Telfair Brown
U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
The eBook of AROUND THE WORLD SINGLE-HANDED: The Cruise of the Islander is at
Get all your Mantus gear at
Mantus Anchors is a title sponsor of this video.Support the videos at
On the Slow Boat Sailing Podcast Linus Wilson has interviewed the crew of Sailing SV Delos, WhiteSpotPirates (Untie the Lines), Chase the Story Sailing, Gone with the Wynns, MJ Sailing, Sailing Doodles, SV Prism, Sailing Miss Lone Star, and many others.
Get Linus Wilson’s bestselling sailing books:
Slow Boat to the Bahamas

Slow Boat to Cuba
and How to Sail Around the World-Part Time
have been #1 sailing bestseller on Amazon.
Associate Producers Anders Colbenson, Larry Wilson, Ted Royer, Sam Balatsias, Kevin Yeager, and Rick Moore (SSL).
Sign up for our free newsletter for access to free books and other promotions at
music by
Copyright Linus Wilson, Vermilion Advisory Services, LLC, 2018

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede has a 14-day lead on his nearest competitor Mark Slats

What we learned from the “film drop” in Hobart of Dutch sailor Mark Slats on day 111 of the Golden Globe was that he was way behind race leader French skipper Jean-Luc Van Den Heede. Van Den Heede made the mandatory film drop in Hobart on day 97 of the 2018 Golden Globe Race. Hobart roughly the half-way point for the 30,000 mile non-stop solo unassisted race.


Photo caption: 2018 Golden Globe Race. Mark Slats and his Rustler 36 OPHEN MAVERICK photographed off Lanzarote, Canaries during the compulsory film drop off Marina Rubicon on 15th June 2018. The yacht suffered several knockdowns and was flooded during a storm in the South Indian Ocean (approx 1,900 miles SW of Perth, Australia) on 21st September. The Dutch sailor also reported a fire on board which he extinguished.

The fact that the two-meter-tall Dutchman did not use the occasion to drop out because of a bruised or broken rib that was still bothering him tells us that Van Den Heede is only two weeks ahead of his closest competitor. (Slats can’t have the rib X-rayed because that would constitute assistance in the solo, unassisted round the world race.) We explored why Van Den Heede was a class above the rests of the field thus far in the video below:

Otherwise, the Slats visit to Hobart lacked most of the interesting snippets of stories about his trials of knockdowns, fires on board, being washed overboard, and flying toolboxes, which have been coming out of the GGR headquarters of late. What a pity!

To be fair, the fact that Golden Globe Race could send out anyone at all to talk to him was a miracle because they were in the process of arranging a rescue for another racer, Loic Lepage whose boat was filling with water.

Rescue for GGR’s Lepage 210 nm away–water rushing into yacht

Loïc Lepage’s dismasted yacht Laaland is taking on more water, but the Golden Globe Race (GGR) sailor, who pulled his emergency beacon, an EPIRB, on UTC 16:30 October 20, 2018, has rescuers on his way. SV Alizes II skipper Francis Tolan is 210 nautical miles north northwest of Lepage on early October 21, 2018, UTC. Originally, Lepage was taking on 30 liters (8 gallons) of water per hour, but that leak has intensified and he says that the boat is taking on 160 liters (40 gallons) per hour. That puts Tolan one-to-two days away from Lepage’s striken yacht. The Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) in Australia has also diverted the Japanese-flagged, 289-meter cargo ship to Lepage’s position roughly 600 nautical miles southwest of Perth, Australia. Both the 289-meter cargo ship and the 43-foot sailboat are due to arrive at Lepage’s 32-foot yacht on local time Tuesday, October 23, 2018.


Caption: 2018 Golden Globe Race – Loïc Lepage (FRA) Nicholson 32 Laaland passing through the Marina Rubicon ‘Gate’ off Lanzarote in the Canaries. Credit: Christophe Favreau/PPL/GGR

The French sailor Lepage has been unable to fully cut away his mast and rigging contrary to earlier reports posted on the GGR Facebook page. In a more recent post GGR wrote, “JRCC Australia Challenger aircraft flew Overhead Loic Lepage today and spoke with him and observed the mast in the water acting as a sea anchor.” That implies that he has not set up a jury rig, because a sea anchor would defeat the purpose of setting a jury rig. Lepage has been able to start the engine after some early failures according to the GGR Facebook page. Nevertheless, the SV Laaland cannot speed its intercept with rescuers with the mast and sails dragging in the water.

Below is the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) JRCC’s plan for the rescue:





Tolan’s yacht SV Alizes II is a 43-foot Oceanis sailboat from a competing solo-around the event to the 2018 Golden Globe Race, the Longue Route 2018. Tolan’s last port was Le Bono, France on June 18, 2018. The Longue Route commemorates Bernard Moitessier’s 1968 to 1969 trip from Plymouth, England to Tahiti, which involved going around the Southern Ocean one-and-a-half times solo-nonstop. The Longue Route website says it had seventeen participants departing from any Atlantic port above 45 degrees north.

That is almost identical to the eighteen participants that departed Les Sables-d’Olonne, France on July 1, 2018, in the 2018 solo-nonstop, unassisted Golden Globe Race for 32-to-36-foot sailboats. Only eight GGR skippers were still in the main race at the time of writing. Lepage was the only sailor in the Chichester class for boats that make one unsanctioned stop in Cape Town. Lepage ran out of drinking water, due to lack of rain showers experienced in the Doldrums and South East Trades. He also reported problems with his radio and was unable to pick up weather forecasts prior to stopping in Cape Town.

Most of the remaining participants in 32-to-36-foot sailboats in the GGR are less than half-way finished. Indeed, when Lepage set off his EPIRB, there were two participants that had been rescued (Abhilash Tomy and Gregor McGuckin) and two participants who set off EPIRB’s (Tomy and Lepage). Only one person had reached the half-way point (Jean-Luc Van Den Heede) in the Golden Globe Race when Lepage signaled for rescue. Since then, a second participant Mark Slatts had reached the half-way point in Hobart, Australia. Lepage’s boat is the third to be dismasted. All the dismastings have happened since the boats entered the stormy Southern Ocean which encompasses the south Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

Several other GGR 2018 skippers have recently faced voyage ending challenges, fourth place Susie Goodhall and second place Mark Slatts have sailed through violent cyclonic storms and been knocked down. Eighth place Russian skipper Igor Zaretskiy lost his forestay a few days ago, which could lead to loss of his yacht’s mast. The 1968 to 1969 Golden Globe Race only had one finisher out of nine participants.

Dr. Linus Wilson is the author of How to Sail Around the World Part-Time and two other sailing books. He holds a USCG “six-pack” captain’s license and is the creator of the Slow Boat Sailing YouTube Channel and Podcast.

Breaking: EPIRB activated by French GGR sailor.

Loic Lepage is the second sailor to activate his EPIRB in the 2018 Golden Globe Race for small sailing yachts on October 20, 2018, UTC. Lepage’s 32-foot yacht was taking on 30 liters of water per hour after its broken mast punched a hole in its hull before Lepage could cut it away. The French sailor lost his rig in 25-knot winds and 3-meter seas earlier on October 20, 2018, UTC. Lepage rested after removing the broken mast awaiting daylight on October 21, 2018, local time before activating his EPIRB with consultation with rescue coordinators in Australia. At the present time, his pumps are able to keep up with the water flow and he is believed to have a life raft on board.


Pictured above, French GGR skipper Loic Lepage was sailing his Nicholson 32 Mk 10 yacht LAALAND. Photo by Benjamin BRION/PPL/GGR.

He was approximately 600 miles southwest of Perth, Australia, drifting northeast at about 1 knot late on UTC October 20, 2018. His last known position was 39 degrees 1.117 minutes south and 104 degrees 1.67 minutes east. Lepage’s boat has a tracker that updates every thirty minutes. The closest Golden Globe Race participant was 480 miles downwind. Thus, his best prospects for rescue are likely from a non-race participant. There are several boats participating in the Longue Route event, which is a non-stop around the world rally to commemorate Bernard Moitessier’s participation in the 1968 Golden Globe Race. Several are downwind and closer to Loic Lepage than Istavan Kopar of the United States, who is the closest Golden Globe Race participant to Lepage. You can see their positions relative to the Golden Globe Racers here.

In the first 111 days of the race only one other sailor has set off his EPIRB, Indian Naval Commander Abhilash Tomy. The later suffered a dismasting in a violent storm that also gave Cmdr. Tomy a severe and debilitating back injury. Two other boats have been dismasted. Gregor McGuckin’s boat was dismasted in the same storm that Tomy’s was with 70-knot winds and up to 15-meter seas. He opted for rescue as his boat was close to Tomy’s when a multinational rescue effort reached the Indian sailor. Are Wiig of Norway sailed his dismasted boat into Cape Town under jury rig.

Eighteen sailors set out on the 2018 non-stop, solo, unsupported, around the world sailing race in July 1, 2018. Only eight were still in the main race at the time of writing. Lepage was the only sailor in the Chichester class for boats that make one unsanctioned stop in Cape Town. Lepage ran out of drinking water, due to lack of rain showers experienced in the Doldrums and South East Trades. He also reported problems with his radio and was unable to pick up weather forecasts. The stop in Cape Town to make repairs and replenish his stores knocked him out of the 2018 Golden Globe Race into the Chichester class competition.

Most of the remaining participants in 32-to-36-foot sailboats are less than half-way finished. The 1968 Golden Globe Race only had one finisher out of nine participants.

Here is the statement from the GGR Facebook page:


At 1810UTC 20th Loic rang GGR to advise he was concerned about 30l of water every hour entering the boat from an area that he cannot easily access. His pumps are working and he can keep up with the flow for now. GGR then contacted JRCC in Canberra Australia to advise that Loic will activate his EPIRB in the next 15 minutes. After considering options he has decided to activate his EPIRB.

The last position received at 1900UTC was 39 1.117S and 104. 1.67E making 1.2K on 45T. Positions now being received every 30 MInutes on the GGR LIVE tracker

Nearest GGR Entrant with an engine is Itvan Kopar 480 miles downwind to the east. Strong westerly winds will mean it is unlikely he will be able to haed west for the next 24 hrs. There may be other yachts to the west of LAALAND in an event called the LONG ROUTE. GGR are endeavouring to make contact with the roganisers to discover the MSSI Number of thoise yachts and their positions from AIS #GGR2018