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.

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