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.



2 thoughts on “He thought he would die atop the mast in the Golden Globe Race”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: