The Brutal Southern Ocean Record for the 2018 Golden Globe Race

The 2018 Golden Globe Race rules are based on the success of a sample size of one in 1968. The bigger Southern Ocean sample size of thirteen 32-to-36-foot yachts in the 2018 contest is more disturbing.

With the 2018 GGR for 32-to-36 foot sailboats far from over and five out of eighteen starters left, its statistics since the competitors have entered the Southern Ocean are brutal. By my count thirteen competitors made it to Cape Town or further east in the Southern Ocean. Only five of those competitors are in the race and five have been dismasted. Only three of the Southern Ocean racers retired voluntarily.

I will use Cape Town, South Africa as the start of the Southern Ocean portion of the race. By my definition, boats that make it to Cape Town or beyond are said to have made it in the Southern Ocean. The Southern Ocean is the sea that includes the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans below the continents north of Antartica. This stormy body of water has claimed the masts of five Golden Globe Racers so far.

Brutal

Caption: Susie Goodall has a “cuppa” what looks like Chilean wine in ambulance that carried her to hospital for a checkup after her arrival in Punta Arenas, Chile on December 16, 2018,  following her dismasting the previous week. Gregor McGuckin’s abandoned yacht HANLEY ENERGY ENDURANCE photographed by GGR skipper Mark Sinclair as he sailed passed the yacht a month after the yacht was rolled and dismasted in the South Indian Ocean.

Let’s compare that with the 1968 Golden Globe Race. Only four of the 1968 competitors sailed to Cape town and beyond. Two racers retired, Bill King dropped out in Cape Town and Bernard Moitessier sailed to Tahiti for 1.5 laps of the Southern Ocean. None of the 1968-1969 GGR’s four competitors lost their masts. Two sailed up the Atlantic. Nigel Tetley’s Trimaran sank in the North Atlantic.  Only Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in his 32-foot, full-keel mono-hull sailboat finished in 312 days. One sailor, Donald Crowhurst, who did not enter the Southern Ocean died of an apparent suicide during the race, but no man died during the race from a sinking boat or being washed overboard.

Thankfully, we have had no deaths so far by day 170 in the 2018 GGR. French sailor Loic Lepage fell to the sea when trying to climb a cargo ship during his rescue. Englishwoman Susie Goodall had to catch a swinging crane to get aboard her 190 meter rescue ship. Abilash Tomy needed back surgery after being washed overboard on a knock-down, clinging to the top of the mast, and falling to the boom after the boat righted itself soon before his 32-foot sailboat was dismasted. He was taken off his boat in a stretcher. Three more GGR 2018 boats are still in the Southern Ocean west of Cape Horn at the time of writing. We do not know if all those three remaining boats and skippers will make it northeast of Cape Horn and out of the Southern Ocean before exiting the race.

The 1968 race provides a sample size of one for 32-to-36-foot full-keel, monohull sailboats doing well in the Southern Ocean.  (Yes, there was only one 32-to-36-foot boat that sailed the Southern Ocean in the 1968 Golden Globe Race.) The larger sample size of the unfinished 2018 Golden Globe Race does not even compare well to the Golden Globe Race Chairman Don McIntyre’s cherry-picked sample of the worst years of the Vendee Globe solo nonstop race which runs almost the same course at the 2018 GGR.

I think my episode 19 Slow Boat Sailing Podcast guest, Don McIntyre, loves re-enactments. On my podcast, he told of his open boat re-enactment of the Captain Bligh voyage in the Mutiny on the Bounty. He told me that he planned to do a re-enactment of the open boat voyage of Shackleton, but cancelled the attempt when some other team did it. What we love about the GGR is not that its a re-enactment. It is a race of monumental proportions. Its a solo-nonstop race in the Southern Ocean for sailboats accessible to most cruising sailors.

Reforms for 2022 running that surely would make the boats safer at little additional costs to the entrants are the following:

  1. unlimited satellite communications
  2. electronic autopilot backups
  3. electronic chart plotters and GPS
  4. unlimited weather routing

The Vendee Globe has all those things and that extremely dangerous race has a much lower rate of rescue and dismasting than the 2018 GGR.

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Captain Voss is on Audible!

You can HEAR Captain Voss’ complete audiobook on Audible for

FREE in the US, UK, FR, and DE.

Audible gives you your first audiobook free. You can buy the book on audible, amazon, and other audiobook. Please use the links above because it goes a long way to helping Oxriver Publishing produce more ACX2500by2500sailing audiobooks.

For a limited time a pledge of at least one dollar at Patreon will get SAILING TO TREASURE ISLAND: The Cruise of the XORA (Annotated) by Capt. J. C. Voss and How to Sail Around the World Part-Time audiobooks.

Below is a description of SAILING TO TREASURE ISLAND: The Cruise of the XORA (Annotated)

Legendary sailor Captain J. C. Voss meets a mysterious man in his hotel in Victoria, British Columbia in 1897. The mystery man says he knows where tons of gold and jewels are buried on the remote Cocos Island. Voss takes a 35-foot sailing sloop seven thousand miles through gales in search of the pirate Treasure of Lima worth seven million pounds sterling in 1897 or over $200 million today. *This is an edited, abridged, and annotated version of the first section of the Venturesome Voyages of Captain Voss concerning the voyage of the XORA sloop. This is the only part of that work focused on treasure hunting.*In the 2018 edition, the text is extensively edited as the first edition from 1913 had many run-on sentences and poor subject and verb agreement.*A biography of the great mariner Captain J.C. Voss is written by the editor.*Frequent footnotes and an editor’s note put the text in historic context.*This is an abridged version of the VENTURESOME VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN VOSS. This abridged version focuses exclusively on the cruise of the sailboat XORA and treasure hunting aboard it. Most of the VENTURESOME VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN VOSS is about the voyage of the sailing canoe named TILIKUM.Below are some selections from the book:”My seafaring life commenced in the year 1877, when I was quite a young man. Up to the time that I sailed in the Xora, it was spent in large sailing vessels. During this period, I have filled all sorts of positions from deck boy up to master.Throughout all those years, I would certainly not have believed that a vessel so small as the Xora could live through a heavy gale at sea. Naturally enough, I should not have thought of attempting a long sea voyage in any small craft if it not been for a gentleman, whose name was George Haffner, an American citizen.In the summer of 1897, when I was sitting comfortably in an easy chair in the Queen’s Hotel, Victoria, British Columbia, a gentleman stepped up to me, saying, “Are you Captain Voss?” I replied in the affirmative. He then introduced himself as Mr. Haffner, handing me at the same time a letter, saying that it was from an old friend of mine, whose death had taken place at sea just fourteen days previously, and with whom he had stayed during his last moments.””…The bearer of this note is Mr. George Haffner, who knows the position where the great treasure lies on Cocos Island. Believe in him, and he will make you a rich man. Excuse my short note, because I am very weak. Kindly remember me to all my old friends and believe me.Your dying friend, JIM DEMPSTER”Captain Voss is one of the early pioneers of long-distance sailboat cruising. He is the first major author in the genre of the sailing narrative write about his travels under sail after Captain Joshua Slocum. He is more famous for his 40,000-mile voyage in a sailing canoe named TILIKUM, but this treasure hunting adventure under sail is a book that will delight all readers.Oxriver Publishing produces titles of interest to sailboat cruising enthusiasts. This is an annotated and modernized version of Captain Voss’ classic account in the VENTURESOME VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN VOSS, which includes an editor’s note and biography of John C. Voss by Dr. Linus Wilson. The editor is the creator of the Slow Boat Sailing YouTube Channel and Podcast as well as the author of several sailing books.

Van Den Heede says his mast crack only widens on starboard tack.

In his weekly Satellite phone call with Golden Globe Race Chairman Don McIntyre on December 17, 2018 UTC, the first-place sailor Jean-Luc Van Den Heede gave an important insight into his worsening mast problems. Van Den Heede said the mast crack affecting the shrouds only worsens upwind on a starboard tack. Van Den Heede has about a 800 nm over Dutch skipper Mark Slats. Will Van Den Heede’s mast fail him in the upwind work to France over 4,000 nm away? We will see.

MastCrack

Five boats are still racing. Two are in the south Atlantic and three are in the Pacific  Ocean. Van Den Heede says he plans to be in the Northern Hemisphere by Christmas.

Below is the GGR’s latest press release:

Day 169 –  Mark Slats gains another 154 miles on Jean-Luc Van Den Heede

  • Igor Zaretskiy heads back to Moscow for medical checkup
  • Istvan Kopar escapes one storm only to risk running into another
  • Susie Goodall statement
  • Uku Randmaa’s ETA at Horn – Wednesday 19th Dec

Dateline 13:00 UTC  17.12. 2018 – Les Sables d’Olonne, France

Dutchman Mark Slats has taken a further 154 miles out French Race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede over the past 7 days, reducing the gap to 794 miles with 4,300 miles still to run before the winner returns to Les Sables d’Olonne at the end of January.

Both have had their share of problems during the past week. Slats, who was suffering severe stomach problems until tracking the source to rotten milk, was forced to lie hove-st for the first time during this race after running into heavy head winds

On Saturday he texted:  BAD WEATHER GUSTING 40 KT AND 5M SEAS ON THE NOSE. NO FUN!

followed 5 hours later with: HOVE TO NOW. FIRST TIME I STOP SAILING BECAUSE BAD WEATHER

Since then, business has returned to normal but Slats has to endure another 500 miles of northerly winds before beginning to experience the Easterly air flow now benefiting Van Den Heede 13 degrees to the north.

These head winds gave Van Den Heede equal concern at the end of last week when the pounding even in moderate conditions, extended the crack in Matmut’s already damaged mast. The 73-year old Frenchman was forced to climb the mast a sixth time to reinforce the temporary binding that is all that holds the lower shroud attachment points to the spreader above.  Now that he is back to reaching across the winds, all seems OK for the moment, but he knows that to finish, he must sail very conservatively.

Today, Estonian Uku Randmaa is within 230 miles of Cape Horn, and looking forward to rounding some time on Wednesday. He is experiencing boisterous 40 knot following winds at present, but the forecast suggests that this could die to almost nothing within the next 48 hours.

Fourth placed American/Hungarian Istvan Kopar has  repaired  the failing bearings within the steering pedestal aboard his Tradewind 35 Puffin, and having successfully dodged the storm that threatened to overtake him last week by heading south into the NO-GO Zone, now faces the prospect of running the gauntlet before another low pressure system in 3 days time. This one threatens  to be the biggest storm to-date with 60-70 knot winds and 12-15 metre seas. Race HQ has advised Kopar to thread his way south of the first small storm but not drop below 53S latitude before December 20,

Picture shows Istvan Kopar’s current position but the weather forecast  for 19th DEC overlaid showing a  big storm scheduled to move across fast from the west.

Finland’s Tapio Lentinen whose Gaia 36 Asteria remains covered in barnacles and trails in 5th place among the Glolden Globe racers some 6,300 miles behind the race leader,  has a solid breeze in typical southern Ocean weather for now and will have been  buoyed by the fact that he has taken 102 miles out of Jean-Luc’s lead over the past week.

Igor flying home for a medical

Igor Zaretskiy, who dropped down to the Chichester Class after stopping in Albany Western Australia last week to rid his hull of barnacles and make repairs, announced today that he will return to Moscow for a health check before continuing in the race. In 2010, the Russian sailor suffered a heart attack after winning the Jester Challenge solo transatlantic race, and after undergoing a further health check in Australia last week, has been advised to return to Russia and see if further surgery in necessary.

There is no time timit for Igor to restart in the Chichester Class – Francis Chichester stopped for 48 days in Sydney during his one-stop circumnavigation in 1966/7 – but there are practical limitations. After the end of March, the onset of winter storms in the Southern Ocean makes it unadvisable to attempt a Cape Horn. rounding until the following Spring.

Susie Goodall statement

After arriving in Punta Arenas on Friday, Susie Goodall thanked all those involved in her rescue and suggested that she can’t wait to get back to sea. In a statement she says;

“If you asked me if I would do this again, now knowing what it’s really like, I would say yes in a heartbeat! But as I said to the Chilean Navy captain who brought me ashore from MV Tian Fu, ‘I created so much work for everyone involved in the rescue,’ to which he responded ‘Of course you must do it again!’

You may ask why?! Some people just live for adventure – it’s human nature. And for me, the sea is where my adventure lies. Having grown up admiring Tracy Edwards and Ellen MacArthur, I just knew that one day I needed to try to do this too. Every seafarer understands the risks involved but that’s what makes us stronger and able to overcome other challenges in life.

I can’t tell you what is next beyond spending time with family and friends over Christmas and enjoying a glass of grog, but that fire in my belly is far from out, so watch this space…!”

Susie Goodall Would Do Golden Globe Race Again After Sailboat Dismasting

Rescued English solo-sailor Susie Goodall says she “I would do this again…in a heartbeat”. Golden Globe Race sailor Goodall, arrived in Punta Arenas, Chile on the 190 meter cargo ship that rescued her on December 14, 2018. Her 36-foot sailboat was pitchpoled, dismasted and “gutted” the GGR, 2,000 miles west northwest of Cape Horn. She was hoisted on a crane onto the deck of the cargo ship in 3-to-4 meter seas. Her boat lost all its rigging, poles, and mast after it was flipped in a Southern Ocean storm. Its Jordan Series drogue line snapped. Susie Goodall suffered a head injury and activated her EPIRB emergency distress beacon. The yachtswoman was rescued two days later with the clothes on her back and a small backpack with her passport and a few clothes. The MRCC Chile coordinated the rescue after Falmouth, England received the distress call. 18 sailors started the 2018 Golden Globe Race, but only 5 were left after Goodall, the only woman and the youngest entrant at age 29 dropped out. Her boat is believed to have filled with water an sunk due to deck leaks and depleted batteries.

 

You will hear Susie Goodall’s satellite phone call with Golden Globe Race Chairman and founder Don McIntyre. Barry Picktall, spokesman for the GGR 2018, explains how Goodall’s yacht was wrecked and the timeline of the rescue. We run the full statement by Susie Goodall in Punta Aranas, Chile after making her first landfall after leaving Les Sables-d’Olonne, France, on July 1, 2018. She was in the race for 157 days solo non-stop. The Golden Globe Race is for 32-to-36 foot vintage sailboats. Sailors use technology available after the first race in 1968.

There is footage from Loic Lepage’s rescue in the Indian Ocean from AMSA the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. In addtion, Goodall’s press conference was filmed by

Maria Pastora Sandoval – “Titi” and posted to her Facebook page.
Audio and video from that was reproduced with Ms. Sandoval’s permission.

GGR/PPL photos and videos were used with permission.

We also feature videos from the Armada de Chile on Twitter of Ms. Goodall’s arrival after 166 days at sea.

Goodall, (29) from Falmouth UK, and the youngest competitor in the Golden Globe Race, was lying in 4th place at the time, riding out a ferocious storm with 60 knot winds and massive seas aboard her Rustler 36 yacht DHL Starlight.”

Support the videos at
http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing
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

https://gumroad.com/l/cubabook
and How to Sail Around the World-Part Time

https://gumroad.com/l/sailing
have been #1 sailing ebook bestsellers on Amazon.

inus Wilson reads the first four chapters of Sailing to Treasure Island by Captain John C. Voss. You can get the full audiobook at

http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing

SAILING TO TREASURE ISLAND: The Cruise of the XORA (Annotated) by Captain J.C. Voss
The paperback at

or
http://www.lulu.com/shop/captain-jc-voss/sailing-to-treasure-island-the-cruise-of-the-xora/paperback/product-23887731.html

or the eBook at
http://www.lulu.com/shop/captain-jc-voss/sailing-to-treasure-island-the-cruise-of-the-xora/ebook/product-23887490.html

Associate Producers Anders Colbenson, Larry Wilson, Ted Royer, and Rick Moore (SSL).
Sign up for our free newsletter for access to free books and other promotions at http://www.slowboatsailing.com
Copyright Linus Wilson, Oxriver Publishing, Vermilion Advisory Services, LLC, 2018

Ep. 55: Acorn to Arabella and Susie Goodall Pitchpoled in the GGR; The Slow Boat Sailing Podcast Hosted by Linus Wilson

We hear from Alix Kreder and Stephan Denette who are wooden boat builders and the creators of the YouTube Channel Acorn to Arabella. After almost three years, these college buddies they have built the frame of their 38-foot gaff-rigged ketch made mostly of trees on Stephan’s farm in western Massachusettes. They have almost no sailing experience, but they plan to sail the world whenever their wooden boat is finished in 2-to-10 years.

Get the Slow Boat Sailing Podcast on Stitcher and iTunes!

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-2n9ru-a1d7eb

In addition, Linus Wilson releases tape of Susie Goodall’s distress call with Slow Boat Sailing Podcast episode 19 guest GGR 2018 founder Don McIntyre. The youngest Golden Globe Race 2018 entrant, and only woman, was pitchpoled 2,000 miles west northwest of Cape Horn in the southern Pacific Ocean. She was ultimately rescued be an 190-meter cargo ship.

Support the videos or podcast at
http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing
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.

5-left
Photo Credit: Christophe Favreau/PPL/GGR Caption: 2018 Golden Globe Race – GGR skippers congregate in Les Sables d’Olonne. Back row left to right: Uku Randmaa (EST), Jean-Luc Van Den Heede (FRA), Loic Lepage (FRA), Mark Slats (NED), Gregor McGuckin (IRE), Igor Zarertsjiy (RUS), Mark Sinclair (AUS),Tapio Lehtinen (FIN), Ertan Beskardes (GBR), Abhilash Tomy (Ind), Susie Goodall (GBR) Front row: Istvan Kopar (USA), Are Wiig (NOR), Kevin Farebrother (AUS), Antoine Cousot (FRA), Nabil Amra (PAL)

Get Linus Wilson’s bestselling sailing books:
Slow Boat to the Bahamas

Slow Boat to Cuba

https://gumroad.com/l/cubabook
and How to Sail Around the World-Part Time

https://gumroad.com/l/sailing
have been #1 sailing ebook bestsellers on Amazon.

Linus Wilson reads the first four chapters of Sailing to Treasure Island by Captain John C. Voss. You can get the full audiobook at

http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing

SAILING TO TREASURE ISLAND: The Cruise of the XORA (Annotated) by Captain J.C. Voss
The paperback at

or
http://www.lulu.com/shop/captain-jc-voss/sailing-to-treasure-island-the-cruise-of-the-xora/paperback/product-23887731.html

or the eBook at
http://www.lulu.com/shop/captain-jc-voss/sailing-to-treasure-island-the-cruise-of-the-xora/ebook/product-23887490.html

Learn the Navigation Rules for the Captain’s Exam with this audio album:
https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/linuswilson3

Associate Producers Anders Colbenson, Larry Wilson, Ted Royer, and Rick Moore (SSL).
Sign up for our free newsletter for access to free books and other promotions at http://www.slowboatsailing.com
Copyright Linus Wilson, Oxriver Publishing, Vermilion Advisory Services, LLC, 2018

Ep. 55: Acorn to Arabella and Susie Goodall Pitcholed in the GGR; Hosted by Linus Wilson

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-2n9ru-a1d7eb

We hear from AliX Kreder and Stephan Denette who are wooden boat builders and the creators of the YouTube Channel Acorn to Arabella. After almost three years, these college buddies they have built the frame of their 38-foot gaff-rigged ketch made mostly of trees on Stephan’s farm in western Massachusettes. They have almost no sailing experience, but they plan to sail the world whenever their wooden boat is finished in 2-to-10 years.

In addition, Linus Wilson releases tape of Susie Goodall’s distress call with Slow Boat Sailing Podcast episode 19 guest GGR 2018 founder Don McIntyre. The youngest Golden Globe Race 2018 entrant was pitchpoled 2,000 miles west northwest of Cape Horn in the southern Pacific Ocean. She was ultimately rescued be an 190-meter cargo ship.

Support the videos or podcast at
http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing
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
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018OUI1Q2

Slow Boat to Cuba
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MFFX9AG
https://gumroad.com/l/cubabook
and How to Sail Around the World-Part Time
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B0OFYNW
https://gumroad.com/l/sailing
have been #1 sailing ebook bestsellers on Amazon.

Linus Wilson reads the first four chapters of Sailing to Treasure Island by Captain John C. Voss. You can get the full audiobook at

http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing

SAILING TO TREASURE ISLAND: The Cruise of the XORA (Annotated) by Captain J.C. Voss
The paperback at
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1790302390
or
http://www.lulu.com/shop/captain-jc-voss/sailing-to-treasure-island-the-cruise-of-the-xora/paperback/product-23887731.html

or the eBook at
http://www.lulu.com/shop/captain-jc-voss/sailing-to-treasure-island-the-cruise-of-the-xora/ebook/product-23887490.html

Learn the Navigation Rules for the Captain’s Exam with this audio album:
https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/linuswilson3

Associate Producers Anders Colbenson, Larry Wilson, Ted Royer, and Rick Moore (SSL).
Sign up for our free newsletter for access to free books and other promotions at http://www.slowboatsailing.com
Copyright Linus Wilson, Oxriver Publishing, Vermilion Advisory Services, LLC, 2018

Lowest Cost Catamaran Insurance with Gary Fretz, Yacht Broker

Yacht broker Gary Fretz gives his tips and cost estimates for the least expensive sailing Catamaran insurance. Insurance is something that can derail a Catamaran purchase. Thus, buyers need to secure insurance well before the closing on the sailing catamaran. He recommends BoatUS for U.S.A. based buyers based on rates in February 2018.

InsuranceThumb

Support the videos at
http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing
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.

Contact Gary Fretz at BigYachts@gmail.com or call 001.954.609.6282 (Florida, USA).

Get Linus Wilson’s bestselling sailing books:
Slow Boat to the Bahamas

Slow Boat to Cuba

https://gumroad.com/l/cubabook
and How to Sail Around the World-Part Time

https://gumroad.com/l/sailing
have been #1 sailing ebook bestsellers on Amazon.

Linus Wilson reads the first four chapters of Sailing to Treasure Island by Captain John C. Voss. You can get the full audiobook at

http://www.Patreon.com/slowboatsailing

SAILING TO TREASURE ISLAND: The Cruise of the XORA (Annotated) by Captain J.C. Voss
The paperback at

or
http://www.lulu.com/shop/captain-jc-voss/sailing-to-treasure-island-the-cruise-of-the-xora/paperback/product-23887731.html

or the eBook at
http://www.lulu.com/shop/captain-jc-voss/sailing-to-treasure-island-the-cruise-of-the-xora/ebook/product-23887490.html

Learn the Navigation Rules for the Captain’s Exam with this audio album:
https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/linuswilson3

Associate Producers Anders Colbenson, Larry Wilson, Ted Royer, and Rick Moore (SSL).
Sign up for our free newsletter for access to free books and other promotions at http://www.slowboatsailing.com
Copyright Linus Wilson, Oxriver Publishing, Vermilion Advisory Services, LLC, 2018

Kopar Faces a Southern Ocean Storm

Hungarian-born, American sailor Istavan Kopar faces a major storm and has been granted permission to go below 42 degrees south to avoid it. He is racing the solo-nonstop Golden Globe Race 2018 for small sailboats. The storm’s worst should hit him on Thursday, December 14, 2018 UTC in the morning. Kopar is nearing the same spot where English sailor Susie Goodall lost her rig in the southern Pacific Ocean over 2,000 nautical miles west northwest of Cape Horn.

Kopar lacks a working SSB radio and his only contact with the outside world are typically weekly satellite calls with the race headquarters. Kopar and other racers cannot use their satellite phones except in emergencies to communicate with anyone besides GGR race headquarters. The storm is forecast to have at least 50 knot winds and 7-meter seas according to windy.com. Kopar is in 4th place out of 5 remaining competitors. Five boats have been dismasted and the skippers of eight other GGR boats have dropped out of the race since July 1, 2018.

Below is the press release from the GGR:

Kopar

Picture credit: Jessie Martin/PPL/GGR Caption: 2018 Golden Globe Race: American/Hungarian skipper Istvan Kopar and his Tradewind 35 yacht PUFFIN arrival at the Boatshed.com Hobart Film gate in 5th place in the Golden Globe Race

Day 164 – Lead narrows between Mark Slats and Jean-Luc Van Den Heede

  • Istvan Kopar faces major storm
  • Susie Goodall arrives in Punta Arenas on Friday
  • Mark Sinclair – ‘Capt Coconut ‘– retires in Adelaide
  • Igor Zaretskiy reaches Albany to make repairs – now in the Chichester Class
  • Uku Randmaa’s ETA at Horn – Wednesday 19th Dec

Dateline 16:00 UTC  12.12. 2018 – Les Sables d’Olonne, France

Click on thumbnails to download high res images

Mark Slats hopes to close the gap on race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede over the next two weeks

Mark Sinclair is philosophical about his withdrawn from the Race. “I’ve enjoyed every moment of it” He says.

The barnacle growth on Igor Zaretskiy’s yacht, was slowing her down by 2 knots.

As French race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede works to protect his shrinking lead over 2nd placed Dutch rival Mark Slats, the focus is once more on a violent storm in the Southern Ocean that looks likely to overtake 4th placed American/Hungarian Istvan Kopar on Friday.

Race HQ has given permission for Istvan to take evasive action and move south into the NO-GO Zone, just as Estonian Uku Randmaa did to avoid the same storm that left Susie Goodall dismasted and in need of rescue a week ago.

Race Chairman, Don McIntyre says: “We have just advised Istvan to head south as fast as possible. We hope he can make at least 180 miles, which is the lower marker on the distance track. We then have to hope the forecast track of this storm will be correct. Going South has risks because it takes him closer to the centre of the storm and sudden wind shift zone? But if he gets south he may miss the worst of it.

This weather overlay is for 0800 UTC 1 4.12.18 showing the predicted position of the storm and the point 180 miles south where Race HQ has advised Istvan Kopar to be in order to avoid the worst of the weather.

Yesterday we alerted Istvan to run East as fast as possible to try and outrun the worst of the weather, but since then the storm has intensified and changed direction. It is for Istvan to decide what to do . GGR can only offer advise and we are updating him every 12 hours.”

Leaders draw closer

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede tacked to within sight of Rio’s Copacabana Beach today and is now entering the zone of headwinds that is likely to slow his progress considerably. The 73-year old has climbed Matmut’s mast again to check that his repairs to the lower shroud tang fastenings remain secure and seems happy enough for now, but these head winds will concentrate his mind on protecting the rig on his Rustler 36 at all cost. This will invariably slow the Frenchman down.

At 12:00 UTC today, Matmut’s lead over Mark Slats rival Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick is down to 946 miles, a loss of 76 miles during the past 9 days. That’s not enough of an average to overtake the Frenchman, but Slats knows this could all change during the next two weeks. He is hand steering much of the time, including at night, driving the boat hard and surfing on the best waves, knowing he can make big gains on the leader. His boat is in good shape and he is feeling strong and excited at this new race to the finish. The finish back in Les Sables d’Olonne is still some 5,000 miles way, but for Mark every hour of the day is important! He knows that anything can happen, so he has to be careful himself, but is charged with excitement. Can he make up the difference?

Susie Goodall

Susie Goodall is due to be dropped off at Punta Arenas on Friday when her rescue ship, the MV Tian Fu picks up a pilot prior to navigating through the Magellan Strait. She will be greeted by her Mother.

One to miss her rivalry is Istvan Kopar who had been 780 miles behind when her yacht DHL Starlight was pitch poled and dismasted 7 days ago. But Kopar has his hands full. Not only is he facing a similar storm but is struggling with major steering issues on his Tradewind 35 Puffin and also running very short of water. Nor does he have a working radio to pick up weather reports so is reliant on Race HQ to advise him about approaching storms as a safety measure. For now, he sits 4th overall – an amazing achievement considering. And perhaps this storm will have a silver lining and bring him rain!

Barnacles

While Uku Randmaa’s barnacle ridden Rustler 36 One and All was making 5.7knots today, the Estonian has revised his ETA to round Cape Horn from Monday 17th December to the 19th, 5th placed Tapio Lehtinen missed the opportunity two days ago to finally scrape clear the barnacles slowing his Finnish flagged Gaia 36 Asteria. The weather was calm without wind, but just as he was about to dive overboard, two sharks arrived and circled the boat for the rest of the day. His only consolation came with the text message: 09 Dec 06:13 UTC: SHARKS EATING THE BARNACLES (I THINK) SO DIDN’T NEED TO SWIM

Tapio has since reported a leak in the bow, which he is trying to fix, and though he now has the winds from the right direction for a change, he is still making slow progress across the South Pacific and must wait for the next calm to finish off what the sharks began.

Australian Mark Sinclair whose Lello 34 Coconut has also been plagued by barnacle growth, reached his home port of Adelaide last week just as his water supplies ran dry. He has decided to retire from the Race. Speaking by phone, he says that barnacles had slowed his yacht considerably, and though a team of friends had rallied round to clean the hull and make other repairs to the boat, he was concerned that reaching Cape Horn in early March was a little late in the season.

Barnacles also proved the downfall of Russia’s Igor Zaretskiy who put into Albany, Western Australia on Wednesday to clean the hull of his Endurance 35 Esmeralda and replace a broken forestay. He blames the barnacles on a simple error of judgement made two days before the start from Les Sables d’Olonne, when he slipped his boat to wash the bottom and did not take the opportunity to apply another coat of antifouling.

Zaretskiy is now demoted to the Chichester Class for making a stop and hopes to set sail again on Monday. This leaves just 5 of the original 17 starters competing in the Golden Globe Race.

GGR at the Paris Boat Show

Race leader Jean-Luc Van den Heede is scheduled to make a satellite phone call to the Paris Nautic Boat Show at 10:30 UTC (11:30 French time) on Thursday 12th Dec during a media event on the Les Sables d’Olonne Agglomeration stand.

https://youtu.be/GGaL0KdDhXw

Is GGR’s Jean-Luc Van Den Heede the Next Bernard Moitessier?

Golden Globe Race leader and 5-time circumnavigator Jean-Luc Van Den Heede is looking like he may be the next Bernard Moitessier as he aims his boat right onto the beaches of Rio de Janeirro, Brazil. GGR race founder Don McIntyre argued in a facebook live event that Van Den Heede had good sailing reasons to be pointing so close to shore. We will see if Van Den Heede fancies the GGR trophy more than Bernard Moitessier-like bragging rights of quitting while he was ahead. He is trailed by second place Mark Slats of the Neatherlands. The retro, solo race for 32-to-36 foot sailboats begins and ends in Les Sables-d’Olonne, France, which is Van Den Heede’s home port.

Van Den Heede considered dropping out of the GGR after being pitchpoled in the Pacific Ocean on the way to Cape Horn. He was able to repair his rig, but it is most susceptible to breaking in headwinds. The Atlantic Ocean finish to the round the world sailing race involves headwinds for most of that last ocean crossing.

Rio

Captain Coconut Retires from the Golden Globe Race

Captain Coconut, Mark Sinclair, will not continue in the Chichester Class of the Golden Globe Race (GGR). He will stay in his home port of Adelaide, Australia just short of sailing half-way around the world. Only five racers remain in the solo, nonstop Golden Globe Race for 32-to-36-foot sailboats. A sixth competitor, Russian Igor Zaretsky, plans to continue on in the one-stop around the world Chichester class, which allows one unsanctioned stop. Five boats of eighteen starters have been dismasted in the Southern Ocean so far. Mark Sinclair was the last native English speaker in either class, but Mark Slats, a Dutch skipper, also holds an Australian passport. Slats is in 2nd place. Hungarian-born American Istavan Kopar is in 4th place.

Mark Sinclair faced the daunting prospect of sailing over 15,000 nautical miles back to France and then returning to his home port of Australia. His slow progress meant the Southern Ocean storms that dismasted five other boats and led to the rescues of four other competitors would become more frequent. The Golden Globe Race waved the requirement that both Zaretsky and Sinclair anchor for the film drop in Hobart. The Golden Globe administration left Hobart weeks ago because both men were so far behind the other competitors who had cleared through Hobart weeks before. Sinclair spent 158 days at sea solo and unsupported. He dropped out in day 163 of the competition. The first place competitor, Frenchman Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, is in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Brazil. Sinclair, “Captain Coconut”, had to sail the length of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans to finish the event.

 

Coconut out

Caption: Captain Coconut speaks to English sailor Susie Goodall in France before the start of the Golden Globe Race.