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Golden Globe Race 2022 Starts in 530 Days, Ireland is Among the Entries

24th March 2021
Les Sables d'Olonne Press Conference to launch the 2022 Golden Globe Race and feature the Vendee Globe and Mini Transat all starting from Les Sables.
Les Sables d'Olonne Press Conference to launch the 2022 Golden Globe Race and feature the Vendee Globe and Mini Transat all starting from Les Sables

The 1968 Golden Globe was the first-ever around the world yacht race. Since then, legends like the only finisher and winner Sir Robin Knox Johnston, and Bernard Moitessier have inspired many sailors and created new Around the world races. Philippe Jeantot conceived the first 1998 Vendee Globe with the Golden Globe was part of his idea.

In 2018 with partner Les Sables d’Olonne, the Golden Globe returned to life 50 years later. This incredible Adventure continues with a third edition starting from Les Sables d’Olonne on Sept 4th 2022. Again, Les Sables d’Olonne stands with McIntyre Adventure as a passionate partner building a bigger and even more exciting event.

The 2018 GGR was a repeat journey into the unknown. The world had changed, but the world had never seen anything like it. 18 sailors set sail not knowing what to expect. We all held our breath and an international GGR Family followed day by day with genuine enthusiasm. Yachts were lost, stories were told and sailors everywhere were inspired. Some of the best sailors on the planet had lined up at the start in Les Sables d’Olonne. So too did the dreamers, just as they did in 1968.

Guido Cantini on the bow of his GGR 2022 Vancouver 34 "Hannah of Cowes"Guido Cantini on the bow of his GGR 2022 Vancouver 34 "Hannah of Cowes"

Unlike the first edition, the GGR Notice of Race was considered by French Maritime Authorities as the best for any yacht race ever to sail from this country and the Security Arrangements appropriate for the challenge.

10 months after the start, Tapio Lehtinen the last of only five sailors to complete the journey, crossed the finish line creating history once again. Jean Luc Van Den Heede, one of the great sailors of our time, won the 2nd Golden Globe. He was 73yo. and has been a beautiful dreamer his entire life! Like all entrants, his voyage was filled with drama and courage in the face of real adversity. It was tough! Very tough. He was at sea for 212 days totally alone, the equivalent of three Vendee Globes. His final VDH journal has and continues to inspires a new generation of sailors, as did his previous five solo circumnavigations of the Globe.

The GGR is unique and has established once again the core principles of that first in 1968 edition. Open to sailors young and old it is affordable in 32-36ft strong, recycled, seaworthy yet simple yachts. There is No technology, No satellite comms or GPS, No autopilots and only cassette tapes for music. The GGR is the ONLY solo race around the world with Absolutely NO Outside assistance of any kind.

The GGR is NOT a flying 10-week sprint around the Globe. It is a gruelling demanding and daring marathon. You could fly to Mars quicker than completing the GGR! Entrants spend more time in the Southern Ocean than most current races take to circumnavigate. There are no SKYPE calls home to family for psychological support, or engineers for advice. The GGR is total isolation on a grand scale. It steps back to a simpler time, where the sailor relies entirely on themselves for their own destiny.

This challenge is not for everyone. It’s serious. Only the best will finish. Question? IS it the toughest Solo Non-stop race around the world? Who cares? We know it is seriously tough with no comparisons. Yet it is a beautiful and simple Challenge. It takes a special sailor to even consider it possible. Those that finish in 2023 will again make history!

Today 28 entrants from 11 Countries have signed for the next edition. The British want the Golden Globe back! They are sending 8 sailors to recover it. Australia sends 6 entrants. We are excited to welcome # Damien Guillou and PRB to the GGR in the last few days, leading the three French entrants who will attempt to retain the Golden Globe trophy. New Zealand sends # Graham Dalton brother of Americas Cup winner # Grant Dalton, who is sailing JL VDH 2018 R36 Matmut, # Tapio Lethinen from 2018 GGR sailing “Asteria” covered with Barnacles returns with a plan to win. # Captain Coconut, Mark Sinclair also from 2018 returns with unfinished business. Our only woman entrant # Kirsten Neuschafr from South Africa is a sailor with the experience to win and a yacht that could actually do it! Our youngest is 26 yo. American # Elliott Smith and Oldest at 79, the indomitable multiple solo circumnavigator # David Scott Cowper from the UK. Only Four SUHAILI Class entries are still available to sailors hoping to join the 2022 GGR.

Golden Globe Organiser Don McIntyre first time meets French GGR2022 entrant Damien GuillouOrganiser Don McIntyre first time meets French GGR2022 entrant Damien Guillou

“As organisers we learnt a lot from the last edition of the GGR”. said Don McIntyre, GGR Founder and race Chairman. “There have been changes and one of the biggest is a new start date Two months later than 2018 placing the fleet more favourably in the Southern Ocean. Safety and security standards remain high and sailing qualifications have been increased. The best is overall media coverage will be substantially upgraded”.

  • A new 2-hour time penalty for every litre of fuel consumed during the race will be added to finishing times. This encourages all entrants to focus on Solar, Wind and Water power generation. Our world first WASTE MANAGEMENT plan for all entrants in the 2018 GGR will remain.
  • For the first time Expanded MEDIA ACCESS to GGR skippers With Entrants receiving two direct satellite phone interviews from any media outlet, every week while racing. The possibility of sending satellite photos from entrants to Race Control is being investigated. A third Video film drop for live interviews is also scheduled for Cape Town, South Africa before sailors’ head into the Southern Ocean and a fourth may be established after rounding Cape Horn.
  • A planned comprehensive Media Production and Global TV distribution plan will send the GGR story to millions of families around the world.

On July the 1st 2018, crowds that gathered on the famous Les Sables river cheering our GGR sailors witnessed something special. But they could never have imagined what lay ahead. The Golden Globe is personal, even romantic and centred on the sailor. Nothing else matters. It is seriously a human story, not the boat, not technology and not the money that creates the winner and it’s all about the stories.

On Sept 4th next year once again, these special sailors will set out on an adventure unique to this planet. They are all volunteers in what is now recognised as the longest, loneliest, slowest race and most daring challenge for any individual in any sport.

Ireland's Pat Lawless from County Kerry is one of the entries for 2022 and you can read more on him here

Barry Pickthall

About The Author

Barry Pickthall

Email The Author

Yachting journalist and photographer Barry Pickthall is the Golden Globe Race Media Co-ordinator

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About the Golden Globe Race

The Golden Globe Race is the original round the world yacht race. In 1968, while man was preparing to take his first steps on the moon, a mild mannered and modest young man was setting out on his own record breaking voyage of discovery. Off shore yacht racing changed forever with adventurers and sailors, inspired by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, following in his pioneering wake. Nine men started the first solo non-stop sailing race around the World. Only one finished. History was made. Navigating with a sextant, paper charts and an accurate and reliable time piece, Sir Robin navigated around the world. In 2018, to celebrate 50 years since that first record breaking achievement, the Golden Globe Race was resurrected. It instantly caught the attention of the worlds media as well as adventures, captivated by the spirit and opportunity. The original race is back.

The Golden Globe Race: Stepping back to the golden age of solo sailing

Like the original Sunday Times event back in 1968/9, the 2018 Golden Globe Race was very simple. Depart Les Sables d'Olonne, France on July 1st 2018 and sail solo, non-stop around the world, via the five Great Capes and return to Les Sables d'Olonne. Entrants are limited to use the same type of yachts and equipment that were available to Robin Knox-Johnston in that first race. That means sailing without modern technology or benefit of satellite-based navigation aids.

Competitors must sail in production boats between 32ft and 36ft overall (9.75 10.97m) designed prior to 1988 and having a full-length keel with rudder attached to their trailing edge. These yachts will be heavily built, strong and steady, similar in concept to Robin's 32ft vessel Suhaili.

In contrast to the current professional world of elite ocean racing, this edition travels back to a time known as the 'Golden Age' of solo sailing. Suhaili was a slow and steady 32ft double-ended ketch based on a William Atkins ERIC design. She is heavily built of teak and carried no computers, GPS, satellite phone nor water-maker, and Robin completed the challenge without the aid of modern-day shore-based weather routing advice. He had only a wind-up chronometer and a barograph to face the world alone, and caught rainwater to survive, but was at one with the ocean, able to contemplate and absorb all that this epic voyage had to offer.

This anniversary edition of the Golden Globe Race is a celebration of the original event, the winner, his boat and that significant world-first achievement. Competitors in this race will be sailing simple boats using basic equipment to guarantee a satisfying and personal experience. The challenge is pure and very raw, placing the adventure ahead of winning at all costs. It is for 'those who dare', just as it was for Knox-Johnston.

They will be navigating with sextant on paper charts, without electronic instruments or autopilots. They will hand-write their logs and determine the weather for themselves.

Only occasionally will they talk to loved ones and the outside world when long-range high frequency and ham radios allow.

It is now possible to race a monohull solo around the world in under 80 days, but sailors entered in this race will spend around 300 days at sea, challenging themselves and each other. The 2018 Golden Globe Race was a fitting tribute to the first edition and it's winner, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

Background on Don McIntyre (61) Race Founder

Don is an inveterate sailor and recognised as one of Australia s greatest explorers. Passionate about all forms of adventure and inspiring others, his desire is to recreate the Golden Age of solo sailing. Don finished 2nd in class in the 1990-91 BOC Challenge solo around the world yacht race. In 2010, he led the 4-man Talisker Bounty Boat challenge to re-enact the Mutiny on the Bounty voyage from Tonga to West Timor, in a simil

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