GGR News Updates

April 17th 2019 07:26 PM

Tapio has no more GAS! so cold food for the rest of the trip and no tea or coffee and oats soaked in cold water.! The biggest flying fish of the whole trip landed on his deck yesterday ..HUGE! so he cleaned it ready for Fried breakfast and went to wash it but dropped it…AGGH! He went below to boil his oats again instead feeling a little down and..OPPS! No gas!!! so it would have been Sishumi anyway!…His water Generator is still not working but he has perfect sailing conditions 16kt NE wind on a low sea and the temperature is perfect in MID 20’s with the sun shining and having fun playing with his sextant. He is shooting the sun three times a day and was excited to be directly under the sun that was vertically overhead a couple days ago!. He seems to make life fun no matter what! 2550 miles without a cup of tea sounds brutal!! but if he can maintain his 4.7kts ..it will be sooner rather than later for a grilled steak! Only in the GGR hey!! 🙂 Go Tapio..

April 16th 2019 07:21 AM

We are all thinking of Tapio and I know he will be thinking of us as well, as he pushes north steadily in the NE Trades. The Azores High right now has moved way south and SUHAILI is still pulling ahead, leaving Tapio in his wake. The Trades will continue for at least another 10 days so while progress is steady it is a long booring Starboard tack for him! He reported a problem with his water generator over the last days, but has a complete replacement on board so does not seem too concerned even though it is his only real power source having lost his engine just weeks after the start and with faulty solar panels. All else seems fine, except maybe for running out of books finally! ETA is hard to predict as Tapio is only making 3-4kts in the Trades and still has 2700 miles to go as well as negotiating the Azores high that may well become unstable in the future as it generally is further north. Time will tell and Tapio has plenty of that so we are expecting him late May! Good Luck out there!

April 9th 2019 11:02 AM

Tapio FINALLY crossed the Equator at around 1700Hrs UTC on the 8th April and is now making reasonable speed..4kts.. clearly sailing in the NE Trades so I am sure he is smiling right now. Over the next few days the strength of the wind will fluctuate, but he should still make consistent speed following Suhaili on the traditional route now up toward the AZORES and the next weather challenge of the High pressure that sits waiting. With Just over 3000 miles to the finish in Les Sables d’Olonne his race is now on to see if he can arrive sometime in MAY? or will it extend into June? He has only 32 days left if he hopes to beat SUHAILI’s time and that is not looking possible. He has plenty of water and food on board so all is well for now…Welcome to the other side Tapio!

April 8th 2019 03:25 PM

Tapio has finally started to move again after more than a few frustrating days and looks like he may keep moving too! Four Hours ago at 0800UTC today he was at the end of the Blue line in the picture still 12 miles from the EQUATOR! The next strait line is the distance he covered since then 🙂 He had not really moved for some days, but now he is off !! screaming NW at 1.6kts so the he should cross over in the next?? 6-8 hrs?? The NE Trade Wind is actually coming down toward him at last but the initial stronger wind will lighten off again over the next few days but at least there should be enough there to signal he is leaving the Doldrums! A big day for him. Les Sables d’Olonne is still a long way to go!! but GO HE IS!!

April 5th 2019 12:24 PM

Tapio is sitting just 65 miles from the Equator still going nowhere. The forecast is showing the start of very light trade winds from the NE but as we mentioned previously this area in the Doldrums is impossible to predict and when he is sailing at between 0 and 1 kt for a day or so, I guess you have to say there is not much wind. It could yet take another day or two before he crosses over into the Northern Hemisphere his next milestone! All is well on board..

April 3rd 2019 10:17 AM

Tapio has been going nowhere for three past days making only about 30 miles with total calms of the Doldrums stretching for at least another 200 miles. At the moment he is completely stopped and drifting South! The good news is that by midnight tonight it looks like the NE Trades are going to move toward him and the doldrums starts to decrease in dominance. A Northerly breeze starts to appear and if he can make some quick progress NW he may be able to hold some wind for a couple days to get across this frustrating area! It is still very hard to predict, or even make a computer model forecast as local conditions with heat and thunderstorms dictate what you really get, but compared to his last few days it is a FANTASTIC opportunity. He may finally be on his way again toward another set of trade winds…Keep your fingers crossed for him or another boat load of girls in a bigger boat that could tow him to the Finish in Les Sables d’Olonne!! as he still has 3200 miles to go and that is the only way he would ever make the party, but we are all thinking of him!! Good Luck TAPIO!

April 1st 2019 10:06 AM

Message from Tapio Lehtinen:
A sailboat appeared in the horizon today and in the almost calm motored next to us. It was a Brazilian Swan of a sailing school returning from Ascencion with a all female crew. They asked me whether they could be of any help and I replied that I would appreciate help to get off the barnacles. 10 min later six ladies armed with different tools & kitcen utensils jumped over the side while their skipper and myself kept an eye for sharks. After two hours & lots of laughter & splashing Asteria’s bottom was clean. Don, I hope you can stretch the outside assistance rules a bit, this will get me sooner to LSO and doesn’t change the results. Tapio

March 30th 2019 10:13 PM

Tapio is entering the Doldrums today making only 4kts with 3350 miles to go! Suhaili has been pushed out to the NW having sailed through to reach the NE trades. He is also sailing without any self steering that makes life challenging indeed. The good news for Tapio is that the area of confusing doldrums is decreasing over the next few days so he may well keep moving slowly forward. No one knows however as it is really unpredictable and impossible to show on the Tracker. While it looks like light weather overall, this is far from the truth with local severe thunderstorms and confusing seas possible at any time. He has to stay alert and work hard to reach the other side! He will of course because he loves it!

March 29th 2019 09:35 AM

Jean Luc was honoured yesterday by the French Minister of external territories in Paris, Istvan finally arrived in Hungary to a big welcome, IGOR confirmed he is feeling ok and will be attending the prize giving, Loïc is working hard on his sponsor document hoping to join the 2022 edition, Kevin has just arrived in the Himalaya mountains to start going up in the months ahead, Nabil has arrived home after some challenging sailing and sorting his boat so will he be thinking about GGR2022? Mark Slats is putting together a new Row Boat without sails!and the list of entrants for the next edition continues to grow! Tapio Rang to tell us not to wait around for him and it is OK to shut the GGR office as he may be some time!and he is not expecting a big reception, I just said don’t be so silly, everyone is waiting and will be excited to welcome you! Sailing today is not boring for him in the SE trades and he continues to make average speeds he could only dream of in the past months!

March 26th 2019 11:09 AM

Tapio is on a roll charging along in the SE Trades at 5kts and smiling hard. He arrived a couple days ago and things are looking good now for the next few days. SUHAILI is about 800 miles ahead and crossing the equator so it is still some time before Tapio will cross over. The trades should last for another 3-400 miles only, then it gets tricky again with an active doldrums with it’s squalls, thunderstorms heat and calms. Right now they stretch for nearly 600 miles, so as much as he is always happy at sea, this is going to be demanding for sure. He will have to work hard to make progress and relaxing may all of a sudden become a scarce commodity. There is only one thing worse for a sailor than no wind, and that is a mix of no wind and sudden strong wind from any direction for only minutes, you can do only one thing, wish for it to be over!! Sleep becomes hard not because of the high temperatures, but the concentration when you are focused on getting out of the area! With 3800 miles to go to Les Sables d’Olonne the next challenge to the equator is going to be a tough one! ETA: beginning of JUNE!!


Jean-Luc van den Heede



Istvan Kopar



Uku Randmaa



Igor Zaretskiy


Mark Slats Skipper GGR

Mark Slats

Netherlands (the)


Tapio Lehtinen


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