GGR News Updates

February 22nd 2019 11:29 AM

UKU will be happy that the winds for the next week look good for a fast track toward the Bay of BISCAY. Today he is making 5.7kts but in a few hours he will stop for a short calm before he again starts riding the westerlies under the low pressure systems and storms north of him. ISTVAN has managed to repair once again his emergency tiller to the point he hopes and believes it should now go the distance to the finish. Stopping in AZORES is not a plan and he is totally focused on finishing.TAPIO is enjoying his summer cruise and has a HUGE BUTTERFLY about 15cm long flying around the boat for nearly a 12 hours. He is hundreds of miles from land! His weather looking forward is a mess of all types so progress will probably only average about 3kts on course. All the time SUHAILI is sailing away and TAPIO cannot catch him. he is 5600 miles from the finish. MARK is due home on Saturday so follow the GGR tracker if you are planning to meet him! The GGR 2018 Prize giving is exactly two months from Today and all are welcome to attend in Les Sables so hope to see you then!

February 20th 2019 02:37 PM

UPDATE Uku Randmaa time penalty:
UKU started his 72 Hour time penalty at 0240UTC today. At 0900UTC today he officially advised GGR that he was very low on food and requested he make direct to the finish line and that the balance of his time penalty be added to his finishing time.
This was subsequently agreed by the GGR committee and he was approved to make for the finish in Les Sables d’Olonne at 1000UTC today. 65hrs 40 minutes will be added to UKU’s provisional finish time. The official GGR statement will be released later today.

February 20th 2019 02:35 PM

Uku Randmaa Breach of NOTICE of RACE…Weather Routing. …72 Hour time penalty!
The GGR committee received yesterday a sound recording of Radio Weather Traffic between UKU RANDMAA and a Ham radio operator. Having reviewed that communication and confirmed it’s authenticity, it has been determined that UKU did receive weather routing, specifically forbidden under the GGR Notice or Race. After careful consideration and in the Spirit of the GGR, a TIME BOX penalty of 72 hours has been applied to UKU commencing at 2400hrs UTC on the 19th February 2019. UKU will need to stay South of his latitude at that time and NOT cross North of it again until the time penalty is served and then cross within 40 miles of that start position. OFFICIAL findings will be published on the 20th February.

February 18th 2019 02:55 PM

ISTVAN KOPAR is struggling north at 4.6kts with 2572 miles to the finish, still with steering challenges but no fresh reports of new problems. At this stage he looks like sailing towards the AZORES as a precaution if his steering fails. He would then need to stop for repairs. He is still balancing sails which is easy to do with the wind in front of the beam, but if it turns to behind, it is a big problem. A sailor needs good steering and for now that is not what ISTVAN has…

February 15th 2019 01:15 PM

ISTVAN on the other hand looks certain to get hooked up in areas of light wind as the Trades die off and he will be able to do nothing but wave goodbye to UKU! nothing is certain I suppose but with yesterdays report from istvan about his ongoing steering problems , the main thing on his mind today and over the next weeks is simply to finish with out having to stop somewhere now for repair. His Emergency tiller is fragile, his main steering pedestal failing. The GGR committee has decided that for safety considerations his outstanding 24hr Time Penalty will be added to his finishing time instead of requiring it to be served in the penalty BOX at 20 degrees North Latitude. TAPIO is now making just 3.5 and looks set to have three or four days of reasonable weather before meeting a large zone of calms, squalls and frustrations between him and the South east trades his next objective.! All seems well onboard. MARK is just arriving in FALMOUTH for a few days of visiting friends before setting sail again for home.He is enjoying the sail with Dolphins, fresh food, GPS , an electric autopilot and movies!!

February 15th 2019 09:26 AM

UKU RANDMAA is eating plenty of fish and making progress north north west at 5.3kts in the wet bumpy sailing of the Trade winds. His next real challenge is about four days away. It is an important one!!. There is a HUGE powerful LOW Pressure forming in the North Atlantic that will, if the forecast holds true, bring him some strong following SW winds pushing him directly on course. Only one problem and that is a band of very light to ZERO winds that he must cross to reach them. He has to Race to that position before it opens up ( and may just make it?? ) and traps him. The difference could be huge if he makes it as it will push him out of reach of ISTVAN KOPAR but if he does not, the scales could change dramatically! If he succeeds, there is every prospect of heavy weather to come with big winds projected in the same system.

February 12th 2019 08:03 PM

It has been an eventful few days at sea with UKU RANDMAA and ISTVAN KOPAR both in the North East Trade Wind heading north as best they can. UKU’s cut on his finger seems to be healing and he is fattening up nicely with his grand supply of Marlin having caught another one late yesterday. This means he has not had to use his small supply of freeze dried food for nearly five days which he will need as he was due to run out completely a week or more before his new arrival time of somewhere after MARCH 11th. His Running backstay repair is good and all other systems onboard are working well. His Hydrovane self steering continues to preform without a mistake since the start!, every day all day. His sailis are in good condition and even his radio is making a great signal. the only thing that is an issue is he still has to wait a few more weeks before he gets to see his family and twin boys! but that is the life of a sailor and we know UKU is now very happy to think of Les Sables d’Olonne just over the horizon just 2600 miles away.

February 8th 2019 03:28 PM

ISTVAN KOPAR is struggling in the doldrums that now appear to be opening up again. This morning he was making only 1.5kts but now he is making 5.4kts so the frustrations with squalls and changing weather looks likely to continue. Even worse is the change in forecast that had suggested an easy sail across this area is now changing for the worse. The Doldrums seem to be extending. It could be another four days of frustrations before he reached the NE trades now and his steering is a problem. The gearbox in the pedestal is failing fast with the bevel gears now regularly grinding a skipping. ISTVAN is hoping his made on board replacement Emergency Tiller will hold up if he needs to use it, or he may be forced to stop somewhere and that means CHICHESTER CLASS. With just 90 miles to reach the EQUATOR he could do it in just 18 hours or it could take two days!! ?? Watch this space.

February 8th 2019 03:24 PM

Late Yesterday UKU RANDMAA had a problem with his rigging. He is sailing at 4.7kts North with the 20-25kt trade wind well forward of the beam and not quite hard on the wind, so he is bouncing around and occasionally slamming into seas. this always loads the mast and rigging. Something happened to one of his back stays and he had to stop sailing immediately and take all sail off to relieve the pressure while he worked to repair it. That is all we know from a radio report to his Ham operator MARTIN in Portugal. We do not know if it was fully or temporarily repaired yet, but he was sailing again after a few hours so all appears to be fine for now. The trades are steady and are not expected to change for the next week so he will make good progress with water flying around.

February 7th 2019 02:59 PM

WOWOWOWO!! Tapio Finally rounded CAPE HORN in 40 gusting-50Kts westerly winds and five meter breaking seas about seven miles off at 2010UTC (Daylight) on the 6th FEB,2019.
Messages from him:
Land ho! Cape Horn to northeast. will be abeam in abt an hour. cant describe the feeling 🙂
This has been one of the best days of my life, what a way to say goodbye to whistling fifties and s.ocean!
fantastic sailing, hand steering partly due to whistling squalls, mostly for the fun of it in the breakers outside cape horn.
beautiful, i feel moitissier’s temptation to carry on, but we took the la maire junction off the roaring forties freeway instead 🙂
Sir Robin, thanks for the fruitcake, now fin(n)ished with a good dash of jallu!


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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