The 50th Anniversary edition of the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race was a huge success. The world had never seen anything like it before.
It was once again a classic adventure with an unknown outcome. 18 sailors set out and only five finished. The international following was huge. With the logistic support of Les Sables d'Olonne Agglomeration and a passionate community, the GGR found a special home.
Without a title partner, McIntyre Adventure as underwriter played a key role in its success. With a full time team of only four people including Don, Jane, manager Celine, photographer Christophe and part-time media man Barry, video camera and production Jessie, sound recording Tina, web and graphics Annetta, digital Nick, management David, and assisted by a large group of friends and volunteers, we created history.
The independent media analysis by Meltwater for the 2018 GGR was valued at US$185m, and just like the 1968 race, this 2nd edition inspired sailors as well as mums and dads everywhere.
You can follow the 2018 story from the news section of this website. All 2018 press releases and newsletters telling the complete story are there, going right back to 2015 and the very first announcement of an idea! All 2018 video lives are on the GGR YouTube channel. All 2018 weekly entrant sat phone calls are recorded on the GGR SoundCloud.
The world premiere of the 2018 GGR documentary will be on August 30th 2022 during the lead up to the start of the third edition of the GGR.
The 50th anniversary 2018 edition of the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race starts at 10:00 GMT on 1 July 2018, with 18 competitors from 13 different countries passing a rolling gate between Suhaili and Joshua. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston fires the starting cannon. French entrant Philippe Péché is first to cross the start line.
Francesco Cappelletti withdraws from the race. The following day, Ertan Beskardes retires after deciding that being unable to communicate with his family removed the enjoyment from the race.
Philippe Péché strengthens his lead over the top four GGR sailors, including Dutch entrant Marks Slats, who had previously held a 3-mile lead. The only female entrant, Susie Goodall, pulls up to 5th place.
Philippe Péché sacrifices a 4-hour lead with a navigation mistake at the first Gate of Lanzarote. Mark Slats closes the gap to 9 miles. Jean-Luc Van Den Heede is third place.
French entrant Antoine Cousot stops at Marina Rubicon in the Canary Islands to repair his windvane gear, demoting him to the 'Chichester' class (one stop). Istvan Kopar reports a WindPilot system problem. At the Lanzarote Gate, the placings are: 1. Philippe Péché 2. Mark Slats 3. Jean-Luc Van Den Heede 4. Are Wiig 5. Susie Goodall 6. Uku Randmaa 7. Tapio Lehtinen 8. Gregor McGuckin 9. Igor Zaretskiy 10. Abhilash Tomy 11. Loïc Lepage 12. Mark Sinclair 13. Nabil Amra 14. Istvan Kopar 15. Antoine Cousot 16. Kevin Farebrother.
Kevin Farebrother pulls out of the race on Sunday at the Canary Islands mark, 'disillusioned by solo sailing and lack of sleep'. Nabil Amra's Beaufort self-steering fails early in the morning and Gregor McGuckin moves up from 10th to 5th place.
Nabil Amra announces his retirement from the race due to broken windvane gear after reaching Tenerife overnight. Antoine Cousot leaves Marina Rubicon, saying his decision to drop down to the Chichester Class is as much mental as mechanical. Meanwhile, Philippe Péché leads through the doldrums and Istvan Kopar heads for the Cape Verde Islands to replace his self steering.
Francesco Cappelletti starts from Les Sables d’Olonne in the Carozzo Class. Two days later, Istvan Kopar pulls in to Sao Vincente, Cape Verde and joins the Chichester Class. On the 27 July, he then moves from Chichester Class back into the GGR entrant status. He had planned to replace his windvane, but in the event proceeded without assistance.
Tapio Lehtinen messages on Saturday that his new engine with just 49 hours of running time stops after 5 seconds. His solar panels are at just 3 watts. Race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede has been suffering similar problems with some of the solar panels on Matmut, but still has his water generator and engine to keep batteries charged. Van Den Heede moves into the lead over the weekend simply by virtue of being closest to the computer lay line.
Antoine Cousot is now relegated to the Chichester Class following his stop in the Canaries, and twists his ankle while changing headsails on the foredeck. Gregor McGuckin and Istvan Kopar suffer broken halyards. Igor Zaretskiy who had to make major repairs to the mainsheet system a week ago on his Endurance 35, Esmeralda, has been suffering from steering issues over the weekend.
Philippe Péché calls to the Golden Globe Race HQ at 18:10 UTC, reporting loss of steerage in 50 knot winds, 1,500nm west of Cape Town. He also makes a satellite call to his partner, not allowed under the GGR rules, which relegates him to the Chichester Class and is now out of the GGR rankings.
The southern limit in the Indian Ocean is raised to 42°S after two navigation warnings are posted to the fleet. Applications open for 2022 GGR.
Jean-Luc rounds the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, at 20:00 UTC, 34 days ahead of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's record.
Philippe Péché and Antoine Cousot retire from the race. Antoine announces he is heading for the Island of Trinidade to rest his shoulder and ankle injuries and make further repairs to his wind vane self steering system, before heading on to Rio de Janerio, Brazil.
Day 58 at 16:30 UTC, a code orange alert is received from Norwegian skipper Are Wiig, dismasted some 400 miles SW of Cape Town.
Norwegian skipper Are Wiig arrives safely in Cape Town at 21:06 UTC. Antoine Cousot arrives in Rio. Jean-Luc has a 900-mile lead over Dutchman Mark Slats and 3rd place Irish skipper Gregor McGuckin.
Italian skipper Francesco Cappelletti also heads for Brazil – another casualty of wind vane failure.
French skipper Loïc Lepage stops in Cape Town 14:00 UTC Saturday. Tapio Lehtinen and Istvan Kopar meet up mid-ocean 10/09/18, and Igor Zaretskiy calls the doctor.
Retired from Carozzo Class, Francesco Cappelletti arrives in Salvador De Bahia, Brazil.
French skipper Loïc Lepage resumes in the Chichester Class. Jean-Luc increases his lead to 9 days. Gregor and Abhilash fight over 3rd place - just 1 mile apart. Mark Sinclair makes an impromptu stop in Table Bay - then goes cruising!
Irish skipper Gregor McGuckin is rolled 360 and dismasted. He isn't injured and is able to cut away his rig. Luckily no hull damage.
Code Red Alert after GGR fleet hit by a massive Southern Ocean storm. Abhilash Tomy (Position: 39' 25.297 S 077' 30.629 E at 02:28 UTC) and Gregor McGuckin rolled and dismasted. Mark Slats experiences two major knock-downs. McGuckin sets up a jury rig and attempts to motor sail the 90-mile distance to Abhilash's position.
Injured Indian solo sailor successfully rescued by French fisheries patrol vessel 'Osiris'. It reaches Abhilash's yacht at 05:30 UTC and her crew successfully transfers him to the ship.
2nd solo sailor evacuated successfully by French fisheries patrol vessel 'Osiris'. Gregor McGuckin 'well and in good spirits'. HMAS Ballarat then proceeds back to Fremantle with McGuckin who remains in good health, arriving there on 2nd or 3rd of October.
At 20:00 UTC on 26th September, a request is received from the manager of 32ft sailing yacht 'Selene' for assistance from any GGR yacht in the area. Her skipper Kjell Litwin is running out of water. Abhilash Tomy, who was rescued at the same time is now enroute to his home waters and recovering.
Day 92: Gregor McGuckin arrives into Rockingham, Perth. Russian entrant Igor Zaretskiy reports that his hands have become so chapped and sore that he is having problems sailing.
Jean-Luc arrives at the Hobart film gate at 07:30 local time on Saturday (21:30 UTC Friday) holding a 1,600 mile lead over 2nd placed Mark Slats.
At 16:00 UTC, Mark suffers two knock-downs in quick succession. He is hit by a toolbox flying across the cabin which may have resulted in him sustaining a cracked rib. Jean-Luc is first into the Pacific. Abhilash on the mend after major back surgery. Gregor returns home to Irish welcome. Are Wiig is awarded a seamanship medal by the Norwegian Sailing Association.
At 18:30 UTC, Loïc set off the EPIRB on his yacht 'Laaland' after being dismasted earlier in the day some 600 miles SW of Perth Western Australia.
Mark Slats passes through Hobart film gate and operations begin to rescue Loïc. At 01:22 UTC, Francis Tolan, the skipper of the S/V Alizes II, a Beneteau Ocean 43 participating in the Long Route solo circumnavigation, positioned some 300 miles NW of Laaland's position, offered his assistance.
UK skipper Susie Goodall survives 'horrific' storm and Igor Zaretskiy suffers broken forestay. Loïc is successfully transferred from his dismasted yacht 'Laaland' by the Japanese bulk carrier 'Shiosai' at 00:53 UTC.
Day 122: Susie Goodall is 4th at the Hobart film gate and sets sail again at 02:00 UTC 31/10. Igor Zaretskiy back in 8th place since fixing a broken forestay aboard his Endurance 35 'Esmeralda'.
At 1500 UTC Jean-Luc suffers a knock-down and damage to rig. Istvan Kopar passes through Hobart gate safely.
Tapio Lehtinen passes through the Hobart film gate in 6th place on Tuesday after a 54 hour sleepless battle. After spending the night at anchor, Tapio extends his stay by another 10 hours to check his rig and fix a halyard issue at the top of the mast. He eventually sets sail again at 18:30 local time.
Day 130: Struggling with a damaged mast sustained during a storm 1,900 miles west of Cape Horn, Jean-Luc decides to continue in the race. He is given an 18-hour time penalty for improper use of GGR satellite phone.
Day 135: Jean-Luc Van Den Heede is facing a fresh storm. Mark Slats closes the gap on the race leader by 500 miles. Mark Sinclair is running short of water.
Day 142: Istvan penalised for encroaching southern ocean no-go zone. Uku chased out of the water by a shark. Jean-Luc 400 miles from Cape Horn.
Jean-Luc Van Den Heede leads the Golden Globe Race fleet of solo sailors round Cape Horn at 19:16 UTC on Friday - 86 days ahead of Sir Robin. Mark Sinclair and Russian skipper Igor Zaretskiy are heading for Adelaide and Albany.
Day 155: Mark rounds Cape Horn just before 06:00 UTC on Saturday 2nd December. He is 8 days behind race leader, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, who predicts a 23 January finish.
Day 157: Susie is dismasted 2,000 miles west of Cape Horn. The EPIRB alert is picked up by Falmouth Coastguard at 11:00 UTC. Chilean rescue authorities are alerted, but the nearest vessel is 480 miles to SW - 2 days away.
Susie remains safe and secure. Overnight, Chilean rescue authorities task another ship, the 38,000 ton Hong Kong registered bulk carrier 'MV Tian Fu', bound from China to Modran, Argentina, due to reach her position at 05:00 UTC Friday.
MV Tian Fu successfully rescues Susie. Susie sent the text: 07 Dec 15:14 UTC: ON THE SHIP!!! Position: 45' 10.711 S 121' 40.157 W.
Mark Sinclair 'Capt Coconut' retires in Adelaide. Susie Goodall arrives in Punta Arenas on Friday 14/12.
Igor Zaretskiy heads back to Moscow for medical checkup. Mark Slats takes a further 154 miles out of Jean-Luc's lead over the past 7 days, reducing the gap to 794 miles.
Uku Randmaa is third placed around Cape Horn at 04:00 UTC on Wednesday 19th December.
Istvan Kopar rounds Cape Horn at 19:00 UTC. Uku attempts to out-run South Atlantic storm.
Jean-Luc served out his 18 hour penalty on Saturday 5/1/19 and is now clear to race the remaining 2,150 miles to the finish at Les Sables d’Olonne. Mark Slats closes to within 417 miles. Uku Randmaa survives South Atlantic storm.
Day 198: Mark Slats closes to within 50 miles of Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in nail-biting race to the finish. Slats runs out of fresh water and has been using his emergency desalinator for the past week. Questions raised over use of Ham radios.
Day 204: Jean-Luc Van Den Heede regains the initiative for now. Leader within 1,000 miles of finish. ETA 31st January. Kopar's challenge for 3rd place runs out of steam. Lehtinen battles with Southern Ocean storms. Accusations of illegal weather routing and position reporting lack evidence. Van Den Heede and Slats dropped from Ham radio broadcasts.
Day 208: Jean-Luc Van Den Heede within 450 miles of finish. ETA Monday 28th January. One last storm due on Sunday. 2nd placed Mark Slats trails 412 miles astern.
Day 211: Jean-Luc Van Den Heede within 100 miles of the finish. ETA 08:00 UTC Tuesday 29th January. 2nd placed Mark Slats trails 321 miles and faces time penalty for breach of satellite communication rules.
Day 212: Jean-Luc Van Den Heede receives a huge welcome back in Les Sables d’Olonne. Finish time: 211d - 23hr- 12m 19s. Mark Slats is back on course with a 36-hour penalty.
Day 214: Mark Slats secures 2nd place finish in Golden Globe Race, arriving at 22:18:30 UTC to a rousing welcome in Les Sables d’Olonne. Finish time: 216d 00h 18m 30s including 36h penalty.
Day 218: Istvan Kopar is now within 500 miles of 3rd placed Uku. Uku is running out of food with 3,100 miles to the finish. Tapio Lehtinen is due to round Cape Horn this week. Jean-Luc Van Den Heede and Mark Slats struggle with life ashore.
Day 227: Uku Randmaa overcomes rigging failure and a sliced finger, but sees lead over Istvan Kopar shrink. Istvan is struggling with emergency steering and health issues. Tapio Lehtinen makes most ground after rounding Cape Horn but now faces a fishing blockade and calms.
Day 234: Uku Randmaa escapes disqualification after breaching strict rules forbidding outside assistance, but has been handed a 72-hour penalty for receiving weather routing information.
Day 241: Uku Randmaa now within 1,200 miles of the finish. ETA in Les Sables d'Olonne 11-12 March.
Day 252: Uku Randmaa crosses the Les Sables d'Olonne finish line at 09:00 UTC to secure third place. Finish time: + 65h 40 m = 254d 18 h 40 m.