While the 2018 Golden Globe Race was the second edition of this great race, it was also a world first retro solo circumnavigation adventure
It was never meant to be a replica of the 1968 original. That would never work in the context of an event, designed to challenge entrants and inspire people around the world. It was the first of its type in an era of growing appreciation for retro and back-to-basic sailing. It was hugely successful and a learning curve for all stakeholders, including entrants and organisers. It was not perfect, but it was close. Sailors around the world now consider the GGR a mainstream event and rightly so. Tens of millions of non-sailors in hundreds of countries know this unique human challenge and eagerly await the next edition.
The Notice of Race is the event bible governing three main issues:
- Safety and security
- Concept retro rules back to the 60s
- Media and communication regulations
As organisers we leave as much freedom as possible to the entrants. They are the focus of the event. It is first and foremost for their enjoyment and satisfaction. They are the reason it exists. The GGR is not driven by, or for commercial return, or entertainment. The serious challenge and risk is for the entrant to face at their own will. Their life and the way they live it should be totally theirs. GGR do and always will respects that principle.
The 2022 GGR for entrants, like the previous, is by invitation only. The Notice of Race is clear. The rules to play by are defined. The choice is simple for them. Yes or No, In or Out? The Ocean is free.
The GGR is a spectacular example of the human spirit, great achievement and friendship. The collective reason entrants sign on are the challenge of a simple Race, the huge GGR family and a desire to share their experience. Yes, the parties, Les Sables Race village, send off and sailing with like-minded sailors against the ocean draws them in. The welcome at the end is a bonus to be proud of and savored.
We lost masts and boats in 2018. We had ham radio controversies, sat phone misuse, multiple wind vane failures, empty water tanks and flooded cabins. Still it was a great achievement and the 2022 entrants are very lucky indeed. They saw it all, so no excuses. As organisers, we are now able to build on that experience.
The changes to the Notice of Race may surprise many. We do NOT mandate a drogue, or special storm training, or mandatory guidelines on mast and spars, as some suggest we could. In fact, we have dropped all previous regulations that existed on masts and spars (other than lengths) and are leaving this critical issue entirely to the skippers. This is the true spirit of the GGR. They know what to expect. We and they, are and have been, talking about it at length. Their riggers and mast makers are acutely aware of the serious challenge. They saw what happened. Anything we mandate is not relevant. If GGR said entrants must have a Rig like X, with Y and include Z, we would just be creating a one design fleet which no one wants.
In relation to storm tactic and equipment to use like Drogues, no individual or expert exists with a sure solution, or the ultimate answer. Every boat, storm, wave pattern and situation is different, so we will NOT regulate what entrants must do, or should have. Like all good sailors, we keep discussing it, learning and researching, then make our own decisions and face our own destiny. Their life is in their hands. If there is one thing all entrants are very aware of and serious about, it is how they plan to survive the Southern Ocean. They do not need us to tell them and we don’t have a guarantee to give.
If you’re under 21 you get a free ride. Trindade island as a rounding mark makes for a fun sail in the trades and follows JOSHUA. Arriving two months later in the South drops the southern latitude limit a little, and HF SSB Radio weather fax will provide the latest weather maps, printed onboard, direct to all entrants, every day in real time. Now they will see the weather and what’s coming.
The GGR is all about solitude and doing everything yourself onboard. Ham radios are banned and that holds true to this philosophy. They are not needed for safety. Marine SSB HF radio is there for communication between the fleet and other mariners. It allows reception of the International GMDSS High Seas WMO weather reports, the only weather now permitted. All entrants receive exactly the same weather information. Entrants themselves will make their own choices onboard.
Adding an extra 2000-mile solo qualifying voyage in the entered GGR yacht, under sextant navigation and wind vane makes the choice right or wrong before the start. It should produce a dramatic decrease in early retirements.
NON-GPS digital video cameras and drones will be onboard the fleet and more at sea footage will appear during the race, including from a new Cape Town film drop. Sat phones remains restricted, but all entrants will tell their story twice a week direct from onboard to international media outlets.
We are just three years to the start and we’re excited to be returning with the GGR once again to our home and passionate friends in Les Sable d’Olonne. The start will arrive before we know it. The 2022 Notice of Race maintains the Spirit of the GGR and will create another amazing adventure. Tell your friends! Thanks!
A summary of most changes to the 2022 GGR NOR (available for download on the website)
- SUHAILI CLASS ENTRANTS available lifted to 23 and 5 special invitation. Total 28.
- Under 21 entrants receive a full entry fee refunded once passing Canary Islands.
- Trindade Island in South Atlantic leaving to port is now a mark of the course.
- A Cape Town Film drop around a mark in the harbor is now scheduled.
- Southern latitude limits returned to 44 and 47 south respectively.
- Time limit to pass Tasmania gate is 31st January 2023 or stop until 1st Dec. 2023.
- Only World Meteo Organization High Seas forecast allowed onto boats (WMO).
- Routing banned once leaving the Dock in LSO.
- First breech of sat phone use 24hr time penalty.
- UK Prologue arrival 8th August to marina Village- start SITraN Challenge 14th August.
- NON-GPS digital Cameras and drones allowed.
- 8lts sealed water -24hr penalty if opened, Hand Desalinator sealed 72-hour penalty if broken.
- Penalties many be financial or time or both at discretion of jury and organiser.
- Extra 2000 mile nonstop, tracked, solo qualifier in GGR yacht, under wind vane and sextant.
- Two interviews a week direct to any media on sat phone 20-minute max.
- Maximum sails 10 sloop, 12 ketch.
- Min two windows (each side) at least total 1200sq cm. total.
- LED approved nav lights compulsory.
- Emergency steering trial must be open ocean with at least 15kts wind.
- Fuel limit is full standard design tanks.
- No kero or diesel extra for heating allowed.
- Extra 50-watt mobile solar panel carried onboard.
- 100% waterproof HF SSB radio installation required to throw bucket of water over it.
- Full installation HF radio approval and performance test.
- Any Breech of ITU Radio regulations penalized and Ham radio transmissions banned.
- Waterproof VHF radio installation required.
- Spare charger cables for all radios, sat phones and YB3 trackers.
- APPROVED AIS Transponder compulsory.
- Bunk Belts required for all bunks to retain sailor in a roll over.
- Wind vanes need Approval as fit for purpose in Southern Ocean for heavy boats.
- All cockpit dodgers must be HIGH VIS materiel
- Permanent secure storage for both spinnaker poles on deck.
- Emergency KITE systems ‘may’ be approved for jury rig.
- Colored Sponsor Logos on hull allowed.
- Entrant Sponsor signage on hull and transom increased 250%.
- Marina Entrant Sponsor Communication mainsail increased 25%.
- Entrant ‘Approved’ Charity 1.65m x .55mt Lee cloth allowed forward of the mast anytime.
- Country of entry ensign must fly on staff from transom at starts finish.
- Entrant national Flag design 40cm high on both sides of mainsail.
- Vinyl Wrapping of Hull/Deck is banned.
- Entrant Pre-Safety inspection up to 5 defects allowed only.
- Up to 14 minutes of digital vision released at each film drop.
- Double requirements of Entrant video and photo media delivery to GGR required.
- Compulsory minimum video film delivery requirements at film drops.
- Zero tolerance of fines once proven.
- Monthly 30-minute live Facebook Q&A session with each entrant supporters.
- SOLAS Non-Inflatable Life jacket no longer required.
- $150 Euro fee required for each rule clarification requested.
- Rigging sizes are now free spar sizes no restriction except lengths.
- Minimum three spare log impellors required.
- HF SSB radio weather fax approval.