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Golden Globe Race Village success, but some entrants fall short of complying with the Notice of Race

Crowd during the entrants presentation at the Race Village opening in Les Sables d'Olonne
  • Thousands visit the Golden Globe Race Village, a popular success
  • Don McIntyre wins the model race on Suhaili against Jean-Luc VDH on Joshua
  • UK’s Ian Herbert-Jones wins the Olonnois Parade, succeeding Jean-Luc Van den Heede
  • Elliott Smith left on opening day to complete his coms test
  • Graham Dalton in doubt once again with medical issues
  • Guy deBoer and Pat Lawless fail celestial nav trials, facing penalties and a new 300 nm voyage under sextant
  • Abhilash Tomy sawed-off Bayanat’s bow and is rebuilding on schedule to make the start
  • Pressure is on the entrants as safety inspections are underway

In Les Sables d’Olonne, Place du Vendée Globe, the Golden Globe Race Village is a popular success attracting thousands of visitors every day, with the opportunity to meet the entrants and discover their boats on the GGR pontoons. They can also admire the models exhibition of the original 1968 boats, and partake in the many activities organised by the city of Les Sables d’Olonne.

Les Sables d’Olonne, a city of great maritime adventures, is proud and delighted to welcome the Golden Globe Race, the grandmother of the Vendée Globe. The people of Les Sables, the people of Vendée, and visitors from all over Europe, are in great numbers and enthusiastic in the Village. Join us, all are invited to join the celebrations before the Great Departure on September 4th.

Yannick Moreau, Mayor of Les Sables d’Olonne.

Tuesday was dedicated to safety, with entrants and their team managers having a full day of briefing covering the GGR safety information, in particular safety inspection procedures, crisis management procedures, special equipment regulations and application, critical communications as well as safety aspects of film gates approaches.

Don sailing ”Suhaili” to victory. Credit: GGR2022/Nora Havel
2022 Golden Globe Race Les Sables d’Olonne village model boat race between SUHAILI (skippered by Don McIntyre) and JOSHUA (skippered by Jean Luc VDH) Credit: GGR2022/Nora Havel

The GGR Stand has a complete model exhibition of the 1968 Golden Globe fleet that is sailing daily in front of the GGR dock. Don McIntyre and Jean Luc Van den Heede, had a remote-controlled race between Suhaili and Joshua, history eventually repeated itself with Don ultimately winning the hotly disputed contest!

Wednesday honoured the friendship between local sailors and GGR skippers, sailing double-handed on the locally built traditional yachts Les Olonnois. The colourful 21-feet wooden classics went up the legendary channel and had a friendly but contested sail in front of the Grande Plage, one of the most beautiful bays in the world.

Ian Herbert -Jones a.k.a. IHJ won the Parade des Olonnois, succeeding the 2018 winner Jean-Luc Van den Heede. Like him and Robin Knox Johnston, Ian has a three-letter name. RKJ, VDH and IHJ? Watch this space!

Local sailors, GGR skippers and the public shared enjoyed the traditional Parade des Olonnois
Photo GGR2022/Nora Havel

As yachts are lined-up for the upcoming safety inspections and the delivery of the much-coveted green card, more drama unfolded on some entrants still needing to comply with the notice of race, and stringent safety regulations of the event.

Elliott Smith, who missed the Gijon communications briefing and prologue, had to set out shortly after the skippers’ presentation last Saturday for a 150nm communications check navigation, which he has completed, and should make the start.

Elliott Smith finished his compliance tests on the night of the Village opening. Credit GGR2022/Sébastien Delasnerie

Graham Dalton who finally re-joined the fleet after his 2000-mile offshore qualifier, equally missed the prologue and needed to set out on his communications check sail, but he now has failed his final medical stress test earlier this week and his medical file is under review.

Pat Lawless and Guy deBoer have not submitted the celestial navigation logs made during their 2000-mile qualifier voyage. They have been fined and must now complete a new 300-mile solo voyage and submit a minimum of three celestial navigation observations before they can cross the start line.

Abhilash Tomy‘s repairs on his Rustler 36 following his previous collision are going according to plan. His team cut off the damaged bow, ready to receive the new moulded one, and his mast is nearing completion, receiving a few improvements in the process. 

Abhilash Tomy is on track for Bayanat’s nose job. Credit: Eli Van den Broek

It’s been a long road for the entrants to be here in Les Sables d’Olonne, and the Village opening paid a fitting tribute to their journey towards the start. The GGR has some of the most stringent safety checks and regulations in the world, and some entrants have not yet complied with them. It is critical for their safety and the race’s future that all the boxes are ticked, and we will help them in this last stretch leading up to the start.

Hold fast, and follow the stories!

Don McIntyre, GGR founder and chairman

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