Each of us who have been living the GGR these past few years have experienced it. Some more so than others. None more so than entrants. Pushing to extremes to make the start, then heading for the finish, then for whatever reason you’re out of the GGR is hard. You can read between the lines on all those entrants and each has suffered with the transition back to the ‘ordinary’ world. For some it was and still is nothing short of shocking.
Our slow boat to Finland and deserved winner of the Spirit of the GGR Award Tapio has arrived home to a hero’s welcome. We are still waiting for Igor, but Tapio for me was an end for sure. Over time we all experienced this unlikely hero in a personal way. To see his honor fleet of Optimist dingys and kids out sailing the last mile alongside was poignant for me. I know it would have been extremely emotional for him. Inspiring kids is everything and part of what the GGR means to Jane and me. There is an amazing back story to this man, as is the case for most GGR sailors.
Mark and Susie sailing together on the last leg of the AZAB are about to enter a storm before reaching Falmouth. It will be the first storm Susie has seen since her last in the Southern Ocean and while not as severe, I am sure they will have some interesting and maybe cleansing conversations. It has been hard for Susie. Ertan sails the same AZAB as training for 2022.
Abhilash is the family man with a GGR baby boy and life is full. Full includes dream time 2022. Gregor lives his life over the horizon, still tracking and wondering about his boat. For now it still gives a pulse. Are Wiig dreams of another GGR without rushing. His money box is empty but filling. Loic enjoys life like only a Frenchman can. Family, food and fun with a burning ambition to find a sponsor when the rest will fall into place. Philippe has moved on and now struggles to find a balance selling PRB and Antoine has new plans not far off which could mean a return!
Nabil went bush, extreme hair and beard, trimmed for trophies! Is he 2022? Capt. Coconut is back at work, then retiring around 2022? Istvan retired from the GGR for sure and Kevin was not dreaming of boats while waiting in the queue to top Everest. Francesco’s boat remains for sale with a new 2022 entrant just now looking to buy!
Uku loves playing dad and husband looking back on life and forward with excitement, while JL VDH now captains a club racer. He takes continuous bookings to tell his story and what a story it is, still ongoing with plans a plenty!
All our friends in Les Sables are enjoying a hot summer. Celine is still organising, Christophe is still shooting, Caroline still translating for me and Jesse and Tina still cutting the GGR doco in Australia. Barry has officially retired!!!! But he hasn’t, as you will soon see. Yannick and Aida are doing a fantastic job of working hard in and for Les Sables being Yannick and Aida and all the LSO team Nathalie, Matthew , Lionel and Eric etc and our fantastic volunteers are busy with continuous events at Le Sands! We miss them all.
Jane and I are in the Tonga GGR Office on our boat EXPLORER on the land. Work is slow prepping for a re-launch, so arrival and kids Optimist sailing is delayed at the Royal Nomuka Yacht Club till then. Yes, it has been hard for Jane and me too. More than once we catch each other staring at the ceiling. I have not been able to write my usual ‘Thoughts Column’ for months, even when I knew I must, and people were asking. It was impossible, as our strong emotions with entrant arrivals were high and often hidden.
Yes, GGR has been a HUGE high in our lives! Some said it would never happen. It did thanks to many. After all my expeditions it is the same. You are emotionally drained. When you stop the routine, it starts a reaction. You need to stop and dream again.
We wait now for the global media summary, but we know it was a success because it was! We prepare and discuss with GGR 2022 sponsors and 23 new entrants. The fun continues and it is now one year since Sir Robin Knox-Johnston fired the cannon that began a journey like no other. Three years to go! There is a lot to write about. The book is underway. There is a lot to see and the documentary will expose incredible stories, energy and emotion that will forever make this 2nd edition live on.
And now there is the Ocean Globe Race! It has been a long-held secret, but part of the original plan from 2014 when the GGR was conceived. Somehow, I have become an event organiser by default and not the sailor I intended. When I see all these characters, the fun and joy, the intense emotion up and down and very strong heartfelt friendships that will last a lifetime, I have no regrets. Jane is the same. She feels immensely proud that together, all of us, including you have created something from nothing. It will happen again and the OGR and GGR are perfect sisters.
Thanks to all of you the GGR family. What an incredible adventure it is, was and continues to be. WOW! Here we go again…. Life hey!