OUT 2018

Gregor McGuckin (35)




Name Gregor McGuckin

Born August 15th 1986

Nationality Irish

Country of entry Ireland

Race GGR 2018

Boat Class Suhaili

Ever thirsty for adventure, Gregor McGuckin has been involved in the outdoors from an early age. Starting out climbing the hills and mountains around Ireland, he soon discovered the sea and windsurfing and surfing became a daily part of life. He chose sailing as his profession, starting as a dinghy coach, delivery skipper and in recent times, skippered of a 62ft yacht based in the Caribbean. He has logged over 45,000 miles crossing the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and many other passages around the world. Always looking for the next challenge, Gregor was excited by the opportunity to compete in the 2018 GGR and hopes to become the first Irishman to complete a non-stop, unassisted solo circumnavigation of the world. via the three Great Capes.
Gregor has partnered with an Irish publisher CJ Fallon and Ireland’s Marine Institute to create an education programme based around his GGR voyage, designed to engage primary children in adventure and the marine environment. Distributed free to classrooms across Ireland, the overriding goal has been to create an army of ‘Ocean literate’ young people who understand the importance our oceans have on them so that they are well placed to ensure a sustainable and sensible future for Ireland the world.

He says of the GGR: “When I started sailing, the main attraction was the freedom it gave me to explore. As I grew older and started sailing larger vessels, the scope of the areas I could potentially explore became almost infinite. When I started reading about the GGR I had already crossed the Atlantic a few times and the Indian ocean and asking myself ‘What next’. A circumnavigation was always a dream along with ocean racing, so when this came up as an affordable way of achieving both it was a no-brainer.”


Boat [Suhaili]


Name Hanley Energy Endurance
Team name Team Name: Gregor McGuckin empowered by Hanley Energy
Type Biscay 36 Masthead ketch
Designer Alan Hill
Builder Robert Ives/Falmouth Boat Construction (UK)
LOA 35.92ft / 10.95m
LWL 27.00ft / 8.23m
Beam 10.75ft / 3.28m
Draft 5.75ft / 1.75m
Displacement 15680 lbs / 7112 kgs
Sail area 570sq. ft / 52.95sq. m

Gregor has selected the ketch rigged Biscay 36 ketch Mary Luck to compete in the GGR. Her refit was due to be completed at the end of February 2018, and he planned to spend March and April sailing around his native Ireland combining training with a promotional tour of ports.

The yacht’s name will be the subject of a competition among primary school children taking part in the education programme associated with Gregor’s GGR entry.

Skipper Updates

March 26th 2019 12:00 AM

Gregor McGuckin is quiet these days so no more positive news on the salvage operation. We hope it succeeds. The Mysterious American Philanthropist putting up some money US$25,000 and the efforts of CODY may be all too little too late?? The initial big plans of chartering a fishing boat and blasting out to grab it seem to have faded but we hope something happens. For now it is No news is good news as we believe the boat is still afloat.

October 16th 2018 12:00 AM

Gregor McGuckin also made the news on his return to Ireland today, recalling his ordeal aboard his yacht Hanley Energy Endurance which suffered three knock-downs in a row, he admitted: “We were in the worst possible place to be in at the worst possible time” The seas were huge-15 metres high and the biggest problem I had was keeping the boat facing downwind and not slewing round to be beam-on.” When he heard from Race Control in Les Sables d’Olonne that Abhilash Tomy had been injured some 90 miles to the north he set up a jury rig to sail towards him, ”I thought I might be first on the scene – but praying that I wouldn’t be!”

September 26th 2018 12:00 AM

During the controlled evacuation of Hanley Energy Endurance, McGuckin was instructed to leave the vessel afloat. The French fisheries patrol vessel Osiris instructed McGuckin that scuttling the vessel would be in breach of International Maritime Regulations. Hence, McGuckin removed all debris from the deck that could become separated, secured all equipment on board, and ensured the AIS beacon was active. The power source to the AIS device is solar panels which should remain active without any outside assistance reducing the risk to other vessels. Precautionary steps were also taken to ensure the relatively small amount of fuel onboard is secure.

September 24th 2018 12:00 AM

Happy to advise that Gregor McGuckin is reported safe onboard the OSIRIS with Abhilash Tomy ….So far so good and a greatly appreciated effort by all personnel in the field and the co-ordination of JRCC Australia.. Gregor was NOT in distress , but made the difficult decision to evacuate from the boat as the ship was on scene. a Tough call. details in the official statement ..well done Gregor!

September 23rd 2018 12:00 AM

ORANGE CODE unleashed on 21/09 at 13h local time, following an emergency call from Gregor to GGR HQ following a second knockdown and dismasting of Hanley Endurance Energy, which resulted in engine, and wind vane damage, but communication means and boat are in good conditions. Gregor is fine.
Less than 40 miles from Thuriya, Gregor was called to the area by the MRRC for surveillance, as a RED CODE was also triggered for Abhilash on 21 September following the dismasting of Thuriya and his inability to move. TOMY is severely injured in the back. ETA 24/09 in the morning. Gregor, in liaison with the maritime authorities, has also asked for assistance in organizing his evacuation in coordination with the rescue of Abhilash. The 22/09/2018 05:30: “JURY RIG SET.AIMING TO GET FURTHER NORTH”. 3 planes, Indian and Australian flew over the area this morning. Gale over area, 35nds up to 1800UTC decreasing to 15nds on 24/09.

September 21st 2018 12:00 AM

This is the message sent from Mary Luck this morning around 8am local time :
Gregor #McGuckin (via satellite) “ROUGH NIGHT, KNOCKED DOWN,MIZZEN MAST GONE.ELSE,ALL GOOD” The elements are unleashed and the Great Southern Ocean shows an impressive face this morning. A very intense depression fell on the first peloton last night and they are now in the heart of a system that will continue to hit the next 24 hrs. Northern winds could reach 70 kts, raising a huge swell ever 10 meters … Gregor has not requested any assistance. Expecting Gregor weekly safety sat phone call later on today for more details …

September 19th 2018 12:00 AM

Gregor and Abhilash are fighting for 3rd place within 1 mile of each other. Gregor found out he was face to face with Abhilash in the middle of the Southern Ocean, their converging route brought them within a mile of one another, Thuryia at sight of Mary Luck few days ago. Gregor #McGuckin (via satellite) “2MID INDIAN OCEAN and ABILASH IS IN SIGHT! ABOUT A MILE AWAY”. The fight for the third place between the Biscay 36 and the replica of Suhaili is all the more intense. Since yesterday, the tracker shows that the Irishman has just conceded his third place to the Indian who has gone from 10th to 3rd place since the Cape of Good Hope. Tomy and McGuckin are in VHF contact and constantly exchanging with some rivalry and pleasure. Gregor is still in the game almost on the same line as Abhilash, and still pursuing Mark SLATS less than 150 NM away, so just a big day of navigation in front of him.

September 14th 2018 12:00 AM

Fortunately, MARK SLATS, GREGOR MCGUCKIN, ABHILASH TOMY and UKU RANDMAA will benefit from good northerly winds that will turn west a bit tomorrow and should push them hard in the right direction.
Tough night , tough week, Southern Ocean OIL spill, but it is obvious he is living a dream and focused forward. A few loose nuts is not going to slow him down that’s for sure.. a positive and fun call as always.

September 12th 2018 12:00 AM

Mark Slats now has Ireland’s Gregor McGuckin (Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance) within a day’s distance behind after the Irishman clawed back 4 days.Gregor #McGuckin (via satellite)” FINALLY GETTING SOME GOOD WESTERLIES,SUN OUT TOO”.“IM A RAIN CATCHING MACHINE!80L NOW IN2DAYS,1 1/2 MONTHS WORTH /”.

September 7th 2018 12:00 AM

A little more south than Mark Slats, and closer to UKU RANDMAA and ABHILASH TOMY, Gregor will have to fight all day long with a powerful southeasterly flow that forced them to head northeast, and away from the shortest route, in a formed sea. A moderate breeze from the north should then, from tomorrow, allow him to head back on the most direct track … but he might have lost ground on the leader ahead in the days to come.

September 3rd 2018 12:00 AM

Punishment for Gregor MCGUKIN, since the Irishman is still idling this morning, and fell into a hole after his good progress last week. And he could stay stuck for a while … He saw his lead on UKU RANDMAA and ABHILASH TOMY melt dramatically. Both are carried by a powerful current of nearly three knots and the wind blows three quarter rear … ideal conditions for speed.

August 31st 2018 12:00 AM

Gregor has passed the Cape of Good Hope! and made the best progress in recent days, claiming his third place by facing the entrance of the Southern Ocean in an impressive way. He is only 250 NM from Mark Slats and 850 NM from VDH the leader.Gregor had to make a choice related to the headwind force 7: Mark Slats went upwind slightly pointing north but Gregor took the southern option to try and avoid these strong headwinds! He told us this morning during his weekly Sat phone call that the seas are very rough, the conditions are such that he can not cook today and must stay in his bunk to avoid being jostled in all directions …

August 29th 2018 12:00 AM

At the beginning of the week, Gregor was “SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT ARE CLOSE BY IF ASSISTANCE NEEDED.” less than 20NM north of Olleanna when his comrade knocked down.“BACK ON TRACK,SEA STATE MUCH BETTER.ALL WELL ONBOARD”. Equipped with furling gears to face the heavy weather, this is maybe why he is catching up on Mark SLATS, apparently very comfortable in these rough southern seas, even if he admits to be a little tired. He is once again the author of the most beautiful progression in the last 24 hours (150 miles).He wrote this morning: “DAY 60 AND SHOULD BE ROUNDING 1ST CAPE LATER. BIG DAY!”

August 27th 2018 12:00 AM

Gregor McGuckin moved into third place but he is not racing right now as he contend with big seas, 7 to 8m! ..message just in : “3RD NIGHT OF GALES, NO SAILS, TOWING WARPS. ALL WELL, JUST TIRED” 27 Aug 07:05 UTC. Side by side with Are Wiig, he should cross the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope by tomorrow, at an average speed of more than 5 knots.This morning Gregor wrote : “WIND EASING THIS MORNING.STILL V.BIG SEAS BUT BETTER.ALL WELL”.

August 17th 2018 12:00 AM

“LIGHT WINDS YESTERDAY AND LAST NIGHT BUT GOING WELL NOW”.Due to GREGOR’s western option, the two youngest competitors of the GGR2018, are now sailing again together after having been separated for a long time. Gregor who is still 5th this morning with good averages for several days, just like SUSIE, less than 20 miles behind him. But the two skippers could be caught in the coming days by a band of weak winds in formation in their wake. Indeed, he wrote today : “WEATHER CHANGING QUICKLY,MUCH COLDER TODAY.LONGJOHNS OUT SOON”.

August 15th 2018 12:00 AM

Still a little to the east, GREGOR MCGUCKIN continues his descent crossing at full speed back on 5th position in the provisional ranking, and giving the best progression of the day as his own birthday present (with 154 miles traveled in the last 24 hours) !

August 14th 2018 12:00 AM

Grégor is doing 6.5 KN at the moment making good progress. Gregor #McGuckin (via satellite) has been sailing in the last few days in “BETTER CONDITIONS TODAY.DECENT SPEED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION!” and today he has “GOOD WIND AND COURSE,TEMP DROPPING,JACKET ON AT NIGHT”.

August 9th 2018 12:00 AM

In the wake of the Dutch giant, Gregor McGuckin is threatened this morning by the development of a high pressure area that extends off Brazil and may well accompany him in the coming days … He wrote to us yesterday: “LIGHT WINDS AND LUMPY SEA.HARD WORK. GOODBYE TRADE WINDS!L “

August 3rd 2018 12:00 AM

Gregor has made a break for a few days securing now his position among the leaders of the race, despite being ranked in 8th position related to his West route choice, pushing him away from Cape Town. The next few days will draw the balance sheet of the frank Western option also chosen by Mark SLATS, who have gone around the Saint Helena High pressure system, which usually blocks the direct route to the tip of South Africa. Gregor reports that the winds are very changeable, “from 3 to 30 knots in half an hour”, which is very exhausting, and rather headwind this morning, which does not help. His water stock remains low because he has not been able to collect more than 3L since the beginning of his journey, but he is good and doing well.

August 1st 2018 12:00 AM

GREGOR McGUCKIN crossed the symbolic line of the equator on July the 30th. After his nice racing down from the Canary Islands, catching up on the Top 4 ! His route to the West puts him away from the direct route to South Africa. GREGOR, like the Dutch Mark Slats, is also paying for his option to the west and is now in 7th place. Wait and see if this Wesernt option will turn to his advantage in the few coming days …

July 20th 2018 12:00 AM

Gregor is enjoying the lighter conditions but found the strong winds after the Canaries a good opportunity to check and test the boat. He found a few leaks and used the warm weather to seal them up. Despite rumours that Gregor may have dropped a sextant overboard, he confirmed today that his sextants were safe and sound.

July 18th 2018 12:00 AM

Gregor’s blitzing run down the African coast may have come to an end. He has managed to rejoin the fleet and maintain his lead but his daily run has dropped off significantly. He has reported some rough weather which has prevented him from taking sights. His daily messages reflect someone effectively balancing up the risks and rewards and this approach will be invaluable as the race progresses. The wind is easing as the fleet approach Cape Verde and it will be important to change gears quickly to keep up.

July 16th 2018 12:00 AM

Gregor has made a remarkable leap up the ladder since the film drop off Rubicon Marina, Lanzarote. He took the inshore route close along the African coast picking up five places. A tremendous effort but will he be able to maintain this as he comes out and joins the fleet?

July 13th 2018 12:00 AM

Gregor charged into the film drop at Lanzarote under genoa and mainsail his boat looking fantastic. He looked happy and comfortable aboard Hanley Energy Endurance. He reported no damage to the boat and despite having run out of fresh food said he was “eating like a king”. The solar panels and a little bit of hydro power were providing all the energy he needed to keep the systems onboard working and the batteries full. Gregor is looking in good shape mid field and is in good shape to improve his placing as conditions deteriorate.

July 11th 2018 12:00 AM

Gregor is settling into life onboard well. His mid fleet position perhaps understates his potential. His daily messages indicate that he is enjoying himself and pacing his sailing to ensure that he manages fatigue. All indicators from Gregor are that he has the right stuff to go the distance.

July 6th 2018 12:00 AM

A solid mid fleet performance by Gregor

A solid mid fleet performance by Gregor. He has spent much of the first week racing closely with Susie. He knows the problems associated with getting too close into the north coast of Spain and has worked hard to keep offshore. This could well pay off for him in the next few days if those inshore get caught.

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