OUT 2018

Igor Zaretskiy (70)




Name Igor Zaretskiy

Born September 11th 1951

Nationality Russian

Country of entry Russia

Race GGR 2018

Boat Class Suhaili

Born and bred on the banks of the River Volga running through the Russian city of Yroslavl on its way to enter the Caspian Sea, Igor Zaretskiy is one of Russia’s most experienced international sailors. He has twice won the Russian ¼ Ton championship, competed in multiple RORC Caribbean races, and such classics as the Fastnet, Newport-Bermuda and Middle Sea races. In 2010 he won the Jester Challenge singlehanded transatlantic race, a feat that won him Russia’s Yachtsman of the Year title.

He says of the GGR: “Sailing around the world has been a dream since childhood. I knew about the first Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968/9, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to take part 50 years later.”


Boat [Suhaili]


Name Esmeralda
Type Endurance 35 Masthead ketch
Designer Peter Ibold
Builder Vicente Belliure (ESP)
LOA 35.00ft / 10.67m
LWL 26.67ft / 8.13m
Beam 10.75ft / 3.28m
Draft 5 5.75ft / 1.75m
Displacement 18550 lbs/ 8414 kgs
Sail area 736sq. ft / 68.37sq. m

Igor Zaretskiy has selected the Belliure Endurance 35 ketch Esmeralda to compete in the GGR. Supported by the magazine Yacht Russia, his team spent the 2017/18 winter preparing the yacht in the warmer climes of Spain. They took delivery of a new rig in February and planned to relaunch her at the beginning of March ready for Igor to sail first to the Azores before heading north to Falmouth as part of the yacht’s sail trials.

Skipper Updates

February 4th 2019 12:00 AM

IGOR ZARETSKY sent a strong message to both finishers and looked good at home. he waits to return to ESMERALDA and we wish him good health.

January 9th 2019 12:00 AM

NO News from IGOR ZARETSKY who is still in RUSSIA, so looks like he may have missed his January 14th Departure window and will have to leave in NOV to rejoin the GGR?

December 19th 2018 12:00 AM

IGOR ZARETSKY is securing everything on ESMERALDA and files to RUSSIA for his final medical tests to confirm if the planned Operation must take place. He hopes to be back to Australia as soon as possible to continue his adventure. For now his Facebook page name is changing to ESMERALDA OK so please note this change to keep up with his story and adventure.

December 17th 2018 12:00 AM

IGOR ZARETSKY has all the work done on his boat and is basically ready to leave but a precautionary medical check has shown some issues and their team doctor in Russia has advised that an immediate operation may be needed. So Igor flies to Russia immediately and is adamant that he will return and sail again to the finish as a Chichester sailor. There is NO TIME LIMIT for the GGR but the consideration is can he get it done , then Pass a new GGR medical test to confirm he is OK and then return to the Boat and sail to Cape Horn before the end of MARCH!. If not he may need to wait til the 2019 Season but for now our Friend IGOR has the full support of the GGR and we wish him well and a speedy recovery if the operation is proven to be necessary!. Come back soon IGOR!! ESMERALDA OK!

December 12th 2018 12:00 AM

IGOR ZARETSKY has a BIG job today starting to remove the barnicles on his HUL. he will fit a new larger forestay to replace the broken one and then hopes to sail on SUNDAY in CHICHESTER CLASS back to France. We are al looking forward to see the barnacle pictures when on the slip.

December 10th 2018 12:00 AM

IGOR ZARETSKY struggles with barnacles and now light head winds on the final run to ALBANY in Western Australia. His team is waiting and many locals are ready to help. He will be happy to arrive after all this frustration. Our prediction is that the garden on his hull will be unbelievable. we all know he is a strong sailor and a good sailor. his pace is not through his lack of skill or enthusiasm. It is because of one simple mistake in Les Sables D’Olonne when they lifted their boat days before the start to wash the bottom and did NOT repaint! Now it is all about to be revealed! He arrives in a few hours.

December 6th 2018 12:00 AM

Sadly IGOR ZARETSKY is still stuck in Light winds adding to the frustration of a huge barnacle garden slowing progress to ALBANY. he is still a couple days away with 180 miles to go.

December 3rd 2018 12:00 AM

IGOR ZARETSKY Is still 230 miles from Albany doing only 1.5knots with light winds projected for the next four days so it will be slow progress. His team are due in Albany on 5th December and a group of locals are also planning to help.

November 28th 2018 12:00 AM

“ESMERALDA OK”. No more racing strategy for MARK and IGOR. Respectively at 520 and 600 miles from their technical stopovers (Adelaïde for the Australian and Albany for the Russian), they are preparing to take both their boat out of the water to clean the barnacles of the hull which have very strongly slowed their progression these past month, especially for IGOR whose hull is dramatically infested, he should take another ten days to reach Australia. It will be interesting to see how the second part of the course will unfold for these two sailors. They will have found their full potential back after the stopover… but in Chichester class.

November 26th 2018 12:00 AM

Bound for ALBANY in Western Australia with what may be the biggest barnacle farm for the entire GGR. He did a motor check and confirmed it is slowing his speed by 2.5kts minimum and says there are flowers growing underwater. He will slip and repair his forestay and then get underway again as soon as possible. he will move to CHICHESTER CLASS as soon as he arrives.

November 23rd 2018 12:00 AM

Igor is headed to AUSTRALIA… On investigation it was realized that while his hull was given plenty of good Anti-fouling when she left Spain to head to FALMOUTH, the team lifted the boat from the water in Les Sables d’Olonne Days before the start and cleaned it down , washing away some of the good elements of the original paint, then re-launched without replacing any paint!! “It is not seaweed or seashells. It is an array of worms, finger thick and at about 10 cm long. It is like a field of them on the hull. At the same weather conditions I could do 5-7 knots at the beginning. Now I can not go faster than 3-4 knots. And when it is less wind I am just standing. Because of this wind generator and wind pilot do not work well. I also want to make some small repairs. Everything breaks down really fast here. You need a lot of spare parts. Have less than 1000 miles to Perth, hope to be there in 2 weeks. Will do my best. Right now I have really nice wind here.”

November 22nd 2018 12:00 AM

Backsides story From Igor : “I was afraid of it, but it happened, situation took over! I have to go to Perth, Australia to put up the boat, to clean it. Such a thicket, I have never seen it before”…..Sad for Igor but a wise decision! Go Igor!!!
Igor enjoys moderate winds and Esmeralda shows 3.2 kts this morning!

November 21st 2018 12:00 AM

IGOR is now heading to FREMANTLE to clean the bottom and fix the rigging!. WE discussed it with him and the decision is made. He will move to Chichester Class on arrival, spend up to a week for refit, as short a time as possible and then head to Hobart. This is a good move and will see his sail fast once again. The weather for him in the next five days is ok for heading North East and up to people!

November 19th 2018 12:00 AM

IGOR has advised that he is considering a one week stop in Hobart to slip his boat and remove the barnacle garden he says is growing flowers and causing him huge drag and over 2 kts of boat speed. He is also watching his forestay repair closely and that too may need a permanent repair in Hobart before continuing on to Cape Horn. He is discussing the issue with his shore crew via Russian ham radio operators but the long distances are making that challenging. He continues to make excruciatingly slow progress toward Hobart!

November 14th 2018 12:00 AM

Igor is still idling aboard his Esmeralda covered with barnacles in the middle of the Indian… 700 miles west of the Australian, he should find some good downwind by tomorrow, and for several days!

November 12th 2018 12:00 AM

But it will be still a long journey for the Russian, after 133 days at sea, and à tracker showing 1.1 knot this morning. Igor is struggling once again on the edge of an area of high pressure that will envelop her in the coming days, making his progress even slower. Nevertheless, he is 8th in a race whose difficulty is well proven!

November 9th 2018 12:00 AM

07/11/2018 Sat Phone Call Part 1 :
“Hello my friends. I am on my way to Tasmania. I had a plan to drop an anchor near St Paul and to try to clean off the barnacles. But I was forbidden to do it. Well, it might happen to the best of me, it would take a week to clean all those bushes. Now have 2 m swell with almost no wind at all, drifting north-east, waiting for the high to pass over me. Can’t get the fix with the sextant for a few days, no sun. What else. A pile of the garbage in the galley corner which I must bring to Les Sables. Have no idea where to stock it. For now just sorting and packing the garbage right there. Got sad news yesterday that Jean-Luc have his mast damaged and now he is heading to Valparaiso. It can happen to everyone here at any time. Just when I run from that storm to the North. Would I stayed I might be well further ahead on the course by now.”

November 9th 2018 12:00 AM

07/11/2018 Sat Phone Call Part 2 :
“As a result, I can’t get to the winds since then. On the other hand, a few boats got dismasted there. So what. Now experimenting with the advice I have been given to fight the barnacles. Tighten the rope down the hull from the stern to the stem. Now waiting for the effect. None so far. It’s just gliding over these bushes. Maybe it should be a steel cable, I don’t know. So that’s it. The situation is a bit depressing at the moment. Will get busy with the domestic chores, sewing and so on. Lots of a rope work all the time with the running rigging, scuffs and wear here and there. That’s it. I hope the high will pass, and I will be able to sail down to 40S So, have to wait for better times and better news. All the best for now and good luck.”
Igor Zaretskiy

November 7th 2018 12:00 AM

If the Russian, 550 miles ferther west than Coconut, should see Esmeralda once more stuck for a few hours in a bubble without wind tomorrow, Esmeralda should benefit from moderate winds but still downwinds to progress easterly in the wake of Suhaili. Nice sailing conditions awaits Igor.

November 5th 2018 12:00 AM

Igor continues to be frustrated by weather that means he has averaged only 2.3 knots over the ground in the past two months and hopefully good sailing breezes with catch up to him soon. At this rate, it could take another 8 months to reach Les Sables d’Olonne. With Coconut, both are now largely outdistanced by Suhaili’s ghost … but they are still racing!

October 31st 2018 12:00 AM

After the last news of Igor telling his exhausting experience at the top of the mast to repair his forestay and put halyards and sails back in place, he had to spend 3 days recovering and resting at on his bunk. This morning, during his weekly satellite call to the GGR Race Control, he told us his new plan: to moor around the island of St. Paul to clean up his boat, the hull overgrown with seaweeds and algae, and probably barnacles .. Which slow Esmeralda down to.. Not much speed ! To be continued …

October 29th 2018 12:00 AM

Still in a very slow progression, 1.5 knots, difficult to say in what state of mind is today IGOR ZARESTSKIY. At the edge of an area of high pressure, he struggles once again to progress, even if Esmeralda is obviously always OK!
Loïc Lepage just sailed past Igor on the Japanese owned ship with Philippine Captain and tried to talk to him on the VHF radio..but it was tough.

October 26th 2018 12:00 AM

After the heavy weather, Igor seems to have managed to repair his stay, but the tracker still shows a slow progression in recent days, with less speed than usual compared to the actual weather conditions.
His typical messages of “Esmeralda OK”, are fairly rare this week …

October 18th 2018 12:00 AM

Igor called in GGR HQ in Hobart last night 2am local time, telling about his broken Forestay and ESMERALDA is still OK!! “Hello, my friends. So, trouble never comes alone. When the wind beat the foils with the furled genoa, I was afraid that it would break the forestay. Now it happened. Good thing I got rid of the furling system, otherwise it could be worse. The staysail was free, the boltrope just bent and the sail went downwind. I examined the forestay. It got broken right at the swaged end fitting. I looked through the binoculars at the top of the mast. The fitting is still hanging there. I have everything ready to solve this problem, waiting for the calm weather. To keep it safe I now have one reef in the main, two reefs in the mizzen, and a jib on the inner stay. The wind is on the beam, the course is E / SE. Making a very slow progress, about 4 knots, don’t want to overpower the boat.

October 18th 2018 12:00 AM

The forecast is for a bit of slack on Oct 19. I hope it will be possible to do everything in one go, to climb the mast just once. It’s not a picnic, you know, but in general, I have everything ready to do it. It’s raining here. The sky is all grey. During the day the waves were on the beam, short and unpleasant, it was even difficult to sit. Now it calmed down a bit. Maybe tomorrow will be the same. I need a steady wind, and what’s more important, the calm sea. Because I will have to hang up there at the height of 16 meters for more than one minute. These are the latest news, which now occupy all my thoughts. I had prepared everything to the repair the staysail, but have to put it aside, this will wait. The place is so messy with cables and tools you can’t even put your foot anywhere. So that’s it. Will report later. All the best to everyone, bye now.”Igor.

October 17th 2018 12:00 AM

Still 5,000 miles behind, IGOR sails much more peacefully at the tail end of a fleet than the leader, installed in a north stream that pushes him into a manageable sea on the direct route. After the last few days in slow motion, Esmeralda should slow down again in two days with the formation of a high pressure zone.

October 12th 2018 12:00 AM

Esmeralda and Coconut seem to have at least managed to escape the windless zone that has slowed them down in recent days, now more than 4700 miles from the leader. The Russian, reduced by a restricted sail plan, following the loss of his furler and sails before, found a little speed with 3.4 knots today. Relatively north, these two skippers are not yet promised to long slides downwind. Zones without wind and headwind are on the agenda again for the next few days … During his security call Igor informs us that GOOSE BARNICLES are eating his antifouling for lunch!.

October 11th 2018 12:00 AM

Esmeralda has just crossed the longitude 50°, progressing slowly at the moment.
Stuck in a high pressure system, Igor is now trying to get out of this calm area by heading South to gradually find some downwinds and hopefully to be able to head to the east !
Igor #Zaretskiy (via satellite) ESMERALDA OK !

October 9th 2018 12:00 AM

1100 miles from Breton, IGOR ZARESTSKIY and MARK SINCLAIR also fight with the calm of the Indian. At 50 miles from each other, they chose two different routes, the Russian persisting towards the north while the Australian plunges to the south. If Igor were to persist in his option, he could be slowed down much longer …

October 8th 2018 12:00 AM

Igor #Zaretskiy (via satellite) ESMERALDA OK
Finally, nearly 4500 miles from JEAN-LUC, an ocean of difference, IGOR ZARESTSKIY visibly struggling à little bit, pushed north in a confused sea by a very unstable wind from south-southeast. 1.9 knots, these last 4 hours. And not on the direct road … The worst is that in front of them should be a large area of high pressure in two days …

October 2nd 2018 12:00 AM

At the back of the fleet, IGOR ZARETSKIY is struggling to find its rhythm in the Indian Ocean. The Russian sailor, who struggles with hand pain and furling problems, was only at two knots over the weekend when he should sail more than double. But once is not customary, and this morning it is at the rear of the fleet that it progresses best : IGOR ZARESTSKIY progresses full East, in a good vein of northwesterly wind that pushes Esmeralda reaching in a relatively manageable sea. Less than 750 miles off the African coast, he still has all the Indian Ocean to cross ..

September 26th 2018 12:00 AM

At the back of the fleet, IGOR ZARESTSKIY, surprisingly slow this morning while he is in a strong northwesterly flow. Esmeralda should see its progression curbed once again in the next 24 hours by the passage of a small band of weak winds before being soon caught by a strong depression next Friday … the violent routine of the Great South begins only for this sailor.But Esmeralda OK!

September 19th 2018 12:00 AM

“Hallo friends. Just got into the sleeping bag.On sunday had at least couple of hours of good stable weather. I managed to fix trysail bag to the mast. So it is always ready to put it out. Then I put down jib and put up trade-wind staysail. I always thought it works only with tail wind. On sunday evening got wind at about 8 and still the same. Today in the night was less wind and I prepared everything to work with this „twins“. Waited for calm weather, got it at 5 and worked till now. Right now it is at about 30 kts, but I turned at the right moment. 5 minutes after there was rain and gust came. I think 35. Right now everything works perfect and stable. During the storm everything has its own life, so have to clean up.”

September 19th 2018 12:00 AM

“Weather changes all the time, at some moment sun at some rain and everything is dark.Yes just lost the log whirl. So have to check speed by myself. But it is no problem. At any moment I will see sun I can find myself. I also have another log. But it shows only the distance. Will have to find out how to fix it on board.All the rest is good. Just have a lot of sails, ropes etc.I don´t even touch the steering wheel. Windpilot works absolutely fine.Vladimir asked about my thoughts. It will take to long. Right now to tired, will try to describe it next week. VHF works amazing. Have good contact to Cape Town right now. Everyday I get new weather forecast and it looks like it will blow for a long time now. Had to put this staysail way earlier, but who did even know. I saw it only on pictures. I think nobody can really explain all the subtlety of work with it. That is why all other guys are going so well. Just put it and started to get speed.So, will call you next week one more time.Greetings to everybody. All is fine here.”

September 12th 2018 12:00 AM

IGOR should cross the symbolic line of the Cape of Good Hope over the night in 9th position! Go Esmeralda Go!The Russian requested medical advice last week after being thrown across the cockpit and crashed against the liferaft. He was worried that he might have broken a rib or two but in stoical fashion, had no thought about stopping. Igor reported last week: “It’s blowing 25 knots for the third day in row, sometime 30, and the waves are now 4m high. At times an abnormal wave hits us on the beam sending everything flying across the saloon. It’s a total mess inside. I’m tidying up every evening just to start it all over again in the morning.”He was taped yesterday morning on the edge of a bubble without wind. Still south of Cape Town, Esmeralda has regained some speed and the gale that was to hit him is noticeably less bad than expected. He seems to want to move south, probably to escape strong currents from the south-east coast of Africa. He will benefit from several days downwind but could well be stuck this weekend .

September 11th 2018 12:00 AM

Happy Birthday Igor!!!

September 10th 2018 12:00 AM

IGOR ZARESTSKIY and MARK SINCLAIR, respectively 2600 and 2850 miles from the leader, are entangled (at respectively 1.5 and 2.2 knots) in a calm zone that should last until tomorrow evening, before it also generate headwinds … and then find some good downwinds. Igor #Zaretskiy (via satellite) ESMERALDA OK !

September 6th 2018 12:00 AM

Sat phone Part 1: “Hi my friends. I am somewhere at 36S 009E. blowing 25+ kts for the third day, sometimes 30 & waves 4.0 m. Genoa furled down to a tiny patch, 3 reefs on the main & 2 on the mizzen.Mostly smooth sailing, just at times an abnormal wave hit on the beam everything flying across the saloon. Total mess inside with this lumpy weathe. Tidy up just to start it all over again in the morning. No problems at the galley though, manage to cook and eat. Got drip, drip, drip coming through the ceiling, quite unpleasant. It’s come from the main-sheet traveler teak pads fastenings. The pads was lifted a bit when the traveller was ripping out. The leak is there. Waiting for a mild day to fix this. What else. Was smashed hard against the liferaft in the cockpit. Still uneasy feeling at seat and ribs. The course now is set to the Cape of Good Hope, about 500NM to go. A lot to be changed till then, I am with the cold front now. Puffy white clouds & a shiny sun now. Don’t know what comes behind it and how many squalls to expect.

September 6th 2018 12:00 AM

Sat phone Part 2 : The day before yesterday nearly missed a squall while seating at SSB with Capetown. I saw it from the porthole flying my way with the rain. Didn’t get a chance even to put oilies on. Jumped out, took three reefs, dropped the mizzen, furled the headsail. The boat weathered it ok. But still three oceans to cross, no point to get her in any trouble & push it. Plans drop the genoa & to hoist the working jib instead. But with such strong wind chances are high to have the geni overboard while dropping. Got to wait for the gap in the wind and to prepare some kind of makeshift lazy jacks.So this is it. The race still goes on. I see the Flying French have made enormous progress.I wonder what he was hiding under the skirt in Les Sables, it’s likely not just antifouling. This kind of boat can’t fly. All the rest are sailing in a pack, same design. Well, there’s still a lot ahead. Looking forward to Tasmania. That’s all. Wake up every other hour at nights to check everything. Nap now to catch what’s missing from night – and back to work. thanks for the meteo updates. “

August 29th 2018 12:00 AM

IGOR ZARETSKIY is moderately OK, always on the edge of this bubble of high pressure. It should soon hang a stripp of strong winds but will soon have to compose again with multiple high pressure areas, along his route…

August 15th 2018 12:00 AM

IGOR ZARETSKIY, getting a little closer every day with the eastern peloton led by ARE WIIG, is facing today a narrow strip of high pressure that could also block their way to the south. Igor becomes day by day a bit more popular with our followers, with his little English over his weekly sat phone calls, and his text messages “Esmeralda OK”s !

August 13th 2018 12:00 AM

Still “OK”, IGOR ZARETSKIY has come a little closer to the pack in recent days and should take advantage of good crosswinds for a few more days.

August 8th 2018 12:00 AM

“Esmeralda Ok ” as he would write!

August 2nd 2018 12:00 AM

IGOR was on a starboard tack late at night with the wind about 20 knots, waves 6 to 10 feet when he heard banging sound from the steering gear. Igor checked it and found a mechanical issue with a rotation limiter. The fault made it impossible to turn the boat with a wheel in that weather conditions, and it was quite rough to try to fix it. He had to stay on a starboard tack. When the sea state got more moderate Igor tacked with the help of the mizzen, not using the wheel. Then he managed to make a temporary fix for the steering gear, which involved angle grinder and some other tools he had the foresight to take onboard. Igor said it’s ok for now, and he has already shaped more permanent repair plan. he hopes it will not effect the voyage.

July 20th 2018 12:00 AM

Igor has maintained a mid field position within the fleet. He reported that his mainsheet system had exploded this week and through his well established HF radio link he developed a work around system with his shore team. He has the mainsail set again and is back at full strength.

July 18th 2018 12:00 AM

Igor is neck and neck with Uku but has taken the inshore route along the African coast. While he reports that all is OK on the Esmeralda there has been some damage to his mainsail and hopes to get it flying again this afternoon.

July 13th 2018 12:00 AM

Esmeralda charged around the bottom of Lanzarote coming in from the east. Ever the cheery Russian, Igor looked comfortable and very much at home onboard, as he chatted with officials, beer can in hand. A laceration to his arm wasn’t even mentioned in the excitement but tells us that for all his exuberance there have been some challenges aboard the Esmeralda. The Endurance 35 seems to have tracked well in what has been predominantly downwind conditions.

July 11th 2018 12:00 AM

Igor continues to maintain a position in the front half of the fleet. He has demonstrated his sailing ability and his report of sewing the spinnaker might indicate that he is pushing hard to keep up. His boat is one of the strongest in the fleet but how hard can he afford to push the Esmeralda?

July 6th 2018 12:00 AM

Igor sure knows how to sail

Igor’s Endurance 35 may not be everyone’s idea of a fast Golden Globe yacht but Igor sure knows how to sail the mighty Esmeralda. Light winds on start day saw them steaming away causing the Race Chairman to go and check he was not motoring. While not at the front he is performing well. Igor is clearly a talented and experienced sailor and one to watch as the race develops.

May 3rd 2018 12:00 AM

Russian entrant Igor Zaretskiy has been making waves both at home at in Alicante, Spain where is Endurance 35 Esmeralda was launched last week. Team spokesman Rasim Poloskin reports: “Igor has just held a press conference in Moscow which has generated a lot of publicity. Igor has now spent a few hours at sea checking sails, wind vane system and his HF radio installation and managed to speak to a radio station 3,000K. away. This highlighted some issues with the sails, which have now gone back to the sailmaker for adjustment, and this week he will complete his jury rig and emergency steering tests. Then he will set sail for Les Sables d’Olonne and onward to Falmouth to arrive on June 11 for the Suhaili festivities.”

April 5th 2018 12:00 AM

Russian entrant Igor Zaretskiy is now in the final phase of preparing his Endurance 35 Esmeralda ready to re-launch in Alicante Spain later this week. Team spokesman Rasim Poloskin reports: “The boat refit has fallen behind the schedule, but finally we have our new sails and the yacht has been re-rigged. We are now working on the emergency tiller and jury rig system. “Igor is now taking a crash course on HF communication and Our Facebook followers are helping him with this. They have already get in contact with Terre & Mer Ham radio community, and are also trying to organise a Russian speaking HAM network around the Globe. Igor’s English is still an issue. So we are working out how to get a bit more than just position and weather reports from him for our Russian audience.Once launched, Igor will complete his jury rig trials then sail from Alicante to Les Sables d’Olonne and on to Falmouth for the Suhaili 50 Parade of sail celebrations.

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