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The Clock is Running

Well we just ran past the two years remaining mark of the 50th anniversary edition of the Golden Globe Race

It has been a very interesting and hectic six months since the London GGR conference and we are about to enter an exciting new phase of race preparation.

A few months ago we shut down design approvals for yachts which is now restricted to 22 designs. Our Provisional and Waitlist Entrants are all busy sailing, buying, building, refitting or looking for boats, sponsors and chasing media attention. The Race is well established and all involved have had heads down going for it. That includes the management team.

Just a few days ago I signed up yet another Australian waitlist entrant from my home town Adelaide. He heard about the Race for the first time and emailed me that day, received the go ahead from his wife the next day, then his employer the day after. He found his entry boat and made an offer the next day and on the last day paid for the boat and sent in his entry! It took all of five days from wow to go. We have had our first wait list drop outs forfeiting their deposits, so Mark Sinclair is now number seven on the Wait list. He is passionate about getting to the start line.

When the wait list got to 10, some serious sailors just could not commit, thinking they had no chance of getting an entry at the end of the day. I have a strong feeling Mark Sinclair will be there in ‘Coconut’ his under AU$40,000 Lello 34. No guarantees but watch this space. The Golden Globe Race is for those who dare!

It will be an interesting time ahead for all entrants. Some who were hoping to find sponsors realise there is more to it than just entering the Race and the clock is ticking. Two years is not a long time. Refits on boats create lots of questions and clarifications for all. It really is an amazing mix of characters who all chat regularly together about their plans and dreams on the Entrants FaceBook page.

The challenge for Management has been to seeking and secure corporate support and media commitments for the race. Our efforts will continue in the years ahead and we are striking some goals. It is a tough road, but there are encouraging signs on the horizon. Our management team for the race will include up to 18 unique positions we hope to start filling in 2017. Those position will be advertised on the web site next year, so if you think you have special skills, or would like to be part of that team, or even volunteer, keep an eye out. The GGR head office will be based in Portsmouth UK.

In a few months we hope to launch our new look web site and brand. There has been a lot going on in the background and now the final digital team is assembling and much of the structural work has been done. It is a huge job. The current holding web site and FB page has been doing OK, but on a few occasions we have had issues that necessitated a rebuild to cope.

The management team are as excited to move into this new chapter and web site as I am sure you all are. A steadily increasing flow of information and updates building up to June 2017 will appear. 12 months out from the start is not far away.

With seven confirmed French, entries this year’s Golden Globe Race conference will be held in Paris. It will include media briefings at the Paris Boat Show and a special public introduction at the show of all the attending GGR entrants. From June 16 2017, the GGR website and all race media will be in transmitted in both French and English.

I sold my Tradewind 35 to another confidential Australian entrant who has now announced his plans. Kevin Farebrother is an Everest summiteer and sailor of just the past three years. There are still a few confidential entries but these must all be declared later this year, so you will get to see who is up for it.

In an effort to increase safety we have been working with a French manufacture to develop a modified AIS unit that will not show entrants GPS co-ordinates, but relative positions of targets only and broadcast the entrants position. There will also be a few modifications and amendments to the current Pre-Notice of Race when it is released as the final NOTICE of RACE in the months ahead.

Finally, of note, is the growing interest in the 2022 Golden Globe Race. We have committed to that event and it will be launched four years out from the start. There are No firm decisions on boat types to be used, the course, or start ports as yet. There will be some announcements about that later this year.

Finally… here are the latest comments and updates from each of the current provisional and wait list entrants.

All the best for now.


Latest news from skippers


Istvan Kopar (63) is the Hungarian born American based offshore instructor from Floridia. He has purchased the John Rock designed Tradewind 35 Puffin, which he has spent the past 6 months renovating in NY. ‘I’ve not had the chance to sail her yet, but have a lot of pictures of her stripped out, which may put off other entrants from buying an old boat!’

Antonio Martinez (41) is California based and has bought the Westsail 32 yacht Ayala which he is preparing to sail from San Francisco to Falmouth in 2017.

Carl Huber (54) This Austrian born American sailor has bought a Ta Shing built Bob Perry designed Babe 35 in the US Virgin Islands last December, and is preparing to sail her back to the Chesapeake this month.

Roy Hubbard (26) Inspired by Robin Lee Graham’s solo circumnavigation in his yacht Dove, Hubbard has owned boats since the age of 13, cruising the New England coast each summer where he has accumulated all his knowledge and experience so far. He has yet to nominate a boat for the GGR.

Nabil W Amra – American based Palestinian – see entry under PALESTINE


Michael Guggenberger (38) He has purchased the Peter Ibold designed Belliure Endurance 35 Mizzi and just completed the first stage of her refit, re-sealing all deck fittings. He intends to do the second part – fitting watertight bullheads and strengthening her construction in 2017.


Shane Freeman (59) has bought the Tradewind 35 Muska. He has already completed two solo voyages in her, from Brisbane to Melbourne and across the Tasman and back. In July he intends to sail solo from Melbourne to Vanuatu and back before setting sail for the UK, again solo, in December this year.

Kevin Farebrother, a 48-year-old fireman from Perth, West Australia is an adventurer at heart, having just completed his 3rd successful ascent of Mount Everest (May 15). The former SAS soldier took with him on that climb a copy of Robin Knox-Johnston’s book A World of my Own, and says: ‘The story of winning the first Golden Globe Race in 1969 was far more scary than anything I’ve experienced climbing Everest!’

Kevin has been sailing a UFO 34 yacht for the past 3 years, and has bought Don McIntyre’s Tradewind 35 Silver Heels to do the GGR.

My first task is to sail Silver Heels round the top of Australia from Sydney to Perth, which will give me quite a bit of practice. Getting her to the start in Falmouth is the biggest challenge. That involves completing a circumnavigation of Australia, crossing the Pacific to Panama and sailing solo up the Atlantic while trying to keep down my job!

In between, Farebrother has one more assault on Everest planned.

I’ll be leading a team up the mountain in April 2017 and then I will be concentrating on the Golden Globe Race full time. This is a chance in a lifetime that will test mind and body to the limit. The challenge is being alone for such a long period with no one to bounce off thoughts and ideas when the going gets tough.


Gustavo ‘Rato’ Pacheco (56) Plans to build an ERIC design Suhaili replica, starting construction in Rio de Janeiro in January 2017.


Susie Goodall (26) is an offshore and ocean sailing instructor. She has bought the Rustler 36 Ariadne, which is undergoing conversion for singlehanded sailing in Southampton. The yacht will be launched in October and Susie plans to spend the winter sailing solo across the Atlantic and back prior to a major refit in May 2017.

Tim Newson (35) is another ocean sailing instructor. His Baba 35 Black Sheep is undergoing a complete refit in Chichester and due to be launched in June. He intends to make an 800 mile solo non-stop voyage to Norway, and take part in the 2017 OSTAR race before sailing back across the Atlantic solo to Falmouth.

Ian Reid (60) A farmer from Somerset with a second home overlooking Falmouth Harbour, is negotiating to purchase a 1979 ketch-rigged Belliure Endurance 35 designed by Peter Ibold and built by Astilleros Belliure in Spain. His intention is to sail single-handed to Cascais, Portugal and back this September before refitting the yacht over the winter in time to complete a solo transatlantic crossing to Charleston, South Carolina and back in the spring/summer of 2017

Chris Jacks (30) is currently completing a solo voyage round Britain in his Camper & Nicholson 32 Mk XI Roma. He started from his homeport of Liverpool at the end of May. He has already won sponsorship from Saturn Sails and intends to compete in next year’s OSTAR singlehanded transatlantic race from Plymouth to Newport, Rhode Island.

Graham Applin (52) No 2 on wait list. Graham is from Addlestone, Surrey and an international architect, designing hotels, resorts and shopping precincts across the Globe. He is currently cruising across the Pacific in a Swan 57 and just completed the ANZ race from Auckland to Fiji. His preference for the race is a Sparkman & Stephens design, preferably a Benello Gaia 36.


Uku Randmaa (52) A lifelong sailor, Randmaa has the Rustler 36, Maibi, which he plans to sail to Falmouth this summer and have Rustler Yachts refit for the Golden Globe Race. Uku began sailing at the age of 3 aboard his father’s yacht, then graduated through the junior ranks sailing Optimist, Cadet, OK, Laser and 420 dinghy classes. After leaving Tallinn Marine University with a Master’s ticket in 1984, he got back to competing in regattas at a serious level, then graduated to offshore sailing with his Hanse 430 yacht Temptation, completing a solo voyage to Iceland and back prior to sailing solo around the world with stops between 2011 and 2012.

This is dream event – a round the world race for real gladiators. For me, the best is to take part; the worst – not to finish. If I’m not going to win, then simply finishing will fulfil my dreams.


Jean-Luc van den Heede (71) This 5-time circumnavigator already holds the record for the fastest solo west-about non-stop circumnavigation against the prevailing winds and currents, and has been a podium finisher in four previous solo round the world races. He finished 2nd in the 1986 BOC Challenge Around Alone Race, 3rd in the 1990 Vendee Globe Race, 2nd in the 1993 Vendee Globe Race and 3rd in the 1995 BOC Challenge Around Alone Race. Van den Heede bought a Rustler 36 yacht last winter and spent the first few months test sailing her out in the Atlantic. The yacht is now undergoing a full refit in preparation for the Race.

Eric Loizeau (66) – *First GGR Special Invitational entrant.
A disciple of Eric Tabarly, Loizeau spent his formative years crewing for the great Frenchman on Pen Duick VI before graduating to skipper Gauloises 2 in the 1977/8 Whitbread round the world race, winning two legs outright. He then set a solo transatlantic record in 1982 and became the Multihull World Champion in 1986. He was elected French Yachtsman of the Year in 1978. Eric is looking to commission a new Rustler 36 later this year.

Lionel Regnier (55) – *Second GGR Special Invitational entrant. has made 23 transatlantic crossings during the past in 30 years. The former maths teacher became a professional skipper in 1985, and has since complete three Mini 6.50 races before graduating to Class 40 race boats and competing in the Quebec-Saint-Malo, Solidaire du Chocolat, Les Sables-Horta, Transat Jacques Vabre and Route du Rhum races. Lionel is the second of five entrants to be awarded a Special Invitation place in the GGR and is looking to purchase a Rustler 36 yacht – the same type chosen by fellow Frenchmen Eric Loizeau, Philippe Péché and Jean-Luc van den Heede.

Antoine Cousot (44) A professional sailor now living in Noirmoutier, France with his wife and three children. Antoine has sailed more than 50,000 sea miles many of them skippering large charter yachts. He has purchased the first Alan Hill designed Biscay 36, built in 1975 by Robert Ives at Falmouth Boat Construction. This ketch rigged yacht will be during 2016. Antoine plans to set out from Falmouth in May 2017 bound for Antigua, then head north via Fort Lauderdale, New York and Newport before returning across the Atlantic back to Falmouth.

As my boat was built in Falmouth, I will be flying the British flag in this race – even though I am French – and I hope Falmouth will adopt me as their own.

Luc Mery (57) Another professional sailor, Luc has more 40 oceans crossings to his credit, sailing across Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans, five of them singlehanded. He has narrowed his choice of yacht down to a yawl rigged Hinckley 35, Rustler 36 or Tradewind 35, and is looking to buy this Summer.

Philippe Péché (54) One of France’s leading sailors, Péché has covered more than 300,000 miles racing everything from monohulls to giant multihulls. . He has competed in three round the world races and is a two-time holder of the Jules Verne trophy completing the circumnavigation within 50 days. Based in La Trinite, he has bought the Rustler 36 Golly Wobbler, which he has renamed Gragal, the name shared on all his Father’s yachts.

She has since been stripped down and a full refit is about to commence. Philippe plans to compete in next year’s 2-man transatlantic Race in May and return home singlehanded.

Loïc Lepage (59) No 3 on wait list has bought a Nicholson 32 Mk 10 yacht named Laaland and is planning to start her refit in early 2017 prior to making a solo voyage to the Azores and back. Loïc has more than 20,000 miles of solo sailing under his belt including three trans-Biscay and four transatlantic crossings to-date.

I’m very happy to be part of this legendary race. It’s very stimulating to compete against other entrants in similar boats.

Patrick Phelipon (63) No 5 on the wait list. Patrick is another of Eric Tabarly’s disciples, having raced with him aboard Pen Duick VI in the 1977/8 Whitbread Round the World Race. Since then he has been racing Mini, Quarter and Half tonners and ultra-light 60 footers. His current yacht is a Mallard 9m. He has chosen to race an Endurance 35 ketch in the GGR named Floreana, which he plans to sail in the Mediterranean this Summer prior to having the yacht fitted out for solo sailing at a yard in Pisa, Italy over the winter. Phelipon says of the GGR:

I have wanted to sail round the world alone for some time, but not felt ready to do it until now. I like the traditional type of yachts chosen for this race and the rules that surround the event. It is great to be involved from the beginning. The hardest part will be in the Southern Ocean – I’ve been there before and it is a tough place to sail.


Gregor McGuckin (1986) Another adventurer, McGuckin swapped his hiking and climbing boots for sailing gear at the age of 18 and never looked back. For many years he combined both skills teaching at outdoor adventure centres at home and abroad before gaining his Ocean Yachtmaster ticket. Since then he has made several Atlantic and Indian Ocean crossings. Now with more than 35,000 sea miles under his belt, McGuckin is currently skippering a 62ft yacht in the Caribbean and has yet to nominate a yacht for the race.


Eduardo Raimondo (26) Sailing since he was 5, Raimondo is negotiating to buy a Gaia Benello 36, which he expects to purchase in September. Eduardo’s competitive experience has centred on racing small boats and catamarans at the top level in his native Italy.

Neree Cornuz (26) Born and raised on his parent’s ketch, Cornuz completed his first Atlantic ocean crossing at the age of 2. He has been sailing and racing all kind of boats ever since. For the past 6 years he has been an officer in the Merchant Navy, but has now set up base in Geneva, Switzerland as a sailing instructor. He has purchased a Lello 34 to do the race in and plans to re-fit her over the winter.

Fabrizio Ladi Bucciolini (49) Italian born Fabrizio had entered the GGR under the Swiss flag, but problems getting his Ta Shing built Bob Perry designed Babe 35 Jessie Marie, cutter registered there has forced him to revert to his Italian roots. He was due to set out from Jacksonville at the beginning of June bound for Venice, Italy where the yacht will be refitted for the Race. Fabrizio has been sailing since the age of 10 when his parents took to living on a boat. He says:

I have logged many miles hitchhiking across the seas, hopping from boat to boat, doing deliveries, crewing with friends or simply cruising with my family. I have a strong fascination for the sea, navigation and adventure. As life got more complex, first with studies, then work and later raising a family, sailing got progressively cornered into a holiday activity. It is now time to bring it back to centre stage, to start honing dormant skills and to use recently acquired ones for better causes!

Edoardo Raimondo (27) from Taggia Italy plans to purchase a Rustler 36 in the next couple of months and refit it over the winter in readiness for extensive sea trials during the summer of 2017. Edoardo has been sailing since the age of 5 , and graduated through 420 dinghies, Tika 14 and Mattia 18 multihull classes through to competing in major classic yacht regattas in the Mediterranean. He has a commercial yachtmaster ticket, and says of the Golden Globe Race:

This has been my dream. The best part is sailing around the world alone, and being a retro race not only makes it much more romantic but much closer to nature. The worst part will be preparing for the start, but this is the most amazing competition in the world and I say thank you to the organisers for coming up with this race.

Francesco Cappelletti (39) No 3 on the wait list, is a professional sailor and offshore instructor based in Tuscany. He says of the GGR:

After learning about the Race, I found myself thinking how important accounts from the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race have been during my training as a seaman. As a young sailor I was deeply into the most basic form of sailing and those accounts fueled my imagination. I used to sail without an autopilot, or electrical instruments and with only a Tilley storm-lamp as my only light source. Sailing round the world alone in this basic way is a must-do-in-lifetime goal. I see the 2018 GGR as a chance to pay tribute to my core passion for the sea.

Francesco plans to find a yacht during the coming winter, and start refitting her early in 2017. He intends to complete his 2000 mile proving trial in the Atlantic next year.

Federico Beccaria (48) No 4 on the wait list is another professional sailor, offshore instructor and marine structural engineer. Based in Rome, Federico has been sailing since the age of 15 and has considerable experience as a delivery skipper. He expects to buy a yacht for the GGR later this year, and refit her over the winter months. He says of the race:

The best thing about the 2018 GGR is that it celebrates not only the efforts of those sailors who took part in the 1968 Race, but the earlier pioneers like Joshua Slocum, Vito Dumas, Francis Chichester, David Lewis and Ann Davision.


Are Wiig (56) A sailor for more than 40 years, Wiig has chosen an Olle Enderlin designed OE32 named Olleanna to compete in the GGR which is now undergoing a complete refit. Are finished 2nd in class with his 30ft yacht Granada in the 1988 OSTAR. He later covered more than 30,000 miles in that boat before buying a sistership to the 56ft multihull Umupro Jardin, winner of the 1984 OSTAR. He has used her to win several shorthanded and fully crewed races in his native Norway. A professional seaman, engineer and yacht surveyor, he says: ‘The Golden Globe is a dream come true’.


Nabil W Amra (41) This American based Palestinian works as a foreign exchange trader in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has just purchased a ketch rigged version of the Biscay 36 built by the Falmouth Boat Company named Ele May and is taking her back to the builder to have them prepare her for the GGR. Last year, he sailed a catamaran with a friend across the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal.

The effect on me was so profound that I began to look for a blue-water boat of my own and bought a Contessa 32 based in St. Maarten. My salt-water journey is just beginning! Now I’m preparing to start a new chapter in my life that has more to do with adventure. The Golden Globe Race came along at just the right time to turn an incessant daydream into reality. My eagerness to sail under the Palestinian flag and to represent these forlorn people who had little to be cheery about for a long time.


Igor Zaretskiy (64) is one of Russia’s most experienced international sailors. He has twice won the Russian ¼ Ton championship, competed in multiple RORC Caribbean races, together with such classics as the Fastnet, Newport-Bermuda and Middle Sea races. In 2010 he won the Jester Challenge singlehanded transatlantic race, a feat crowned with Russia’s Yachtsman of the Year title. His preference is for Belliure Endurance 35 yacht, which he hopes to buy later this year.


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