Sleepless nights for a select group of sailors began in April 2015 when I launched the 50th Anniversary edition of the original 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe
A few months later they were lining up to sign on and by year end we had 30 entrants for the 2018 GGR. Then a growing wait list formed, and entries were effectively closed. It took just six months.
Many initial entrants faded well before the start, so for the 2022GGR we have made it a little harder to be invited. The hope is, that those bold enough to enter will be absolutely committed to the challenge. You need at least 4000 ocean miles and a nonrefundable AU$5000 deposit for the privilege to become a Provisional GGR Entrant. That combined with vivid stories of knockdowns, rollovers and barnacles from this edition scares off the not so serious keeping the 2022 entry list real! The challenge is clear and the road to the start well defined. The door is wide open for now. The question is when will it fill up?
A new wave of sleeplessness is appearing! In just 12 weeks, 37 invitations for only 20 places have been issued! The temptation and desire is great, but I smile when completed application forms arrive without the money, that is apparently ‘in the mail’ and still is. He who hesitates is lost and for the organiser that is a good thing. Passion and confidence is the only way forward in this game. All 2018 starters jumped straight in as soon as they heard of it. It was a common theme defining the 18.
2018 entrants and I are close. We have been family for years, but I was shocked to discover some are already thinking of doing it again! They talk between themselves on daily HF SSB chat sessions even between storms! They could do it faster with more fun if engines worked, batteries were charging, HF radios were working, or the right bottom paint kept barnacles away. Apparently two are very serious!
Ertan Beskardes from the UK is back! Inner voices have been murmuring for some time. It was not his time to feel at one with the sea after starting on July 1st. It didn’t feel right. The strength of his honesty and power of conviction to retire just days in had to be admired. He was the last to sign on to 2018 and now he is one of the first for 2022. Now it feels right!
Norwegian, Are Wiig is clear on one thing. Unfinished business brings him back for 2022 with a new plan, in new boat, with a stronger rig and even more passion! Robin Davie of the UK missed the start by weeks when bad weather delayed the rebuild of his Rustler 36. It’s now finished and fitted with JL VDH new old rig. So begins what he believes is the most important part for planning a successful GGR and that is miles under the keel before the start. He heads across the Atlantic soon and hopes to have everything well sorted for his fourth Circumnavigation. In previous voyages he has been dismasted and lost his rudder, but feels very confident about his new GGR style boat.
Michael Guggenberger from Austria signed up for 2018, bought a beautiful Endurance 35 then fell in love with her so hard, he went sailing instead. Now he is ready to sail the 2022 GGR. Exciting characters like him are very welcome. Italian Guido Cantini has his Vancouver 34 and is already a certified Celestial Navigator. His initial refit is underway at the yard of Cantiere Del Argentario with sailing plans well advanced.
There are two confidential entries, one from Norway planning on an OE32 yacht same as Are Wiig and our first and only French Entry. Throw me into the mix in a JOSHUAGG Class II and we have eight signed on after just three months.
But did I mention that when Abhilash Tomy learns to walk again he is going sailing! And Nabil Amra has not said a word about his future? And what if Gregor McGuckin cannot make the Vendee Globe? Will he stay at home and watch TV for a change? Kevin and Philippe are gone forever, but never say never for Francesco Cappelletti, or even Lionel Regnier or Carl Huber and I wonder if the little voices have started for Antoine Cousot! The door is still open, but I can feel a waitlist on the horizon one day soon. The race to GGR2022 has started.
The GGR has a life of its own and a 50 year pedigree now re-established. Inspiring since 1968 it rolls freely toward the future. This cultural renascence is accepted and loved by all in the GGR Family. For Jane and I that is very exciting.
Finally, while Istvan declared in Hobart ‘never again!’, his wife immediately commented that is exactly what he said when he returned from his first solo circumnavigation and this one is his third. Watch this space.