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Four months to the start of the Golden Globe Race

by Golden Globe Race 6 Mar 06:27 GMT 1 July 2018
Latest GGR route chart with Canaries film pick-up 'gate' supported by Rubicon Marina, Lanzarote, and two others in Storm Bay, Tasmania and off the Falkland Islands. © GGR / PPL

Don McIntyre, founder of the 2108 Golden Globe race, is proud to announce the appointment of Patrice Carpentier, the well-known French sailor, author and editor of Course au Large Magazine as Race Director.

Patrice, who has been sailing since the age of 12, and is multilingual, brings a wealth of experience to this leadership role, having completed five circumnavigations. These include the first two Whitbread Round the World Races aboard Grand Louis and Gauloises 2, and two Vendée Globe solo non-stop races. He also finished 2nd overall in the 1991 Mini Transat despite suffering a broken mast during the first leg. He competed successfully with standard production yachts in two Route du Rhum races in 1982 and 1990 and was still winning in 2017 with victory in the 2-handed IRC/UNCL championship. All told, Patrice (67) has clocked up more than 300,000 sailing miles and crossed the Atlantic 35 times.

To read-out more click here.

Entries stand at 20 representing 13 Nations

With 4 months to the start of the 2018 Golden Globe Race from Les Sables d'Olonne, France on July 1, the number of entrants now stands at 20, representing 13 countries.

These skippers have a remarkable range of backgrounds. Professional sailors and adventurers dominate, but they also include an engineer, foreign exchange trader, hydrographer, pilot, tailor and university lecturer. All have considerable short – and single-handed sailing experience, one having logged five solo circumnavigations. They hail from Australia (2), Estonia (1), Finland (1), France (4), Ireland (1), India (1), Italy (1), Netherlands (1), Norway (1), Palestine (1), Russia (1), UK (3), and the USA (2). Their average age is 47. The youngest, Britain's Susie Goodall is 28; the oldest, French solo veteran Jean-Luc Van Den Heede is 72.

Read more here.

GGR Race HQ opens on May 7

Plans for the Race Village are well advanced and the GGR Race HQ will open in Les Sables d'Olonne on May 7. The Race yachts will be berthed in the central marina and open for public display for two weeks from June 16 when the Race Village opens, until the start on Sunday July 1.

Also on public display will be four iconic solo circumnavigation yachts: Suhaili, the yacht that carried Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to victory in the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, together with Bernard Moitessier's rival entry Joshua, and the two yachts that pioneered this solo circumnavigation record with one-stop, Sir Francis Chichester's Gipsy Moth IV (1966/7), and Lively Lady, sailed by Sir Alec Rose in 1967/8.

The two week build-up to the Race start will be packed with activities and displays that will carry visitors back in time to that golden age of sailing when sailors relied simply on the wind and their wits, navigating by sextant and paper charts without any outside assistance, GPS and other electronic or digital aids.

Also planned is a film festival celebrating the sea and man's pioneering spirit, presentations by some of the world's biggest sailing names, including Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, and a full entertainment programme on the main stage each evenin

How to follow the Race

There are plenty of opportunities to watch the start of the GGR from the harbour wall and promontories around Les Sables d'Olonne, as well as at sea. Once the fleet has sailed over the horizon, the yachts will be tracked 24/7 with regular updates on individual positions within the fleet, coupled with wind and weather conditions viewed on the website goldengloberace.com.

In addition, skippers have the ability to send short text updates every 6 hours, which will be posted directly on the web site. Live video updates of radio interviews with the skippers speaking to Race Control will published on Facebook, together with a weekly video roundup. The public can subscribe to receive these updates throughout the race by going to goldengloberace.com.

In addition, the public can join the race by entering the Sail Online GGR Virtual Race. Each entrant is allocated an identical boat with similar performance polars to the real yachts, but unlike the GGR skippers, virtual competitors have the benefit of real-time weather information which is released into the race model at 10 minute intervals, producing an ever changing wind and wave situation that makes the virtual game as close to reality as possible. And adding further realism to the experience, the live online tracker information from the real yachts can be overlaid on the virtual course allowing virtual sailors to compare their navigation efforts against those competing in the GGR.

The Sailonline Virtual Race will commence at the same time as the GGR on July 1st and will be split into two natural legs from Les Sables d'Olonne to Hobart, and from Storm Bay, where the GGR skippers must stop for at least 90 minutes, back to the French finish line. For further information go to www.sailonline.org

Storm Bay, Tasmania is the middle 'gate' that all GGR yachts must pass through, where skippers will hand over film, logs, tape recordings and letters. The Race Rules forbid any outside assistance, so no one can board the boats or hand across spare parts, but family and media will get an opportunity to provide moral support and interview each skipper as they pass through. The Hobart Gate will be assisted by The Royal Yacht Club Tasmania, while the outward Canaries Gate set off Lanzarote is supported by Rubicon Marina. The Falklands Yacht Club will assist at the final Gate after rounding Cape Horn.

The leaders are expected to complete the 30,000 mile solo circumnavigation in around 240 days.

For more information visit event website, www.goldengloberace.com

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