Please select your home edition
Edition
Crewsaver 2021 Safetyline LEADERBOARD

Dalton brothers take on Golden Globe and America's Cup!

by Don McIntyre 27 Feb 06:18 GMT
Golden Globe Race 2022 Chart © Suijuan Zhou

One sails in the fastest, most sophisticated and prestigious sailing challenge in the world, all over in just minutes! The other is attempting the longest, loneliest, most demanding and slowest race, for any individual in any sport on the planet. The Dalton family wants it all! With the America's Cup just days away and the third edition of the grueling eight month solo Golden Globe Race starting next year, the contrast is extreme.

Graham Dalton, the elder brother of New Zealand's America's Cup supremo Grant Dalton, has entered in the 2022 Golden Globe Race. The gritty 66-year old from Auckland has unfinished business - to sail solo around the world and win! Two previous attempts have ended in disappointment. In the 2003 Velux 5 Oceans, a four-stop solo circumnavigation he was dismasted close to Cape Horn and in 2007 he completed the same race but outside the time allowance.

Grant Dalton on the other hand has sailed all the major international Ocean races and won, including the Withbread Around the world Race and of course the America's cup. His dreams happened. It does not get any bigger or better. His big brother has had his dream since childhood. Inspired as a schoolboy by Sir Francis Chichester's solo one-stop circumnavigation in Gypsy Moth IV back in 1966/7, he recalls: "Many of my friend's parents had yachts and their boys would talk about Chichester's adventure in the playground saying 'That's what I'm going to do - sail around the world'. I knew they wouldn't, but I made a commitment - and every day since, this has been my goal."

But entering the next GGR non-stop solo round the world race, starting from Les Sables d'Olonne, France on September 4, 2022 has not been straightforward. Having been dismasted, suffered broken rudders, and torn sails, 4 fractured ribs, and endured chronic food poisoning during previous attempts, Graham says: "This time, I waited until I said to myself that I wanted to do this again three days in a row before making the commitment. It has taken some time to resolve."

The decision was made only after a lot of soul searching and self analysis. Graham is a determined, tenacious character with great self belief, - many of the attributes shared with his younger brother Grant. The big difference between the two is that while Grant is happy to court the media spotlight, Graham is not. "I'd rather not have any publicity. I don't need it because I won't have a sponsor. It's just a distraction that I can do without" He says. If it were possible, I sense that he would prefer to just turn up at the start dressed like the anonymous Japanese masked wrestler The Great Sasuka and take on all challengers. He's happiest with his own company and a project to focus on. The media bruha and contact with the outside world - even competitors - he would just as happily do without. The perfect mindset for a solo sailor you might say.

But third time around, Graham has been asking questions - of himself and to others. One of these is about mental preparedness. A good American friend who had spent 23 years as a US Navy Seal advised: 'The brave don't live for ever, but the cautious never live.' He now has the inscription on his study wall at home, alongside the badly buckled titanium steering wheel from his last yacht smashed by a wave as a reminder of what can happen at sea. And the message? I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't finish up on a bulkhead within his yacht to bolster his mindset when things go awry as they undoubtedly will at some point during this 30,000 mile battle against the elements.

Another mentor is Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, the 73-year old French sailor who led the 2018 Golden Globe Race from the Cape of Good Hope all the way back to the finish. Graham has bought Van Den Heede's Rustler 36 Matmut which bettered Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's winning time set in the first Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968/9 by 100 days. He has not only bought the winning yacht but hopes to benefit from the great knowledge and experience gained by the 6-time solo circumnavigator Jean-Luc.

If Coronavirus travel restrictions allow, Dalton plans to travel to France in May to complete the yacht's fit-out and sailing trials before setting out into the Atlantic on a 2,000 mile qualification solo sail to sweep away any lingering doubts. "I've got some ideas how to make Matmut even faster. I've no interest in simply sailing around the world again. It is the competitive aspect that really appeals. I've entered the GGR to win, and without distractions I think I can." He says.

His brother Grant is of the same mindset. He has taken on the greatest high-tech sailing challenge on earth and won. In the next few days he puts it all on the line once again. Dreams don't come any bigger! The family conversations must be quite interesting!

Related Articles

World capital of single-handed ocean racing
Les Sables d'Olonne is now preparing to welcome you for the next great adventures Port Olona, with its high-quality infrastructures, the infamous channel that so many great sailors have sailed through, the South-facing bay and the Atlantic ocean landing its waves to the expansive beach... Posted on 24 Mar
Les Sables d'Olonne France official launch
28 entrants from 11 countries signed on The 1968 Golden Globe was the first ever around the world yacht race. Since then, legends like the only finisher and winner Sir Robin Knox Johnston, and Bernard Moitessier have inspired many sailors and created new Around the world races. Posted on 23 Mar
Damien Guillou & PRB enter Golden Globe Race 2022
Preparing to take up an extraordinary challenge At 38, the Breton will live alone at sea for more than 200 days for a round the world nonstop, without assistance and without modern means of communication, the Golden Globe Race. Posted on 19 Mar
Cup news, Vendee Globe finishers, GGR 2022 update
Latest newsletter from Sail-World's David Schmidt in the USA While the America's Cup World Series and the Prada Cup delivered a chance to see AC75s lock horns on the racecourse, it also gave the world a much-needed chance to see what life looks like at the end of the coronavirus tunnel. Posted on 2 Mar
Melissa Payne takes helm for 2022 GGR and 2023 OGR
The Golden Globe Race currently has 28 entrants from 11 countries Following a 12 month Media blackout with respect to the Global Pandemic, The 2022 Golden Globe and 2023 Ocean Globe Races are now back in the news with a permanent office opened in Les Sables d'Olonne, France. Posted on 25 Feb
Top 10 Biggest Sailing Stories of 2020 part 2
Mark Jardine and Andy Rice chat about the top five articles The top five articles from 2020 on Sail-World.com and YachtsandYachting.com. Mark Jardine chats with Sailjuice's Andy Rice about the stories that you've read most! Posted on 31 Dec 2020
Marlow Ropes partner with Ian Herbert Jones
As the UK Skipper prepares for the 2022 Golden Globe Race Marlow Ropes are proud to announce that they are the Official Rope Supplier for Golden Globe Race 2022 skipper Ian Herbert Jones. Posted on 27 Nov 2020
Cape Horners launch solo circumnavigators register
Those who have completed solo circumnavigations via the Three Great Capes The IACH has taken on the mantle of maintaining an official register of those who have completed solo circumnavigations via the Three Great Capes - Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn. Posted on 30 Oct 2020
Celebrating offshore success and the CCA's awards
Latest Sail-World newsletter from David Schmidt in the USA The Cruising Club of America's annual awards are a great opportunity to celebrate offshore sailing in the depths of winter. Posted on 25 Feb 2020
Two Golden Globe Race sailors honoured
Recognised by the Cruising Club of America The Cruising Club of America awarded GGR 2018-2019 winner Jean-Luc Van den Heede with the 2019 Blue Water Medal for his achievements in single-handed sailing, notably six solo circumnavigations. Posted on 19 Feb 2020