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Guy Waites of Scarborough Yacht Club crosses start line in Golden Globe Race 2022

by Chris Clark 4 Sep 2022 23:49 BST
Cheers as Guy Waites of Scarborough Yacht Club crosses start line in Golden Globe Race 2022 © SYC

Following an August shakedown race from Gijon, Spain to les Sables d' Olonne to test both vessels and skippers' preparedness for the competitors, 16 competitors, down from an expected 25, made it to the 3pm Start Line.

The preliminary race, called the SITran Challenge, was not without incident as contestant Abhilash Tomy's yacht Bayanat collided with a Dutch ship on 15th August, suffering near race-threatening damage.

As Guy has said frequently, the hardest part of the race, apart from winning it, is getting to the start line on time with a certified seaworthy vessel.

The race has one female skipper, the highly rated 39 year old Kirsten Neuschafer, from South Africa, competing on Yacht Minnehaha.

Yachts are expected to be out for less than 240 days, and completion times are a closely guarded secret. There is no handicapping, it is the first across the line that is declared the winner.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnson congratulated Scarborough Yacht Club (SYC) for their vigorous support of Guy. SYC's Commodore, Clive Murray stated 'I've confidence Guy has an excellent chance of winning, and we look forward to him crossing the finish line in first position. Hats off from us to all competitors.'

From childhood, Guy has been drawn to sailing, and it wasn't long before he had dreams of international races, including the Ostar, BOC Challenge, and Vendée Globe, but these were financially out of reach.

Scarborough Yacht Club members were present at Sables d' Olonne, and club members at the Club bar watched the start on a live stream, demonstrating considerable support for Guy's event. The start was also given coverage in yesterday's Times.

For the GGR, getting funds to start the race was also a challenge. Guy decided to raise funds as much as possible by asking the Scarborough and Yorkshire communities and small businesses. He was delighted with the sponsorship and support from Scarborough Town, Scarborough Business Ambassadors, and wider areas, and the many donations from the public, and corporate sponsors.

He's also been thrilled with the support of Scarborough Yacht Club and the club has been delighted to enthusiastically assist. Apart from Globe Yacht Club, run by the organisers, the UK's Scarborough Yacht Club is the only Sailing Club that has stepped in so firmly behind one of its members in supporting their GGR 2022 entry, through cash donations and vigorous race prep support.

Guy has wanted to show that a top level international event could be funded through a grassroots initiative, and today's start line crossing proved he was successful.

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