• And Then There Were 10

    Jean-Luc Van Den Heede extends his lead
    Loïc Lepage stops in Cape Town
    Tapio Lehtinen and Istvan Kopar meet up in mid-ocean
    Igor Zaretskiy calls on the Doctor

    Day 71: Dateline 10.9.2018 – Les Sables d’Olonne, France
    As Jean-Luc Van Den Heede continues to set the pace across the South Indian Ocean, fellow Frenchman Loïc Lepage docked his Nicholson 32 Laaland in Cape Town, and Finland’s Tapio Lehtinen surprised himself and American/Hungarian Istvan Kopar by meeting up in mid-ocean.


    73-year old Van Den Heede and his Rustler 36 Matmut now have a healthy 7-day lead over Dutchman Mark Slats whose rival Rustler Ohpen Maverick lost a further day on the leader this week. He now has Ireland’s Gregor McGuckin (Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance) within a day’s distance behind after the Irishman clawed back 4 days this past week. India’s Abhilash Tomy sailing Thuriya, a replica of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili, winner of the first GGR 50 years ago, has also made big gains, overtaking Uku Randmaa’s Estonian Rustler 36 One and All at the weekend and move up to within a day of McGuckin.

    “This is fantastic…and just what I had hoped when conceiving this adventure three years ago” Says Race founder Don McIntyre, adding: “Now we have a Biscay 36 and a Suhaili replica chasing 2nd place which shows that any boat can win. It is all down to the skipper and their preparations. Jean-Luc’s lead is a product of very careful planning, preparation and execution born from five previous solo circumnavigations. He is showing that age is not a factor. By contrast, Mark Slats, who reported last week that he experienced the worst seas so far, is slowly losing his advantage, probably because of one decision – choosing to sail with hanked headsails rather than furling gear.”

    Igor Zaretskiy has been in a war zone too. The Russian requested medical advice last week after being thrown across the cockpit of his Endurance 35 Esmeralda and crashed against the liferaft. He was worried that he might have broken a rib or two but in stoical fashion, had no thought of stopping.

    Igor reported last week: “It’s blowing 25 knots for the third day in row, sometimes 30, and the waves are now 4m high. At times an abnormal wave hits us on the beam sending everything flying across the saloon. It’s a total mess inside. I’m tidying up every evening just to start it all over again in the morning.”

    Igor, who is expected to pass the Cape of Good Hope tonight, has also been plagued by the constant drip-drip of water leaking where the mainsheet track was torn away a few weeks ago, but this is nothing compared to the flooded hull Abhilash Tomy suffered twice last week. The Indian clearly had some respite yesterday, texting Race HQ: SUN APPEARED BRIEFLY LIKE RAINBOW AFTER BIBLICAL FLOODS. Whatever the problems, they are not slowing him down!

    Loïc Lepage arrived in Cape Town at 14:00 UTC last Saturday to replenish water supplies and have his SSB Radio, which he relies on to pick up weather forecasts, repaired or replaced. The Frenchman plans to resume in the Chichester Class for those who make one stop, on Wednesday.

    Australia’s Mark Sinclair is also planning a pit-stop off Cape Town to make an unscheduled film drop. The weather may conspire against him. Forecasters predict a big storm sweeping in on Wednesday. He and the other tail-enders have been given a weather/current alert from Race HQ saying that this storm, mixed with the counter Agulhas Current, could produce extremely dangerous seas in the area around the Cape.

    On Sunday Tapio Lehtinen woke up to the more pleasant surprise of seeing Istvan Kopar’s Tradewind 35 Puffin within a mile of him. “WOW” was Tapio’s response to Race HQ. The two were 360 miles south of the Cape of Good Hope and by 08:00 today, were still neck-and-neck despite Istvan reporting continued problems with his wind vane self steering.

    Susie Goodall, whose Rustler 36 DHL Starlight is trailing in 6th place, has the problem, like those astern, of being a complete weather system behind those in mid-fleet. It will be almost impossible for her to regain that lost ground in the Southern Ocean and her only hope now is that those ahead make mistakes.

    Latest positions at 08:00 UTC today 10.09.2018

    Jean- Luc VDH (FRA)Rustler 36 Matmut
    Mark Slats (NED)Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick
    Gregor McGuckin (IRE) Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance
    Abhilash Tomy (IND) Suhaili replica Thuriya
    Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All
    Susie Goodall (GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight
    Istvan Kopar (USA) Tradewind 35 Puffin
    Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria
    Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Endurance 35 Esmeralda
    Mark Sinclair (Aus) Lello 34 Coconut

    Loïc Lepage (FRA) Nicholson 32 Laaland

    Ertan Beskardes (GBR) Rustler 36 Lazy Otter
    Kevin Farebrother (AUS) Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha
    Nabil Amra (PAL) Biscay 36 Liberty II
    Antoine Cousot (FRA) Biscay 36 Métier Intérim
    Philippe Péché (FRA) Rustler 36 PRB
    Are Wiig (NOR) OE 32 Olleanna
    Francesco Cappelletti (ITA) Endurance 35 007


    " I am alone!" (I am alone! . This was expressed yesterday morning by the leader of the race. Jean-Luc van den heede took so much advance on his pursuers (1150 miles on Mark Slats) that he barely heard them on his radio great vibes, adding again to the feeling of isolation that hugged the skippers of the golden globe race 2018. and yes, even the Dean of the race, despite all his experience and the pleasure of being at sea that never left him throughout his long career seems to find time a little long...

    And for cause! Already almost 72 days of sea, without interruption, with only companion a regulator of allure on whom it must be counted, with whom it must be made, which must be understood all the subtleties to draw the best and continue to advance the As soon as possible, even if the finish line is still difficult to imagine... Jean-Luc van den heede can at least satisfy himself for spending half of the Indian, this ocean and tricky ocean that puts the threat without rest From the break, by its dangerous waves and violent winds.

    " there is always sea, it does not stop... He added yesterday... but the least we can say is that this great sailor bends with an insolent brilliance to this routine azing. Look at his trajectory, compared to the erratic ones of his pursuers. Since its entry into the great south, the leader of the race runs straight, at good speed, sometimes worn by the current, in line with the wind and the strongest sea, blocks always pointed east!

    Behind it is once more complicated and its competitors must envy the fluidity of its wake. Mark slats has to face the winds of East-North-East, which runs off the road and force him to climb north, in a sea messy by wind variations.

    Gregor Mcguckin and abhilash tomy are also forced to sail. Fortunately, tomorrow a breath will propel them again in the right direction, but they will still have lost ground...

    Still 700 miles behind uku, Susie Goodall is moving a path into a troubled system that could greatly brake his progression tomorrow, by opposing his bow a band of high pressure or North-East winds.

    At 200 miles, Tapio Lehtinen and istvan and already make up with winds of face and they will have to wait tomorrow afternoon to find the wearing. When to Igor Zaretskiy, if he peacefully celebrates his birthday (67 years) on the edge of a bubble without wind, he will soon be hit (tomorrow) by a solid North-West wind that will project him in the great south violently ...

    Mark Sinclair will escape to the biggest of this wind but will still be late by slowing down to drop his film films at table bay, near Cape Town from where loic lepage should jump tomorrow, water reserves!

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Golden Globe Race Ushers In July started by Photoboy View original post