• September 18 GGR Update


    Following in Bernard Moitessier's wake? Australian Mark Sinclair made an impromptu stop in Table Bay to hand across films, just as French sailing legend Bernard Moitessier did during the inaugural GGR 50 years before – then inexplicably continued cruising around the Cape and up the east coast towards Port Elizabeth, rather than follow the fleet down into the Southern Ocean. Photo: Riaan Smit. Click on image to enlarge.

    Golden Globe Race 73-year old Jean-Luc Van Den Heede continues to defy his age and best efforts of the chasing pack of Golden Globe Race skippers to extend his lead across the South Indian Ocean to 9+ days over the past week. The Frenchman is now a complete weather system ahead of his closest rivals and expects to pass Cape Leeuwin, the second of the three main Capes next weekend. He also remains on course for his compulsory stop in Hobart at the BoatShed.com film drop on October 3.

    Before the start from Les Sables d'Olonne on July 1st, the best computer predictions suggested that the winner could complete a sub-200 day solo circumnavigation. Well, according to the YB tracker today, Jean-Luc's Rustler 36 Matmut will return to the Vendee port in 199 days! That is based on her 5.2knot average over the last 24 hours, which has to be optimistic, but with this septuagenarian, anything seems possible. Before today the worst thing to have happened has been a lost sailing croc, dropped overboard last week, but today Van Den Heede reported his first breakage. "The shackle connecting the halyard and top swivel on my staysail came undone. I had to climb the mast to the 2nd spreader to reconnect them - I'm too old to be doing this! He admitted.

    1,100 miles astern, 2nd placed Dutchman Mark Slats sailing the rival Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick, has dropped a further 300 miles behind Matmut during the past week. He has reported concerns about the state of his halyards, for without headsail roller furling systems, the constant changing of sails is causing considerable chafe. Another disadvantage is the need to drag the sails down below to repack them, which makes the inside of the boat both wet and cold.

    There is much more of a fight for third place. The 13:00 report placed Gregor McGuckin's Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance just 1 miles ahead of Abhilash Tomy's Indian Thuriya, a modern replica of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's Suhaili. The Irishman texted: 'MID INDIAN OCEAN & ABHILASH IS IN SIGHT ABOUT A MILE AWAY!'

    Thuriya is the surprise package in this 50th anniversary of the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. Even Sir Robin predicted that she would be slow compared to the production yachts but she and her skipper are proving to be exceptionally fast in the Southern Ocean, having moved up from 10th to challenge for 3rd place since rounding the Cape of Good Hope. -- Barry Pickthall

    Latest positions at 08:00 UTC today 17.9.18
    1. Jean- Luc VDH (FRA), Rustler 36 Matmut 15304 nm to finish
    2. Mark Slats (NED) Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick, 1133 nm to leader
    3. Gregor McGuckin (IRE) Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance, 1292
    4. Abhilash Tomy (IND) Suhaili replica Thuriya, 1300
    5. Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All, 1558
    6. Susie Goodall GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight, 2155
    7. Istvan Kopar (USA)Tradewind 35 Puffin, 2332
    8. Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria, 2369
    9. Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Endurance 35 Esmeralda, 3222
    10. Mark Sinclair (Aus) Lello 34 Coconut, 3531


    FRENCH LANGUAGE REPORT 17/09/2018 #GGR2018

    " Matmut in perfect condition and me too!", such was the message last night of Jean-Luc van den heede after more than 77 days of race. Nothing seems to have to stop the insolent progression of the race leader. Well installed in a moderate North-West stream and a manageable sea, the Dean of the grh 2018 maintains, see still slightly increases his advance on the first platoon of pursuers, remote of nearly 1300 miles!

    In this small group in the order of Mark Slats, Gregor Mcguckin, Abhilash Tomy and uku randmaa, the progression is relatively fast, beyond the 6 knots for the first three. The South-West Wind, which is currently pushing them, is expected to wither in two days, and a calm zone is expected to slow them down on Wednesday, before a good north-West wind quickly expels the North-West. A small accordion effect that will not suffer Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, less than 1000 miles from the Australian coast now.

    Note this morning that the Indian ocean is successful in abhilash tomy. He's still a little on gregor mcgukkin this weekend. It is only about 4,3 miles away from the Irish and may quickly delight him in the third place of the podium, while uku randmaa continues to lose a little field, at 4,3 knots on the edge of a narrow Zone without wind.

    750 miles behind Estonian, Susie Goodall, who starts dreaming of fresh food, walks strong this morning, at nearly 8 knots in a moderate south wind. It is now sneaking between several areas of high pressure that will soon generate North-East winds, forcing the English to sail once again... Fortunately, this flow will gradually fire north and then north - West by strengthening from Wednesday.

    230 miles in his wake, istvan the has taken advantage of tapio lehtinen for a week and seems to slide more easily east this morning (7,2 against 5,7 knots). Like Susie, they're gonna have to dial with a little bit before they find good, healthy winds, but a little earlier than her, which should allow them to go back a little bit on the English.

    Only in Chichester, loic lepage came back after his stop in Cape Town. Since his new departure, he has made a very beautiful trajectory, hurtling south to cross the strong opposite from East Africa before moving to the east with the rotation of the same current becoming carrier 200 Miles South of the tip of Africa. He even managed to send his first text message since the involuntary deprogramming of his yb3 beacon!

    Even if he does not do the same race, he doubled Igor Zaretskiy, who has clearly lowered his rhythm but will be pushed again by a good northwest breeze that will gradually turn south and lift a more difficult sea. As for Mark Sinclair, it is difficult to describe his current trajectory near African coasts. What is sure is that the more he will wait to get down to the great south and the more difficult it will be It is close to the strong current that descends from the coast and it will soon oppose the North-West wind to come, rising a difficult sea, see dangerous...

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