50th anniversary celebrated with a re-run of the race in similar low-tech boats
2018 Golden Globe Race announced
Australian yachtsman and adventurer Don McIntyre has chosen to mark the 50th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s first successful ascent of the ‘Everest of the Seas’ – the non-stop, solo unassisted circumnavigation – with a repeat of the Golden Globe Race.
It will start off Falmouth on 14 June 2018, 50 years to the day that Sir Robin left the same waters on his epic voyage in 1968, and the purse is £75,000, 15 times the original purse. McIntyre chose today to announce the Race as it is the 46th anniversary of Sir Robin’s return to Falmouth in 1969. The entry fee is thought to be around £5,000 and those arriving back in Falmouth before 1525 on 22 April 2019 will have their entry fee refunded for beating Sir Robin’s original time.
The Race has been limited to 20 entrants, and by invitation only, sailing production boats of 32-36ft, long-keeled and with keel-hung rudders, designed before 1988. That specification, intended to ensure the race is run in boats similar to Sir Robin’s Suhaili, restricts the range of designs to 13. However, the organisers may accept non-production yachts that fit the description. Barry Pickthall of PPL Media, the Race’s publicity supremo, said ‘We’ve been contacted by someone who owns a replica of Suhaili. Of course, he would be eligible to compete.’ Entrants must be 18 or over at the time of the start and must have at least 8,000 miles of ocean sailing experience, plus another 2,000 miles’ solo experience, in any boat by 1 March 2018.
There are technology restrictions too. The boats will be allowed High Frequency Single Side Band radios to contact family and friends, as was the case in 1968, but they will not be allowed GPS, AIS, or any navigational aids not available to those running the original race.
There will be two satellite phones onboard each boat, but they can only dial race control to raise the alarm in an emergency. There is also a satellite tracking device so that race control can follow the boats’ progress, whose output is not available to the skippers, and a radar target enhancing device to make the boats visible to radar if rescue becomes necessary.
‘It’s a race where adventure takes precedence over winning at all costs, and where the achievement truly belongs to the skipper,’ said 2018 Race founder Don McIntyre. ‘It’s a race where sailing skill and traditional seamanship gets you round, rather than modern technology and outside support.’
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, winner of the original race, said ‘I’m a great believer in the freedom of the individual, and this race is an opportunity for those who want to do something special with their lives. You can enter this race in an ordinary seaworthy boat and know that success will be down to personal drive and determination, and not to the biggest budget. I intend to be at the start with Suhaili to celebrate this anniversary and expect to be joined by two other yachts that competed in the original Sunday Times Race.’