23 skippers from around the world are preparing for what is arguably one of the longest sporting events in the world - the 2022 Golden Globe Race
The Golden Globe Race course will include four compulsory film drop points during the 2022 edition of the round the world yacht race.
The changes were confirmed at a press conference, held just under six months before the start of the event on 4 September 2022 in Les Sables d’Olonne, France.
23 skippers are currently preparing for the solo, non-stop round-the-world race, with no assistance, no GPS and no modern electronics on board.
It is considered by many to be the longest sporting event in the world.
During the Golden Globe Race 2022, the sailors will have to go around four compulsory rounding marks: Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Cape Town in South Africa, Hobart in Australia and Punta del Este in Uruguay.
During the 2018 Golden Globe Race, competitors were just required to sail to gates at Lanzarote and Hobart.
This change in the Golden Globe Race course will enable skippers to drop their recorded videos and photos at these four gates without getting in contact with anyone and without docking, allowing them to share their stories.
The original 1968-69 Golden Globe Race was won by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston – he was the only one to finish.
50 years later, the retro race was re-launched by Australian sailor Don McIntyre. 17 skippers crossed the start line, with French offshore legend, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede taking the crown.
Some of the skippers in the 2018-19 race are returning again for 2022.
Australian Mark Sinclair is already making his way to the start line.
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The skipper, which is known as Captain Coconut after his Lello 34, left Adelaide for France in December, exactly three years after he stopped his 2018 race.
Barnacle growth on the hull of his yacht Coconut and a lack of water were the reasons for ‘pausing’ his race, and Sinclair hopes to finish his one-stop circumnavigation in April. He has already rounded Cape Horn and is heading up the Atlantic towards the equator.
Other skippers will be experiencing the Golden Globe Race for the first time.
American Elliott Smith is the youngest sailor taking part. The 27-year-old, who started sailing less than four years ago, is still preparing his Gale Force 34, Second Wind.
Others are already out on the water, testing and modifying their tactics ahead of the race start.
Some of the skippers who have signed up have already experienced offshore races.
Britain’s Simon Curwen is a Mini Transat veteran, and was the first non-French finisher in the race in 2001.
Damien Guillou of France is being backed by PRB, sponsor of two Vendée Globe winning campaigns.
He has competed in the Tour de France à la Voile and Figaro Bénéteau Class as well as sailing IMOCAs with the likes of Jean Le Cam and Bernard Stamm.
Guillou prepared Jean Le Cam’s boat for the 2016 Vendée Globe and Kevin Escoffier’s Imoca PRB for the 2020 Vendée Globe.
Others have already sailed around the world, like the UK’s Ian Herbert-Jones, former Clipper Race crew and Guy Waites, who was first mate in the 2017-18 Clipper Round the World Race before becoming the skipper of Dare to Lead in the 2019-20 edition.
Others are veteran offshore racers.
Robin Davie, who sails out of his home port of Falmouth, Cornwall, has solo circumnavigated around the world three times in the 1990, 1994 and 1998 BOC Challenge Around Alone Race.
For others, it is a case of unfinished business.
New Zealand’s Graham Dalton, the elder brother of America’s Cup’s Grant Dalton, will be aiming to sail solo around the world and win.
The 68-year-old has taken place in two editions of the Velux 5 Oceans – in 2003 his yacht was dismasted close to Cape Horn, while in 2007 he finished the race but outside the time allowance.
But he may have a run for his money.
David Scott Cowper is undoubtedly the most experienced skipper in the race.
The multiple solo circumnavigator was the first person to sail solo around the world in both directions and to circumnavigate, solo, via the Northwest Passage.
He has sailed six Northwest Passage transits and finishing the 2022 Golden Globe Race would bring his tally of circumnavigations around the world to seven.
There is no doubt it will be an exhilarating race to follow. www.yachtingmonthly.com/goldengloberace
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