A Taiwanese fishing vessel has diverted to rescue Golden Globe Race skipper Ian Herbert-Jones. His yacht was rolled and dismasted in an extreme storm 900 miles ENE of the Falkland Islands

Ian Herbert-Jones has suffered a back and shoulder injury and cut his head after his Tradewind 35, Puffin was rolled and dismasted in extreme weather while taking part in the 2022 Golden Globe Race.

The British solo sailor was hand steering through confused 7.7m seas and 50 knot winds, gusting 70 knots, when the yacht was rolled. He had been sailing under bare poles and had attempted to deploy his drogue to control the boat, but was unable to due to the extreme conditions.

The former Clipper Race sailor activated his EPIRB and then his Yellow Brick distress signal manually at 1725UTC on 10 April. The rescue operation is being directed by MRCC Argentina.

Puffin was sailed to fourth place in the 2018 Golden Globe Race by Istvan Kopar. Credit: Ian Herbert-Jones

Puffin is a Tradewind 35 cutter. Credit: Ian Herbert-Jones

A Taiwanese fishing vessel Zi Da Wang, which is around 90 miles from Puffin, has diverted course and should arrive at the scene around 1900 UTC today. A rescue attempt will be made, depending on the weather conditions.

The weather in the area has begun to ease, with forecasted southwesterly 34 knot winds, gusting 47 knots and 8 metre seas. This will allow Ian Herbert-Jones to attempt to cut away the rig from Puffin, which risks holing the boat.

Puffin‘s manual bilge pump is working, and the yacht is not sinking.

Ian Herbert-Jones wearing a hat while sailing

Ian Herbert-Jones needs to cut away the rest of the rig from his Tradewind 35, Puffin, to prevent it from damaging the boat’s hull in the extreme conditions. Credit: Ian Herbert-Jones

In a call to Golden Globe Race HQ, Ian Herbert-Jones said: ‘I have had better days. The rig came down and the mast is still banging against the side of the hull at the moment; I’ve not been able to cut all the rigging away yet. I have got a lot of water, but it is under control. The weather is just crazy.’

‘My back is painful, I am running out of movement fast. I’ve damaged my shoulder, have a gash on my head but it is my back which is stopping me moving around well.’

Ian Herbert-Jones – who fitted a new Seldén mast to Puffin ahead of the race start – also reported that he had been washed out of the cockpit twice and was struggling to keep the boat sailing downwind.

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A UK flagged 50m fisheries patrol vessel, The Lilibet, which is approximately 300 miles south of Puffin’s position, was diverted but has now been stood down. Depsite this, the crew are still heading towards Puffin’s position.

Ian Herbert-Jones was notified of the extreme weather by Golden Globe Race HQ, which issues weather alerts to entrants if forecasted winds are 35 knots or above.

The 52-year-old sailor had only just made repairs to his Hydrovane windvane steering after his yacht suffered multiple knockdowns while rounding Cape Horn in 60 knot gusts and 7 metre seas.

a boat in a snow storm

Ian Herbert-Jones leaving the anchorage at Picton Island, having made repairs to his Hydrovane. Credit: Caroline and Mark van de Weg on SY Jonathan

At the time, Ian Herbert-Jones used his safety GPS and satellite phone to contact his shore manager while heading to Picton Island to make repairs, which put him in the Chichester Class.

The Shropshire sailor has made slow progress in the 2022 Golden Globe Race since leaving the race gate in Hobart. Headwinds and calms in the Pacific hampered his passage.

Ian Herbert-Jones up a mast

Ian Herbert-Jones learnt to sail in the Army over two decades ago. Credit: Ian Herbert-Jones

He made no secret of his concerns of sailing in the Furious Fifties and Roaring Forties so late in the season.

Ian Herbert-Jones, who prepared Puffin well for the 30,000 mile Golden Globe Race, bought the Tradewind 35 cutter from Istvan Kopar, who came fourth in the 2018 Golden Globe Race.

NOTE: This article has been updated following the standing down of The Lilibet.

Current positions of the Golden Globe Race 2022 skippers on 11 April 2022 at 0900 UTC

Kirsten Neuschafer, (South Africa), Cape George 36 cutter, Minnehaha
Abhilash Tomy, (India), Rustler 36, Bayanat
Michael Guggenberger, (Austria), Biscay 36, Nuri

Chichester Class:

Simon Curwen, (UK), Biscay 36, Clara
Jeremy Bagshaw, (South Africa), OE32, Olleanna


Edward Walentynowicz, (Canada), Rustler 36, Noah’s Jest
Guy deBoer, (USA), Tashiba 36, Spirit
Mark Sinclair (Australia), Lello 34, Coconut
Pat Lawless, (Ireland), Saltram Saga 36, Green Rebel
Damien Guillou, (France), Rustler 36, PRB
Ertan Beskardes, (UK), Rustler 36, Lazy Otter
Tapio Lehtinen, (Finland), Gaia 36, Asteria
Arnaud Gaist, (France), Barbican 33 Mk 2, Hermes Phoning
Elliot Smith,  (USA), Gale Force 34, Second Wind
Guy Waites (UK), Tradewind 35, Sagarmatha
Ian Herbert-Jones (UK), Tradewind 35, Puffin

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