Michael Guggenberger has passed the Azores and is expected to cross the finish line next week
Michael Guggenberger is predicting he will cross the 2022 Golden Globe Race finish line next week.
The Austrian solo skipper, who is sailing the only ketch in the fleet – his Biscay 36, Nuri, has passed the Azores and is now heading towards the Bay of Biscay.
‘I would love to be there [the finish at Les Sables d’Olonne] on the 10th or 12th of May but it is hard to say. The weather is crazy, I actually have a good wind from the west but the seas are lumpy. It is very uncomfortable,’ he said.
‘It is really annoying when you can’t do anything on the boat when it is jumping around like crazy.’
Guggenberger experienced good sailing conditions earlier in the week, due to a low pressure system north of Nuri.
He said he is able to contact shore stations on his HF radio, which are giving him positions of the highs and lows, and the forecasted winds.
The 44-year-old carpenter passed close to the Azores.
‘I saw the house and boats off the Azores so I have seen civilisation there, as I was really close. I had whales yesterday night, really close to the boat and I have had dolphins the last two days, probably 100,’ he said.
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He also shared that he was being particularly careful with his last remaining winch handle – having broken one and lost another overboard.
Guggenberger and South African Jeremy Bagshaw are the last of the skippers left racing towards the Golden Globe Race finish line.
Each evening, they have a regular HF radio schedule.
Bagshaw, 59, who is sailing the OE32, Olleanna, has also been making good progress towards the Azores
He said he has tried to forecast an ETA – around 27th or 28th May.
‘I am actually sailing along quite nicely. I’ve got a decent breeze and making good progress. The wind is a little bit to the east so I have been able to make north and slightly east of north, which is welcome relief. You always try and forecast an ETA but it is early days; it is just an activity to keep the brain active at the moment,’ said Bagshaw, who is in the Chichester Class for entrants who make landfall; he stopped in Hobart to remove barnacles and re-antifoul the hull of his boat.
He said his boat and gear were holding up well, and he has just a bit of fouling on Olleanna‘s hull.
‘There are a few tiny mussels clustered around the topsides and I’ve got a few tiny barnacles on the trailing edge of the rudder, but other than that, nothing at all.’
He is filling his days with reading and diary writing. ‘I am just a guy who shakes out the reefs, everything else is taken care of,’ he added.
Meanwhile Guy Waites, who retired from the race after failing to reach the deadline for the Hobart Gate, has now crossed his outgoing track and has officially sailed solo around the world.
Waites made landfall in Cape Town, and lifted out his Tradewind 35, Sagarmatha to remove the carpet of gooseneck barnacles from the hull before re-antifouling.
He then had to make a further stop in Hobart, after he lost his liferaft and PLB when the boat was knocked down while sailing through 10m waves.
The Scarborough-based sailor is in the top end of the trades and is currently heading towards the equator. He is around 2,000 miles behind Jeremy Bagshaw, and should reach Les Sables d’Olonne by 13-14 June 2023.
Positions of the Golden Globe Race 2022 skippers on 05 May 2023 at 1200 UTC
Kirsten Neuschafer, (South Africa), Cape George 36 cutter, Minnehaha – FINISHED 1st
Abhilash Tomy, (India), Rustler 36, Bayanat – FINISHED 2nd
Michael Guggenberger, (Austria), Biscay 36, Nuri – 839nm to the finish
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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