Michael Guggenberger is the fourth Golden Globe Race skipper to pass through the Hobart gate, having remained in Storm Bay for 48 hours to prepare his boat for the next leg

Michael Guggenberger has now passed the half way point in the 2022 Golden Globe Race and is heading for Cape Horn.

The Austrian solo sailor spent nearly two days at the race’s Hobart gate in Storm Bay sleeping and making alterations to the mizzen of his Biscay 36 ketch, Nuri.

He has sewn a second reef into his mizzen sail. He believes this will improve the balance of the boat in heavy weather while sailing the next leg.

Nuri is the only ketch in the Golden Globe Race fleet.

‘ I am happy with the ketch rig. I have thought a lot about it and I am going to sew another reef in while I am here [in Hobart] because I tried it temporarily in the big winds and it stabilises the boat in big winds,’ he said.

A sailor with a beard and wearing an orange hat

Michael Guggenberger grew his beard after crossing the Equator. He shaved it off before leaving Hobart. Credit: Aida Valceanu/GGR2022

Guggenberger said Nuri had been knocked down twice while sailing from Cape Town to Hobart, although the weather wasn’t bad enough to run warps.

‘The huge ones [storms] are easier to handle than the little ones. I got knocked down twice, with the mast in the water twice. I ended up having the storm jib up for 20 hours and the boat was running nicely with that.’

He said down below, Nuri was still a dry boat although ‘a bit stinky’. His water tank is also contaminated, and he believes he has water in his diesel tank.

‘I’ve lost 150 litres of water. I am currently using it for washing and cleaning my teeth but it is getting more and more salty. I still have plenty of liquids onboard; I still have 125 cans of lemon soda, which is 30 litres of liquid. I’ve got bottles of wine left too. I had been told that I would collect water down here but in fact, it is in the tropics where I collected the most water – once 50 litres in an hour,’ he shared, while drinking a bottle of celebratory beer after mooring off Kingston Beach.

Guggenberger talked about his navigation, explaining that he sets waypoints each Sunday as he navigates around the world. He is happy with his sextant and celestial navigation.

Sailor Michael Guggenberger wearing an orange hat and a black lifejacket leaning over his boat

Michael Guggenberger learnt to sail ten years ago. He is currently in fourth place in the 2022 Golden Globe Race. Credit: Aida Valceanu/GGR2022

‘The navigation is getting better and better. I trust myself or I know when not to trust my readings. The navigation is fantastic actually.’

He said the highlights so far have been the wildlife.

‘I am actually very happy. I’ve not seen huge amounts of [marine rubbish], but I have seen a lot of whales. I had a family sleeping next to me for about 10 days.
The small one in the group was the size of the boat. The seals are very funny, and I’ve seen them in the middle of the Indian Ocean far away from islands. I am looking forward to rounding Cape Horn and getting back to Les Sables d’Olonne.’

Michael Guggenberger is currently in fourth place in the 2022 Golden Globe Race.

Continues below…

South African skipper Jeremy Bagshaw is expected to reach the Hobart gate early next week.

He is sailing the smallest boat in the race, the OE32, Olleanna, although the vessel does have the longest waterline.

Olleanna was sailed by Norwegian sailor Are Wiig in the 2018 Golden Globe Race.

Wiig was forced to retire after the boat was rolled 360° and dismasted around 400 miles south west of Cape Town; he managed to cut away the mast and then sailed under jury rig to Cape Town.

The OE32, Olleanna, is currently becalmed, with her skipper, Jeremy Bagshaw making just 52 miles in the last 24 hours. Credit: John Stickland

Jeremy Bagshaw should be in Hobart within the next 5-6 days. Credit: John Stickland

Bagshaw bought the OE32, and refitted the boat. He also fitted a Sparcraft mast, which had additional reinforcing and strengthening ahead of the race.

British skipper Ian Herbert-Jones, who is sailing the Tradewind 35, Puffin, is just under a week away from Bagshaw.

He has now passed Cape Leeuwin, and is currently sailing through a low pressure system as he heads towards Hobart.

Guy Waites, who is the only entrant in the Chichester Class, after stopping in Cape Town to remove the barnacles from the hull of his Tradewind 35 masthead sloop, is still over 4,000 miles from Hobart.

Under race rules, he has to arrive by 31 January 2023 in order to be able to continue sailing Sagarmatha towards Cape Horn.

Guy Waites sailing his Tradewind 35 boat in the Golden Globe Race 2022. The hull of the boat is covered in barnacle growth

Guy Waites has been sailing fast over the last few days, but will it be enough to reach Hobart in time? Credit: Nora Havel/GGR

But, Waites has been posting some of his best boat speeds over the last few days, achieving 168.7 miles in the last 24 hours, the best performance of the fleet over the last seven days, and the best speed over four hours with 7.91 knots.

At the front of the fleet, Chichester sailor Simon Curwen is still leading, eager to increase the distance between his Biscay 36, Clara and fellow entrants Kirsten Neuschafer and Abhilash Tomy.

The winner of the 2018 Golden Globe Race, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede sailed from Hobart to Cape Horn in 51 days.

Current positions of the Golden Globe Race 2022 skippers on 5 January 2022 at 1000 UTC

Simon Curwen, (UK), Biscay 36, Clara
Kirsten Neuschafer, (South Africa), Cape George 36 cutter, Minnehaha
Abhilash Tomy, (India), Rustler 36, Bayanat
Michael Guggenberger, (Austria), Biscay 36, Nuri
Jeremy Bagshaw, (South Africa), OE32, Olleanna
Ian Herbert-Jones (UK), Tradewind 35, Puffin

Chichester Class:

Guy Waites (UK), Tradewind 35, Sagarmatha

Retired:

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


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