The 2018 Golden Globe Race was solo sailor Uku Randmaa's second circumnavigation of the world. He shares his heavy weather tactics and experiences of ocean storms

Uku Randmaa was more fortunate than many of the 2018 Golden Globe Race skippers.

He managed to miss the worst of the storms and his Rustler 36 masthead sloop, One and All was only knocked down four times.

Uku Randmaa in wet weather gear and a head torch leaving Hobart

Uku Randmaa struggled with his SSB radio, which had a limited range. Credit: Christophe Favreau/PPL/GGR

Randmaa’s storm tactics were also based on the principal that you ‘need speed to stay up’, preferring to have some sail up to keep sailing downwind.

He only used warps twice, when the wind was coming from the north, in order to maintain his position and prevent him from being pushed back.

A Golden Globe Race skipper sitting on his yacht at the race start

Poor provision planning meant Uku Randmaa lost 20kg during the race. Credit: Christophe Favreau/PPL/GGR

Outside of storm conditions he used twin headsails.

But the Estonian sailor was not so lucky with his communications.

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His SSB radio set only worked within a 30 miles radius and like other race entrants,  he found getting a response from ships difficult.

Randmaa’s most serious issue during the race was almost running out of food. He lost 20kg, surviving on freeze dried meals and cup of soups for half of the race.

Uku Randmaa holds a flare as he celebrates his arrival to Les Sables d'Olonne

Arriving in Les Sables d’Olonne and a podium finish. Credit: Jane Zhou/GGR/PPL

He had just three packets of powdered soup left when he crossed the finish line. In comparison, his nearest rival Istvan Kopar had enough food for another circumnavigation.

‘There was no calculation at all when it came to the food,’ admitted Randmaa. ‘My problem was that I didn’t have enough carbohydrate, not enough pasta and rice. On the sea I am not a strong eater. If I did physical work, I got tired early, but it was not a major problem.’

Randmaa finished the race in third place in a time of 254 days, 18 hours, 40 minutes.

He previously completed a solo voyage ot Iceland and back on his Hanse 430 Temptation before sailing solo around the world with stops between 2011 and 2012.

Read the full report Storm Tactics From The Golden Globe Race in the Summer 2019 issue of Yachting Monthly – Available here: