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Golden Globe Entrants Sail Halfway Around the World to Make Race Startline!

27th January 2022
Kirsten Neuschäfer sails 14,000 miles solo to the start of the 2022 GGR
Kirsten Neuschäfer sails 14,000 miles solo to the start of the 2022 GGR

South African Kirsten Neuschäfer, the only woman in the Golden Globe, recently completed her GGR refit in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Canada, and is about to arrive home in Cape Town after an 8,000-mile solo non-stop sea trail, before heading 6,600 miles back to France.

Kirsten is a professional sailor, with over 200,000 miles of ocean experience, working with Skip Novak in remote, often hostile places in the Arctic and Antarctic. She chose the Cape George 36 design due to its long waterline, stability, seaworthiness, and generous rig. She discovered one in Canada. She had planned to bring the boat to Maine (U.S.) for refit, but Covid restrictions made that trip impossible. By chance, she found incredible support from the Prince Edward Island community, including local tradesman Eddie Arsenault, who managed the refit, rebuilding "Minnehaha” 100% for the gruelling race ahead.

"I came as an outsider to Prince Edward Island. From the moment I arrived, I've only been treated with such kindness and generosity." said Kirsten "People in the community have taken a genuine interest in this project."

With the one-year refit completed, she set sail towards South Africa in early December 2021, crossing the Equator just before the New Year, then rounding Trindade Island to port and sailing the GGR 2022 course towards her homeport of Cape Town. This 8,000-mile voyage brings immense knowledge of her boat and huge gratitude in her heart, for her new friends in Canada.

Kirsten will arrive in Cape Town in the next few days and stop for just a few weeks to say “HI!” to family, friends and to check on sponsors with her team. She then sets sail on another solo, non-stop, 6,500 miles voyage, to the start in Les Sables d'Olonne, France. Kirsten will be a sailor to watch! She is at one with the ocean, as was Jean Luc VDH, winner of the 2018 GGR.

Mark Sinclair

Australian Oceanographer Mark Sinclair is about to round Cape Horn sailing his Lello 34 "Coconut" halfway around the world, in order to finish his 2018 GGR. He set sail from Adelaide on December 5th 2021, bound for Les Sables d'Olonne, officially re-joining the GGR 2018 edition. Previously, he had to stop in Adelaide after completing only half the Race. The 2018 GGR had no finishing time, and Mark only made the one-stop, so can re-join under the “Chichester Class”. Mark has also entered the 2022 Golden Globe, so this return voyage adds a wealth of Southern Ocean experience and also brings him and his boat to the start of this third edition. He will be a strong contender to finish the 2022 edition.

Mark Sinclair sailing through Hobart Gate before heading for Cape Horn. Picture Credit: John TisdellMark Sinclair sailing through Hobart Gate before heading for Cape Horn. Picture Credit: John Tisdell

 "I am first and foremost a mariner, so my number one objective is not to be rescued and get around under my own power." said Mark Sinclair "I will be more competitive in the next Golden Globe, having built huge experience and faith in my trusty little ‘Coconut’."

As Afloat reported earlier, Ireland's Pat Lawless will be on the start line this year with support from Killaloe Sailing Club on Lough Derg

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About the Golden Globe Race

The Golden Globe Race is the original round the world yacht race. In 1968, while man was preparing to take his first steps on the moon, a mild mannered and modest young man was setting out on his own record breaking voyage of discovery. Off shore yacht racing changed forever with adventurers and sailors, inspired by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, following in his pioneering wake. Nine men started the first solo non-stop sailing race around the World. Only one finished. History was made. Navigating with a sextant, paper charts and an accurate and reliable time piece, Sir Robin navigated around the world. In 2018, to celebrate 50 years since that first record breaking achievement, the Golden Globe Race was resurrected. It instantly caught the attention of the worlds media as well as adventures, captivated by the spirit and opportunity. The original race is back.

The Golden Globe Race: Stepping back to the golden age of solo sailing

Like the original Sunday Times event back in 1968/9, the 2018 Golden Globe Race was very simple. Depart Les Sables d'Olonne, France on July 1st 2018 and sail solo, non-stop around the world, via the five Great Capes and return to Les Sables d'Olonne. Entrants are limited to use the same type of yachts and equipment that were available to Robin Knox-Johnston in that first race. That means sailing without modern technology or benefit of satellite-based navigation aids.

Competitors must sail in production boats between 32ft and 36ft overall (9.75 10.97m) designed prior to 1988 and having a full-length keel with rudder attached to their trailing edge. These yachts will be heavily built, strong and steady, similar in concept to Robin's 32ft vessel Suhaili.

In contrast to the current professional world of elite ocean racing, this edition travels back to a time known as the 'Golden Age' of solo sailing. Suhaili was a slow and steady 32ft double-ended ketch based on a William Atkins ERIC design. She is heavily built of teak and carried no computers, GPS, satellite phone nor water-maker, and Robin completed the challenge without the aid of modern-day shore-based weather routing advice. He had only a wind-up chronometer and a barograph to face the world alone, and caught rainwater to survive, but was at one with the ocean, able to contemplate and absorb all that this epic voyage had to offer.

This anniversary edition of the Golden Globe Race is a celebration of the original event, the winner, his boat and that significant world-first achievement. Competitors in this race will be sailing simple boats using basic equipment to guarantee a satisfying and personal experience. The challenge is pure and very raw, placing the adventure ahead of winning at all costs. It is for 'those who dare', just as it was for Knox-Johnston.

They will be navigating with sextant on paper charts, without electronic instruments or autopilots. They will hand-write their logs and determine the weather for themselves.

Only occasionally will they talk to loved ones and the outside world when long-range high frequency and ham radios allow.

It is now possible to race a monohull solo around the world in under 80 days, but sailors entered in this race will spend around 300 days at sea, challenging themselves and each other. The 2018 Golden Globe Race was a fitting tribute to the first edition and it's winner, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

Background on Don McIntyre (61) Race Founder

Don is an inveterate sailor and recognised as one of Australia s greatest explorers. Passionate about all forms of adventure and inspiring others, his desire is to recreate the Golden Age of solo sailing. Don finished 2nd in class in the 1990-91 BOC Challenge solo around the world yacht race. In 2010, he led the 4-man Talisker Bounty Boat challenge to re-enact the Mutiny on the Bounty voyage from Tonga to West Timor, in a simil

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