"Suhaili", already badly damaged at this point, crossed the finish line for the last few miles
It was a golden era. The previous year, the British single-handed sailor Francis Chichester had circled the world with just one stop, and there was really only one bigger challenge: to sail around the world non-stop. Once around the world without calling at a port, past the three great capes. An achievement for which the British newspaper "Sunday Times" announced a prize of 5000 pounds in 1968. A race had started: the Golden Globe Race.
A total of eight men were found who left England and France between June 1 and October 31, 1968. Not all of them were experienced ocean sailors. Chay Blyth, for example, had no sailing experience at all. On the way through the Atlantic to the south, he got caught in a heavy storm and read the next steps in the ship's command from a sailing book, which he later described as "hell with operating instructions".
Another, Donald Crowhurst, moved his house and yard to take part in the race and set off with a new building that was radical for the time. On the way south, however, he noticed that his plywood trimaran would not be able to withstand the weather conditions of the Southern Ocean. So he sent false position reports and drove circles in the South Atlantic.
The French Bernard Moitessier was in front for the whole race, but renounced fame and record after rounding Cape Horn and sailed straight on to Tahiti to "save his soul". The Briton Robin Knox-Johnston, who no one had expected to have great chances of winning, finally won with "Suhaili", his ten meter long keeler in Colin Archer style.
The 2018 Golden Globe Race logo
The legendary race will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in summer 2018. The Australian adventurer Don McIntyre has come up with something very special for this anniversary: He would like to organize a second edition of the Golden Globe Race.
"Only 20 participants will be admitted," he says, "and although I have only told a few people about the race, there are already some serious interested parties." It will probably be even more when McIntyre publishes the key points on April 22nd. However, some points are already known:
The race starts on June 14, 2018 from Falmouth, exactly in the wake of Robin Knox-Johnston, who set sail there on June 14, 1968 and also supports the race as a patron. Accordingly, no modern ships are permitted. "It's supposed to be a retro race," says McIntyre, "with technology from the time of the first race in 1968. Participants should recreate Knox-Johnston's voyage around the world in the same boats with the same technology." Only series boats with the same dimensions as "Suhaili", an overall length of 32 to 36 feet and a design year before 1988, and long keelers with the rudder attached to the hull, with a minimum weight of 6.5 tons are allowed. This includes types like the Cape Dory 36, Rustler 36, Tradewind 35, Westsail 32, Biscay 36, Aries 32 and Bowman 36.
The rigs must not be modified, the sails must be made of Dacron. "Retro" rather means: no electric autopilot, no electronics on board or even satellite telephones. Just a sextant and a chronometer. No modern film cameras either, just cameras from the sixties.
The race will be a sailing, physical and mental challenge, just like the original. "This retro challenge is pure, real and incomparable, just like it was back in the golden age of single-handed sailing," says Don McIntyre.
The exact details will be announced on April 22nd at www.goldengloberace.com.