Beginners Guide to the 2022 Golden Globe Race
The 2022 Golden Globe Race got underway on Sunday 4th September. This solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the globe will see skippers spending 9 months in total isolation on their 32-36ft yachts.
Like the original Sunday Times event, the 2022 Golden Globe Race is very simple, with retro 1960’s rules and conditions of entry. The idea of racing using no technology and combining the traditional seamanship skills of the sailor with passion and determination to get to the finish line first is incredibly satisfying.
Entry is by invitation only for sailors aged 18yrs and older at the start of the race. Entrants must show prior ocean sailing experience of at least 8000 miles and another 2000 miles solo, in any boat, as well as an additional 2000 miles solo in their GGR boat.
Entries are limited to 25 participants – the organisers may issue up to 5 special invitations at any time to bring the total to 30. They will only be able to use the same type of, or similar, equipment and technology that was carried onboard Robin Knox-Johnston’s 1968/69 race-winning yacht Suhaili. This means no modern technology or the benefit of satellite-based navigation aids.
Bringing back the Golden Globe Race and thus the ‘Golden Age’ of solo sailing is to celebrate the original event, the winner, his boat and that significant world-first achievement. The challenge is pure and raw, placing adventure ahead of winning at all costs.
Competitors have departed from Les Sables-d’Olonne, France and will sail solo, non-stop around the world, via the five Great Capes and return to Les Sables-d’Olonne. If an entrant does not get underway within five days of the start they are deemed to have withdrawn from the race.
Entrants may seek shelter and anchor (using the engine if needed) to make repairs, but are not allowed to enter the port and no person is allowed to give any material assistance at any time during the race.
Competitors will sail down the Atlantic from North to South and take the following route around the world…
- An inshore Canary Island mark to starboard – a chance to interview the skippers as they sail past without stopping and for them to pass over films and letters.
- Trindade to port.
- Cape Town film drop.
- Cape of Good Hope to port.
- Prince Edward Islands to starboard.
- The Crozet Islands to starboard.
- The Kerguelen Islands to starboard.
- 45°S latitude to starboard. An imaginary line the entrants must not cross or face a time penalty. Race Control follows the satellite tracker.
- Cape Leeuwin to port.
- To a Gate in Storm Bay Tasmania. Entrants sail over a line and must drop sails and drift, or anchor for 90 minutes. Media, family and friends may then interview and chat without touching them and films and letters passed off the boats, but nothing goes onto the boats. Only after 90 minutes may they recross the line and continue on to Cape Horn. The clock does not stop.
- Snares Islands to starboard.
- Bounty Islands to starboard.
- Waypoint 46°S, 174°W to starboard. An imaginary rounding mark. 46°S latitude to starboard until east of 115°W longitude. An imaginary line the entrants must not cross or face a time penalty. Race Control follows the satellite tracker.
- Cape Horn to port.
- Punta del Este film drop.
- Sail up the Atlantic from South to North. Then to the finish line.
Amendments are made to the race course regarding safety measures such as avoiding drifting ice and keeping a minimum distance of the course from the coast of some countries.
Competitors 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 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 250 days at sea in little boats and really challenge themselves – it is for ‘those who dare’, just as it was for Sir Robin.
This is a non-stop one-class race, any entrant forced to make a stopover, or break the seal on their portable GPS chart plotter will not be eligible for any official Golden Globe trophies but can remain in the event, being moved to ‘Chichester Class’. Any entrant that makes two stops is disqualified. Each entrant is required to have a standard Race Pack by the event organisers, the technology may change, but it will include, but not be limited to:
- A stand-alone satellite tracking system (the skippers cannot see) for web tracking updates.
- A two-way satellite short text paging unit. (to race headquarters only)
- Two handheld satellite phones for up to four short messages per day
- A sealed box with two portable GPS chart plotters (for emergency use only)
All entrants will be tracked 24/7 by satellite, but competitors will not be able to interrogate this information unless an emergency arises and they have to break open their sealed safety box containing GPS and satellite phone. The consequences of this will mean they are deemed retired from the race and will be relegated.
The competitor’s yachts need to meet the following specifications:
- Fibre-reinforced plastic construction.
- Designed prior to 1988 with a minimum series of 20 yachts built from one mould.
- Have a hull length of between 32ft and 36ft. Bowsprits, wind vanes and outboard rudders, boomkins, pushpits and pulpits are not measured.
- Have full-length keels with rudders attached to the trailing edge.
- A minimum design displacement is 6,200kg.
At the end of the race, ships logs and celestial navigation notes will be scrutinised for compliance and further declarations signed by the entrant, confirming rule compliance during the race.
All entrants that complete the course will receive a Golden Globe plaque and the Golden Globe perpetual trophy will be distributed to the winner. To find out more information about this inspiring sailing race visit the official website.