Inspired by the forthcoming 50th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s famed non-stop solo circumnavigation aboard his 32ft ketch Suhali, a new race around the globe has been announced.
It’s based on the Sunday Times Global Globe Race, which became an international sensation in 1968/9. Knox-Johnston, who was originally considered an outsider, won the race in 312 days after his competitors encountered problems, or in the case of certain individuals committed suicide or continued sailing around the globe without diverting to stop in Falmouth.
Already 30 entries have paid a AUS$3,000 deposit, while a further 150 solo sailors have expressed interest. Falmouth is now confirmed as the start and finish point for the 2018 Golden Globe Race, where Sir Robin Knox-Johnston set out and completed his pioneering voyage back in 1968/9.
Competitors will be limited to small traditional boats, using the same equipment that was available to Knox-Johnston. This means sailing without modern aids including satellite based navigation aids. In addition, competitors must sail in production boats between 32ft and 36ft in length that were designed before 1988. They must all be long-keeled, with the rudder attached to their trailing edge of the keel.
Competitors will leave Falmouth, England on June 14th 2018 and sail solo, non-stop around the world via the five Great Capes, and return to Falmouth, with most boats expected to spend up to 300 days at sea.
Competing yachts will be based in Pendennis Marina, and the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club using the historic gun emplacement on Pendennis Point will start the Race. In addition, three of the yachts that competed in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race – Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili, Bernard Moitessier’s Joshua, and Loïck Fougeron’s Captain Browne – are also expected to attend the start.
The event will be sailed under the auspices of the Royal Nomuka Yacht Club in the Kingdom of Tonga thanks to race founder Don McIntyre’s close links with these Pacific islands. In 2012 the Australian adventurer led a re-enactment of the Mutiny of the Bounty voyage in a similar boat and with same limited supplies available to Captain Bligh 221 years before.
Caption: The founder of the 2018 race Don McIntyre originally planned to compete, but the unexpectedly high level of interest means he has stepped down to devote his efforts to leading the management team