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The Golden Globe Race 1968/2018 Around the World Alone Non-Stop – With No Modern Electronic Navigational Aids By Steve Morrell Golden Globe 2018 route.


n 1966, Sir Francis Chichester sailed solo around the world from England and back via the five southernmost great capes: Cape Horn (South America); Cape Agulhas (South Africa— the southernmost cape, being 19 miles farther south than Cape of Good Hope; Cape Leeuwin (southwestern cape of Australia); South East Cape (southern most point of the island of Tasmania); and South West Cape (southernmost point of the main islands of New Zealand). Upon his return, he was celebrated for his voyage, even being knighted by the Queen. But Chichester made one stop on the way around the world and received assistance. After his return, many were inspired to be the first to sail in the last great challenge in sailing: Sail solo around the world non-stop via the five great capes—a 30,000 mile trip. A year later, the British Sunday Times announced the Golden Globe Race: Be the first person to sail solo around the world non-stop via the five capes—unassisted by others. There were no rules and no fees; just a trophy for the first to accomplish the feat, and a £5000 UK Pounds prize for the fastest time. Nine people entered the race and their voyages became something of legend. Entrants were to depart between June 1, 1968 and October 31, 1968. They all departed England at various times in the starting window, as there was no official start. They were all to sail from west to east, making Cape Agulhas off South Africa as the first of the five capes. Of the nine, five became noteworthy. French sailor Bernard Moitessier went around the capes, but—because he rejected the commercialization of what he felt was a spiritual quest—upon re-entering the Atlantic, he decided to abandon the race and continued on


September 2017


to the east to settle in Tahiti—even though he was in excellent position to be the first to finish. He sailed around the globe one-and-ahalf times by the time he settled in Tahiti. Chay Blyth entered the Golden Globe with no sailing experience. After rounding Cape Agulhas off South Africa, he retired from the race because of boat problems. Afterwards, he dedicated his life to the sea and later became the first to sail non-stop westwards around the globe. Donald Crowhurst sailed on a trimaran that he was building, although trimarans were just beginning to be noticed as oceangoing sailboats—even though they had a tendency to flip at sea. Crowhurst was convinced he would be first to finish with such a fast boat, but he had no real experience sailing on the open sea. He departed in a rush on the last day allowed, Oct. 31. His boat was not even finished and his supplies in a mess, even leaving many repair items on shore. After making it to somewhere in the southern Atlantic, communication became erratic—eventually stopping altogether—until some time later when he radioed that he had gone around the world and re-entered the Atlantic. In truth, he had stayed in the Atlantic the entire time. Eventually, he disappeared, but his boat was found, empty, shortly afterwards. He had kept two logs, one fake and one real. In the final analysis, after reviewing his real log and a vague suicide note, it was assumed he jumped overboard. It was a sad ending. Nigel Tetley’s boat sank with only 1100 nautical miles to go—while he was in the lead in the Atlantic on the return. He sailed on a trimaran and was the first to go around the Horn in a multihull. One person finished, becoming the first to sail around alone non-stop and to also win the prize with the fastest time. Robin Knox-Johnston sailed in his self-built (in India with two friends), 32-foot, Atkins-designed, double-ended wooden ketch, Suhali, which he sailed from Bombay back home to England, sailing solo from South Africa. When the Golden Globe came up, he was determined to sail in it and went to the Sunday Times for sponsorship. The Times considered him to be the least likely to win, so Knox-Johnston went to the neighboring Sunday Mirror where he arranged sponsorship. During the race, he faced his share of breakdowns. His hull was leaking so he dove on it and caulked it underwater. After losing his self-steering gear, he faced

September 2017  

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