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Friday, 7 December 2018

Golden Globe Reservations..

After yet another sailor has been dismasted and had to be rescued, is it about time that the ethos of the Golden Globe Race was reviewed?

I know that in the warm comfort of a lounge on land, the idea of pitting one's wits against the sea using technology only found in the original golden globe might have seemed a good one. Through rose tinted glasses recent history looks quite attractive, but to be realistic you'd have to bring back Polio, Ricketts, Dyptheria and Smallpox. I mean, just how realistic do you want it to be?

In the case of the Golden Globe race, the sea is no less dangerous, so why are we putting people in old boats, with old technology, with old levels of risk and reliability?

There's a reason the modern sailing technology in materials and electronics we have now has been developed: to make sailing the world safer and more reliable. But even given modern technology, the sea is a dangerous place and has claimed victims.

I really think given the numbers of failures, incidents and rescues that this race has generated, that it really needs to be consigned to history where that technology belongs.


  1. Couldn't agree more and have been shot down in flames on a few FB conversations for saying it, and agreeing with other people who say it... apparently it makes me a snowflake who doesn't understand what the race is about.. bollocks... the adverse PR for the sport of sailing that the race has generated is immense.. all joe public sees is a load of well off sailors playing with boats and being rescued at great expense... very sad.. the sailors are brave, the rescuers to, but something was seriously wrong with the pre-race vetting for the race.. :o(

  2. I can see the rose-tinted glasses brigade would shoot you down rather than face reality. Instead of the current rules of using exactly the same spec boat, rig and materials, I'd have thought a modern equivalent with limits on boat design but not materials (modern materials, design no later than 1970) would have been a better option. The current rules just show what we already knew before: 1960s materials are not really up to a safe circumnavigation.

  3. I'm with you both on this one, the original Golden Globe was of it's time, pushing the boundaries of technology, design and the individual's achievement - it hadn't been done up to that point.

    You can argue that spirit is much more alive in the Vendee and Mini TransAT these days.

    The number of retirements is also telling, I see parallels with the increased number of climbers on Everest and the significant death toll which has resulted.

  4. I like the idea of a circumnavigation with small boats like the mini TransAT ones. Mini Vendee?