Golden Globe Race

By Mark Corke

While the Volvo Ocean Race is finished, a second race around the world is just getting started.

Golden Globe Race skipper group shotThe skippers in the Golden Globe Race 2018 pose on the docks.

The Golden Globe Race became the first organized round-the-world yacht race when nine sailors set off in 1968 from England. There was only one finisher – Robin Knox-Johnston and his 32-foot traditional ketch-rigged double ender yacht Suhaili. That race was full of drama, intrigue, triumph, and failure, but there was never a repeat — until now.

For the 50th anniversary, there is another Golden Globe Race in 2018. Entrants were limited to sailing similar yachts and equipment to what was available to Sir Robin in the original race. That's right, the 17 entrants from 13 different countries are solo sailing around the world without modern technology or the benefit of satellite-based navigation aids — and with no outside assistance other than for a mayday.

This race started from Les Sables-d'Olonne, France, on July 1 and is expected to take about 10 months to complete. The prize purse has been confirmed as £75,000 (almost $100,000). All sailors that finish before April 22, 2019, win back their entry fees of about $10,360 each in U.S. currency.

The lone American sailor is 65-year-old Hungarian-born Istvan Kopar, sailing Puffin, his Tradewind 35 Cutter. BoatUS Magazine will be following and reporting on Kopar and the fleet in the coming months, but while the sailors are in virtual blackout, you can keep tabs of them online through LiveTracker.  

— Published: August 2018


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