Home >

Sailweb  RSS feed
Offshore

Start of the 2018 Golden Globe Race

 
Philippe Péché gets head start from Les Sables d’Olonne

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, winner of the first GGR 50 years before, fired the starting canon from the deck of his historic yacht Suhaili.

They have 30,000 miles to sail over the next 9-10 months and first to cross the line at Noon (CEST) was the fiercely competitive Frenchman Philippe Péché aboard his Rustler 36 PRB.

He has ensured that she is one of the lightest in the 18-strong fleet, and carrying a huge lightweight genoa, Péché pulled out a 100 metre lead within minutes of the start.

Behind him, Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, who has five previous circumnavigations to his credit and at 73, is the oldest skipper in this Race, appeared to tangle with Tapio Lehtinen’s Finnish yacht Asteria.

One hour after the start were still locked in a 3-way tie with Dutchman Mark Slats (Ohpen Maverick) for third place behind Russia’s Igor Zaretskiy's Endurance 35 Esmeralda.

Another in the mix was Are Wiig’s 32ft Norwegian double-ender Olleanna along with Indian Navy pilot Abhilash Tomy sailing a wooden replica of Sir Robin’s Suhaili.

By contrast, Britain’s Susie Goodall, who raised by far the biggest send-off from the dock, kept her Rustler 36 DHL Starlight well clear of other yachts and made a good mid fleet start.

Goodall was in line with Istvan Kopar’s American yacht Puffin, fellow British entrant Ertan Bescardes (Lazy Otter) and Antoine Cousot’s French Biscay 36 Métier Intérim.

The dark horse within the fleet appears to be Nabil Amra’s Palestinian flagged Biscay 36 Liberty II, which was one of the last boats across the line but last night was flying through the fleet at 4.6knots as apposed to 4.2 for the leaders.

Like Igor Zaretskiy, he is taking a more southerly route towards Cape Finistere while others were heading well out into the Bay of Biscay in the hope of finding stronger winds.

The leading yachts are expected to reach the first ‘gate’ set off Lanzarote in the Canaries around 11 July to hand across film and letters.

The Race is expected to take 9-10 months with the leaders taking between 240-250 days to complete the voyage unaided.

Follow Sailweb on Facebook - Click here

Follow Sailweb on Twitter - Click here