Golden Globe Race - Day 78

73-year old Jean-Luc Van Den Heede extends his lead across the South Indian Ocean to 9+ days over the past week

The Frenchman is now a complete weather system ahead of his closest rivals and expects to pass Cape Leeuwin, the second of the three main Capes next weekend.

He also remains on course for his compulsory stop in Hobart at the film drop on 3 October.

Before the start from Les Sables d’Olonne on 1 July, the best computer predictions suggested that the winner could complete a sub-200 day solo circumnavigation.

Well, according to the YB tracker Monday, Jean-Luc’s Rustler 36 Matmut will return to the Vendee port in 199 days! That is based on her 5.2knot average over the last 24 hours, which has to be optimistic, but with this septuagenarian, anything seems possible.

Before today the worst thing to have happened has been a lost sailing croc, dropped overboard last week, but today Van Den Heede reported his first breakage.

“The shackle connecting the halyard and top swivel on my staysail came undone. I had to climb the mast to the 2nd spreader to reconnect them – I’m too old to be doing this! He admitted.

1,100 miles astern, second placed Dutchman Mark Slats sailing the rival Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick, has dropped a further 300 miles behind Matmut during the past week.

He has reported concerns about the state of his halyards, for without headsail roller furling systems, the constant changing of sails is causing considerable chafe.

There is much more of a fight for third place. The 13:00 report placed Gregor McGuckin’s Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance just 1 miles ahead of Abhilash Tomy’s Indian Thuriya, a modern replica of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili.


Thuriya is the surprise package in this 50th anniversary of the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. Even Sir Robin predicted that she would be slow compared to the production yachts, but she and her skipper are proving to be exceptionally fast in the Southern Ocean, having moved up from 10th to challenge for 3rd place since rounding the Cape of Good Hope.

Latest positions at 08:00 UTC 17 Sep 2018

1st Jean- Luc VDH (FRA) DTF 15304nm VMG 5.2 knots
2nd Mark Slats (NED) DTF 16437nm VMG 4.6 knots DTL 1133nm
3fd Gregor McGuckin (IRE) DTF 16596nm VMG 4.5 knots DTL 1292nm
4th Abhilash Tomy (IND) DTF 16604nm VMG 4.5 knots DTL 1300nm
5th Uku Randmaa (EST) DTF 16862nm VMG 4.4 knots DTL 1558nm
6th Susie Goodall GBR) DTF 17459nm VMG 4.1 knots DTL 2155nm
7th Istvan Kopar (USA) DTF 17636nm VMG 4.0 knots DTL 2332nm
8th Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) DTF 17673nm VMG 4.0 knots DTL 2369nm
9th Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) DTF 18526nm VMG 3.5 knots DTL 3222nm
10th Mark Sinclair (Aus) DTF 18835nm VMG 3.1 knots DTL 3531nm


1. Loïc Lepage (FRA) Nicholson 32 Laaland


Ertan Beskardes (GBR) Rustler 36 Lazy Otter
Kevin Farebrother (AUS) Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha
Nabil Amra (PAL) Biscay 36 Liberty II
Philippe Péché (FRA) Rustler 36 PRB
Antoine Cousot (FRA) Biscay 36 Métier Intérim
Are Wiig (NOR) OE32 Olleanna

Francesco Cappelletti (ITA) Endurance 35 007

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