We’ve been critical of the Golden Globe race, really from the jump. Super slow boats, questionable racers, long, slow and, while exactly pointless, sort of unnecessary. With the high failure rate of the fleet – with god knows how much more – the event speaks for itself.
We normally don’t run much from other pubs, but this from Outside Magazine is something y’all might find interesting.
The first Golden Globe Race, a solo, nonstop, around-the-world sailing event held in 1968, was a mixture of triumph, tragedy, and madness—all chronicled in a classic bestselling book and recent BBC movie. Fifty years later, 17 sailors are once again setting out for the most ambitious—and loneliest—regatta on the planet.
On July 1, 17 skippers in 17 boats left the French port town of Les Sables d’Olonne and sailed west into the Bay of Biscay. Their destination? Les Sables d’Olonne, but from the other direction, a journey of about nine months and 30,000 miles. The boats are unremarkable. The sailors are a mixed bag: hotshot pro racers, ambitious yachties, ultracompetent old salts, young upstarts, dedicated adventurers, a hopeless dreamer or two—16 men and one woman representing 12 countries, all with a common intention. They’re racing around the world without stopping, without benefit of modern technology, and alone.
This is the second-ever Golden Globe Race. The original, which has been immortalized in several books, including Peter Nichols’ classic account, A Voyage for Madmen, as well as the documentary Deep Water and the recent Colin Firth film The Mercy, began in the summer of 1968 and, by its end, turned into an epic blend of historic triumph, human tragedy, and utter shitshow. Nine sailors started and one finished.
One killed himself. This race marks the 50th anniversary of that event, and besides some allowances for safety, the rules limit the racers to technology available in 1968. Sextants, not GPS. Radio, not sat phones. Film cameras and Super 8s, not DSLRs and GoPros. No digital anything. No high-tech materials like Kevlar or carbon composite. No electric autopilot, desalinization, or refrigeration. No blog posts, no video chats, no selfies at sea.