GGR Day 232: Kirsten likely to break all records

GGR Day 232: Kirsten likely to break all records

GGR Day 232: Kirsten likely to break all records

Sport

25/04/2023 - 08:21

The trio of Simon, Kirsten and Abhilash are close now sailing within 170 miles of each other as they approach the Bay of Biscay and the final run toward Les Sables d'Olonne. But the Race is on for Kirsten Neuschäfer (ZAF) who is leading by 90 miles on her runner up. With a 23-hour compensation for Tapio's Indian ocean rescue, she looks unbeatable, but it's not over! First they need to negotiate the heavy traffic in the Bay of Biscay after months sailing empty oceans, and Abhilash Tomy (IND) on Bayanat is not slowing down!

Both have steady downwind conditions, but on Wednesday winds drop and become much lighter from the West and then South on Thursday. The two different boat designs act differently in different weather, so there could be last minute surprises! But with just a few days to run in light westerlies from Thursday onwards, it is a huge challenge for Abhilash. The finish will be under a spinnaker and a timid sun, so it all points to a Kirsten  !

ETA's are still to be refined after Wednesday's light winds and will be updated on the GGR website. Kirsten continues to push hard with at times 8.1kt speeds.  She could cross the line on Friday the 28th in the morning, followed by Abhilash less than a day later. Simon Curwen (GBR) in Chichester class could arrive in Les Sables d'Olonne as early as Thursday 27th.

If Kirsten was crossing the line in first place, she would be the first woman to win a round the world race by the three great capes, including solo and fully crewed races, non-stop or with stops, and the first South African sailor to win a round-the-world event! She would join the famous Bertie Reed (ZAF) in the South African Hall of Fame, and Isabelle Autissier (FRA) who in 1994 famously led the BOC  Challenge after her win in the first leg before dismasting in December in the Pacific, 920 miles SE from Adelaide.  She would also join Sir Robin Knox Johnston (GBR) and Jean-Luc Van Den Heede (FRA) the winner of the Golden Globe Race.

"Who would have guessed that after 233 days alone we have a photo finish. Everyone who reaches the finish line of the Golden Globe is a winner yet Kirsten and Abhilash have played out an epic battle right to the end. The GGR is all about the stories and this one is EPIC!!!" Don McIntyre, GGR Founder.

A guide to the heroes' welcome in Les Sables d'Olonne

Don will update the ETA daily on the GGR Facebook Page. Once the competitors cross the line, they will be towed into the Channel so as to not use precious fuel, and enjoy the legendary welcome from the people of Les Sables leading into Port Olona. There, they will moor in the Vendée Globe dock where they will be welcomed by Yannick Moreau, the Mayor of Les Sables d'Olonne, Don McIntyre, the GGR Founder and Chairman and Jean Luc Van Den Heede, the 2018 winner, the media and the public

They will then cross to the stage next to the Centre des Formation Maritimes des Sables d'Olonne where the GGR Race Control is housed. They then move to a quiet room to see their family and friends for 30 minutes before heading to the Press conference. Should they dock after 10.00 pm, the press conference will be held the next day. Media willing to attend need to ask for accreditation at  [email protected]

No doubt the people of Les Sables d'Olonne will give a hero's welcome to Simon Curwen in Chichester Class who led the GGR fleet from Cape Finisterre until January 31st when he was forced to divert to Puerto Montt for repairs. Simon has no line crossing as he is not racing, but will take his own time for his incredible round the world voyage.

He will moor on the Vendée Globe dock where he will receive the same welcome as the GGR competitors on the marina, open to the public before heading to the GGR office to meet with his family, friends and members of the media. Simon is in great form, listen to his last ever call to Race Control!

The film of the GOLDEN GLOBE RACE 2018 is now available for pre-order:

The Voyage of Madmen is the story of Don McIntyre's 50 year anniversary recreation of the infamous race and his quest to attract amateur sailors to compete in small boats, taking on the perils of the sea entirely against the odds. It's a race without modern technological aids where actually surviving a non-stop lap of the world is the achievement. Of the 18 solo sailors to depart France in 2018 – five solitary skippers cross the finish line – the final finisher spending 322 days alone at sea.

This is the story of the longest sporting event in history. A display of brutal individualism by characters longing for a by-gone era who are hell-bent on recreating the longest, loneliest and most gruelling sports event on the planet. 

"Buying this film helps and supports us greatly...THANKS and we hope you really enjoy it. To us the 2018 edition of the GGR will go down in history for many reasons. It is a tribute to the 18 sailors who risked all to follow a simple dream!"

Don & Jane

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