The first sailing regatta around the world

3 mins read

For who’s a passionate of the sea, Golden Globe isn’t a film award, but the first, mythical non-stop and solitary sailing regatta around the world. Organized by the Sunday Times of London it began from Falmouth in England in 1968, it provided that the participants would round the three capes – Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, Cape Leeuwin in Australia and Cape Horn in South America – to get back to the departure port without ever touching land and navigating in solitary. At time some daredevils, like Joshua Slocum and Francis Chichester, had already circumnavigated in solitary, but without races and stopping if necessary. Especially at time, sophisticated technological tools and for the less experts it was also difficult to stabilize the ship point, let’s not even mention sailing around the world.

The story of the regatta is fascinating. They left in nine, but only one arrived, Robin Knox-Johnston, whom you see speaking in the video. Six racers abandoned the contest for technical matters, some after a few houndred miles and some almost at the end. Donald Crowhurst lost his life after long series of adventures, without actually ever participing to the regatta, but “hidden” on the coasts of Brazil waiting for the other competitors to pass so to grant and finish the world tour without ever leaving the Atlantic. Bernard Moitessier abandoned the competition while he was ahead and almost at the arrival to fulfill another “half-turn” of the world and stabilize himself in the Pacific Islands.

Of course a unique exploit, but it seems not unrepeatable, if it’s true that the 14th of June 2018 is expected the start of the second Golden Globe in history, organized for the 50th anniversary of the first competition. The contesters will have to use the same foretype of boats which were used during the first regatta: a long keel less than 11 meters (36 feet), no GPS, no sophisticated equipment, no electronics or electronic devices in aid to navigation. The safety will be guaranteed from the presence onboard of the equipment, monitored by the organizers, that could be used in extreme needs. Today modern boats take less than three months to sail around the world, it’s estimated that for the second Golden Globe the journey time will be almost a year.

Article also available in: English

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