GGR disaster or triumph?
Loïc Lepage’s rescue by bulk carrier from his dismasted yacht Laaland in the Golden Globe Race sparked a Practical Boat Owner Facebook page debate.
Steve Papillon wrote: Is it me or is this race a bit of a disaster? How much has all the rescue effort cost never mind the adverse PR for the sport? Wonder if the pre-reqs were rigorous enough? No idea... but lot of sailors with broken kit and broken bodies and broken boats from where I’m sitting.
Mark Phillips replied: I did wonder whether running a race with 1960s kit was such a good idea. In principle yes – harking back to pre-GPS days etc. In practice equipment has advanced for a reason: because the ocean is a dangerous place and safety is paramount.
Rob Buttress said: Steve, I respect your perspective but suggest it’s wise to wait until the race has finished and all the data on the various failure modes have been soberly considered by those qualified to do so, before declaring it anything. In an undertaking like this failures are inevitable. In the 1968 incarnation only one competitor technically finished, and with Moitessier, call it two. So any more than four finishers makes this a success by my reckoning.
A still from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) rescue video of Loïc Lepage’s abandoned yacht