The Golden Globe competitor
Gregor Mcguckin, a competitor in this year’s Golden Globe revival race, has bought a Biscay 36. Whilst qualification for the race was a factor in his decision, the former delivery skipper explains that his boat is essentially perfect for a race where endurance and resilience are absolutely paramount.
‘I’m basically preparing her with the idea that I will probably go through some fairly horrendous weather. Whilst I’d not sailed a ketch before buying her, delivering a Nicholson 32 taught me a lot about the qualities of a more traditional design below the waterline.
‘Add to that how manageable the ketch rig is now I’ve run more lines to the cockpit and you’ve got a yacht that instills confidence – it’s a long game we’re playing, so whilst speed is important, how well the boat looks after me for the long term is perhaps the biggest consideration.’ With the prospect of up to a year at sea alone ahead of him, Gregor is simplifying everything on board as much as possible.
‘I worked as a charter skipper in the Caribbean for a couple of years on boats with all sorts of technology, but the more you get into the mindset of this old-fashioned competition, the more you realise that less really is more. I ask myself, “Is it useful?” If the answer is no, then it’s off! ‘I’ve decided that the heating system will probably come out as well, but when it comes to the basic yacht systems, such as the bilge pumps, I have upgraded. It’s really about prioritising everything that will keep the boat moving through the water.’
Gregor will be relying on his Biscay 36 to take him around the world without stopping