Twelve left to con­test the Golden Globe

Yachting Monthly - - NEWS -

French off­shore racer Philippe Péché re­mains at the head of the Golden Globe fleet as the race en­ters its sec­ond month.

But Péché, 57, is fac­ing pres­sure from Vendée Globe vet­eran Jean-luc van den Heede, 73, his big­gest ri­val, and Dutch sailor, Mark Slats, who solo cir­cum­nav­i­gated the world in 2004/5.

The trio, who are all rac­ing Rustler 36 yachts, passed through the Golden Globe’s first gate in Lan­zarote with only a hand­ful of miles be­tween them and have now cleared the Dol­drums.

Slats, who is the 2017 win­ner of the Talisker Chal­lenge sin­gle­handed class, has in­stalled oars on his boat to give him the edge in light winds.

Of the 17 skip­pers who started, just 12 were left in the main event at the time YM went to press. The UK’S Er­tan Beskardes, Aus­tralian Kevin Fare­brother and Na­bil Amra have all re­tired.

Fare­brother and Amra both with­drew af­ter self-steer­ing gear prob­lems – an is­sue that has also caused prob­lems for other skip­pers.

Fare­brother, 50, also ex­pe­ri­enced se­vere fa­tigue as a re­sult of hand steer­ing his Tradewind 35 yacht Sa­gar­matha, and he strug­gled to get into the rou­tine of solo sail­ing.

Pales­tinian skip­per Amra faced a weld fail­ure on his self-steer­ing gear, which forced him to re­turn to the Ca­nary Is­lands.

He said he still felt like a win­ner, af­ter over­com­ing nu­mer­ous chal­lenges to start the race, such as the de­layed re­fit of his Bis­cay 36, Lib­erty II. ‘The truth lies in the state­ment “To make it to the start is the win”,’ he said.

For Er­tan Beskardes, the lone­li­ness of be­ing a sin­gle-handed sailor was too much. Af­ter stop­ping in La Coruña in Gali­cia, north-west Spain, he told Yacht­ing Monthly that not be­ing able to com­mu­ni­cate with his fam­ily made the race dif­fi­cult.

‘Soon af­ter the start, I stopped en­joy­ing my days and my ad­ven­ture due to iso­la­tion which I felt (was a) price I did not want pay.

‘It was a cruise not a race for me,’ he said.

Mean­while, French skip­per, An­toine Cousot and Amer­i­can Ist­van Kopar are now in the Chich­ester Class for those who are forced to make one stop dur­ing their cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion. Cousot stopped at Ru­bi­con Ma­rina in Lan­zarote to make re­pairs to his self-steer­ing gear; Kopar pulled in at the Cape Verde Is­lands to re­place the self-steer­ing sys­tem on his Tradewind 35, Puf­fin.

Just 430 miles sep­a­rates leader Péché and 12th placed Loïc Lepage, with Britain’s Susie Goodall in 5th place and Gre­gor Mcguckin in 6th chas­ing Nor­we­gian skip­per Are Wiig.

Mark Slats was the sec­ond skip­per to pass through the Lan­zarote gate

Kevin Fare­brother has al­ready sold his boat

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