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Golden Globe Race - 2 days to the start from Les Sables d'Olonne

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Golden Globe Race - 2 days to the start from Les Sables d'Olonne
Golden Globe Race - 2 days to the start from Les Sables d'Olonne

17 sailors from 12 Countries will set out from Les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday, on a 9 – 10 month solo odyssey, to re-create the original Sunday Times Golden Globe race in 1968/69.

The event led to Britain’s Sir Robin Knox-Johnston becoming the first man to sail solo non stop around the globe and had French sailing icon Bernard Moitessier continue east after rounding Cape Horn to make a second loop around the world ‘to save my soul’ from what he saw as an increasingly commercial world.

Suhaili, Knox-Johnston’s famous yacht from which he will fire the starting canon at 12:05 on Sunday, left seven other broken boats and dreams in her wake, including Donald Crowhurst whose tragic story and eventual suicide has been replayed in the recent Hollywood movie THE MERCY.

Alex Carozzo, the 86 year old veteran from the 1968/9 race who was forced to spend 5 days sitting on a mooring in isolation off Cowes England, completing preparations to his 60ft yacht, while the rest were making ground around the world, has been watching his own story replayed here by fellow Italian Francesco Cappelletti, the 40-year old professional sailor from Pisa. Delays in the preparation of his Endurance 35 Esmeralda in Italy, led to the yacht being shipped by road directly to Les Sables d’Olonne, arriving here on Monday. She is now rigged and in the water, but Cappelletti still has a mountain to climb to finish his preparations, load stores and complete 3 days of solo trials before the start line closes for late starters at Noon on Saturday 7th July.

“It is disappointing. I would much prefer to be ready now, but I expect to pass safety inspections on Monday, complete my sailing trials by Thursday and start either on Friday or Saturday morning.” He said today.

Nabil Amra, the American/Palestinian entrant who has also had a fight again time to be ready on time, finally passed safety inspections shortly before the Noon deadline today.

The 17 starters are:

Abhilash Tomy (IND) Suhaili replica Thuriya 
Antoine Cousot (FRA) Biscay 36 Métier Intérim
Are Wiig (DEN)  OE 32  Olleanna
Ertan Beskardes (GBR) Rustler 36 Lazy Otter
Gregor McGuckin (IRE) Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance
Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Endurance 35 Esmeralda
Istvan Kopar (USA) Tradewind 35 Puffin
Jean-Luc Van Den Heede (FRA) Rustler 36 Matmut
Kevin Farebrother (AUS) Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha
Loïc Lepage (FRA) Nicholson 32 Laaland
Mark Sinclair (Aus) Lello 34 Coconut
Mark Slats (NED) Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick
Nabil Amra (PAL) Biscay 36 Liberty II 
Philippe Péché (FRA) Rustler 36 PRB
Susie Goodall (GBR)  Rustler 36 DHL Starlight
Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria
Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All

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