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2018 Golden Globe Race: 5 days to the start from Les Sables d’Olonne

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Golden Globe Race Village in Les Sables d’Olonne
Golden Globe Race Village in Les Sables d’Olonne

With five days to the start, the Golden Globe Race Village in Les Sables d’Olonne is buzzing with activity as 18 skippers and their teams from 13 countries work feverishly to be ready for the Noon start on Sunday.


The skipper with the biggest mountain to climb is Italian Francesco Cappelletti who’s Endurance 35 007 arrived by road only last Friday. She’s been launched and rigged since, but her completion is far from complete and Capelletti has still to make three days of solo sea trials in her.

Fifty years ago fellow Italian Alex Carozo, one of the nine starters in the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race faced a similar problem with his boat and sat on a mooring in isolation for 5 days after the start deadline, completing his preparations. Carozo, now 86, arrives in town on Thursday and will undoubtedly be rolling up his shirtsleeves to help. But Cappelletti has help aplenty. Six apprentices from the local Tabarly professional boatbuilding college have already volunteered their services and other locals are providing moral support. It is time that is not on Cappelletti’s side. All competitors have until Noon on Friday to pass their safety inspections or they miss Sunday’s start.

Nabil Amra, the Palestinian/American sailing the Biscay 36 Liberty II is also racing against time. He is due to return to Les Sables d’Olonne tomorrow having completed the final part of his solo sailing trials only to return to sea again to do his 5 mile jury rudder trial. The problem he has is that his emergency rudder, which forms part of the self steering gear, is not due to be delivered until Friday morning – just hours before the Noon safety deadline set by the French authorities.

If any fail to make Sunday’s start, then competitors have six days grace to complete their preparations before the start closes permanently at Noon on Saturday 7 July.


Competitors still to pass safety inspections:

Mark Slats (NED) Rustler 36 Ohpen Maverick

Are Wiig (DEN) OE 32 Olleanna

Uku Randmaa (EST) Rustler 36 One and All

Tapio Lehtinen (FIN) Gaia 36 Asteria

Igor Zaretskiy (RUS) Endurance 35 Esmeralda

Istvan Kopar (USA) Tradewind 35 Puffin

Loïc Lepage (FRA) Nicholson 32 Laaland

Francesco Cappelletti (ITI) Endurance 35 007


Those to have passed their safety inspections to date are:

Susie Goodall (GBR) Rustler 36 DHL Starlight

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede (FRA) Rustler 36 Matmut

Abhilash Tomy (IND) Suhaili replica Thuriya

Gregor McGuckin (IRE) Biscay 36 Hanley Energy Endurance

Mark Sinclair (AUS) Lello 34 Coconut

Kevin Farebrother (AUS) Tradewind 35 Sagarmatha

Ertan Beskardes (GBR) Rustler 36 Lazy Otter

Philippe Péché (FRA) Rustler 36 PRB

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