It’s been a very good year and I’m truly grateful for all the support I’ve received since I decided to enter the Golden Globe Race in 2022. People are so Kind.
From a young age I dreamed of sailing solo in many ocean races. Then my father sailed the Atlantic twice before sailing around the World single handed, I was lucky enough to have been on his committee. Working and watching him fulfilled me. It was out of my system, but then the Golden Globe Race came up. My dream came back to life. Being involved with my Father's voyage made it achievable.
When I was accepted as an entrant, my next job was to find the best boat for the race. There were quite a few I liked. The journey is more about survival and arrival, than speed. My search brought me to many fine boats, but the one I liked most was the Saltram Saga 36. She was a mighty fine safe boat, well minded, and in good condition. I went to Amsterdam and signed the contract at end of March. She became a Lawless boat.
Now was the fun part, to sail her home via Les Sables d'Ollone, down in The Bay of Biscay. I spent a few days going over her to make sure that she was ready for a sea passage. My lovely brother Jim joined me on the 2nd April. Next day we sailed through the City of Amsterdam into the North Sea, down the English Channel on the French side, stopping in Boulogne-sur-Mer first, Dieppe next and then Cherbourg. Jim got the ferry back to Ireland. I did miss Jim's lovely company, but it was time to get used to sailing solo. From there I sailed to the island of Groix in the bay of Biscay, on the way to Les Sables D'Olonne.
The more I got to know the boat, the better I got to love her. I could feel her Soul and Sprite were Super. She was loved all her life.
I had a nice week in Les Sables as the prize giving for the GGR 18 was on. I Was so well looked after by the Port Olona marina. My Wife, her sister and husband joined me for a few days. Beautiful city half very old with the new also. Magical to find that I had a new GGR family, and it it getting bigger all the time.
After the great week. it was time to sail home. There was a storm forecast for the May weekend in Ireland 500 nm away. I had three days to get home, the boat would have been well able for it, but good to just get in before it. The best news was, after sailing 2,000 nm I knew the Saltram Saga was fast and safe.
Info on the race
In 1966-67 Sir Francis Chichester sailed solo around the world with one stop. He was sponsored by The Sunday Times. The paper's sales soared. So the next year they organised the Golden Globe Race, with £5,000 prize money. Nine boats made it to the start, only one finished.
Fifty years later, a race in the spirit the 1968 race McInter Adventures organized the GGR 18. The boats were of that time, and the rules are that the technology used on the boats are of that time also. 18 started, five finished. The third race starts on the 4th September 2022 . I will be on the start line in my Saltram Saga 36.