Golden Globe Race
Fifty years ago, nine hopeful pioneers set off from different ports to make a lap of the planet. Only one man completed the gruelling feat, and, in doing so, became the first to sail solo, non-stop around the world! Half a century later, in recognition of that milestone in exploration, a group of hardy adventurers are preparing to take on the same thirty-thousand mile journey, with the prospect of almost a year alone at sea.
MainSail looks back at the stories to come out of that first ever Golden Globe race back in 1968, some of tragedy and despair, but in the case of winner Sir Robin Knox Johnston, one of courage and triumph over adversity. He meets with Shirley Robertson to tell of his experience at sea and how he and his boat Suhaili, which at thirty-two feet was one of the smallest in the race, survived the remarkable voyage.
The race was the precursor to the current Vendee Globe, a seventy-four-day sprint around the planet in cutting edge, high-end monohulls, but this year’s reenactment of the Golden Globe is expected to take four times longer. In homage to the nine original entrants, the participants, including adventurers like firefighter Kevin Farebrother, who has mounted the summit of Everest three times, will depend on traditional skills of seamanship, paper charts, astral navigation, thirty-year-old boats and the prospect of nearly a year alone at sea. Shirley previews the race and catches up with some of those who will set off from Les Sables later this summer, to find out their hopes and fears, but above all, what has inspired them to take on such a gruelling challenge.