Dateline: Plymouth 30th June 2017.
One year from today, up to 30 sailors will set out from Plymouth UK to recreate history at the start of a solo circumnavigation in small traditional long keeled yachts using just paper charts, a sextant and wind up chronometer to navigate by. The Race marks the 50th anniversary of the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race and the remarkable achievement of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in becoming the first man to complete a solo nonstop circumnavigation.
Dramas at sea
Fifty years on from the original race when only one of the nine starters managed to finish, the dramas being faced by competitors during their 2,000 mile proving trials show that the challenges remain just as great.
Six months after Australian entrant Shane Freeman was capsized and left dismasted 600 miles from Cape Horn, Frenchman Loïc Lepage lost his liferaft, when it exploded from its canister stowed on deck during his 2,000 mile proving trial. It was a heart-stopping moment, but after returning to France to replace the raft and review the position and fastenings, he has set out once more to sail solo to the Azores and back.
Freeman’s liferaft, stowed in a similar manner on deck, was also damaged, and the Australian also lost the use of his wind vane self steering when the line connected to a drogue became tangled round the blade.