I consider Puffin, a Tradewind 35’, the most seaworthy boat in the GGR fleet, thanks to her major, three-year-long refit before the race.
The equipment-related technical problems and the lack of time to test them occurred due to the poor budget. Money always talks…
The original Golden Globe Race in 1968/69 was the real deal regarding solo achievement. The sailors chose their boat, equipment, and routing, and there was neither a tracking device nor a Satellite phone on board.
The race, 50 years later, cannot be compared to the first one despite the organizers’ best intentions.
In 1968 the race rules were brief and simple. The participants entered the race under their own personal responsibility, and everyone prepared for it and sailed in it by their own decision.
Nowadays, the responsibility has been moved to the race organizers, who get into trouble if “the soup pours out of the pot.”
They were forced to create a very lengthy, detailed, and constantly changing rule book (NOR) regulating every aspect of the race, which, in my opinion, killed the essential part of it—the soul or the race.
It also impacted the sailor’s preparation and qualification process, mainly financially.
In addition, the focus of the race preparation shifted to the potential rescue operation, communication, and equipment, serving as a responsibility waiver.
The current, high-tech communication was another development that harmed the soul of the original race. In 1968 competitors could communicate with the outside world via their HF radios, just like us in 2018.
They could receive weather forecasts and storm and ice warnings, but they did not have a Satellite tracker and weather routing service on land available.
This technological evolution impacted the image of solo, unassisted sailing and sportsmanship negatively.
Accordingly, I consider my circumnavigation the closest one to the spirit of the original Golden Globe Race, as I was able to accomplish it without outside assistance despite ongoing technical issues.