Sailing AdventuresUK

Golden Globe Race 2018, A race back to the Golden Age of Solo sailing

The Golden Globe Race is back in 2018, following in the footsteps of Robin Knox Johnston in Suhaili, the winner of the original 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe. Race founder Don McIntyre explains. No satellites, no electric autopilots, no high-tech, sailing 32-36ft production yachts designed before 1988. A race back to the Golden Age of Solo sailing.


Entrants of the Golden Globe Race 2018 are limited to sailing similar yachts and equipment to what was available to Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the winner of the original race in 1968–69. That means sailing without the use of modern technology such as satellite-based navigation aids. Safety equipment such as EPIRBs and AIS are carried, however, the competitors are only allowed to use the technology in an emergency.

Competitors could apply to have their class of boat approved, providing it was in accordance with the following rules:

  • Of fibre reinforced plastic construction.
  • Designed prior to 1988 and have a minimum series of 20 yachts built from one mould.
  • Have a hull length of between 32 to 36 feet (9.8 to 11.0 m). Bowsprits, wind vanes and outboard rudders, boomkins, pushpits and pulpits are not measured.
  • Have full-length keels with rudders attached to the trailing edge.
  • A minimum design displacement of 6,200 kilograms (13,700 lb)

Twenty-two classes were approved, with one exception to the rules made for a wood-epoxy Suhaili replica (the Suhaili being the yacht that Knox-Johnston sailed in 1968).

The Golden Globe Race 2018 will on 1 July 2018 in Les Sables-d’Olonne and will lead around the world eastward, leaving Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn to port. There will be several “film gates” along the route, where the skippers can be interviewed as they sail past without stopping and where they can pass over films and letters.

One Comment

  1. Good luck to all the competitors

    I hope they don’t suffer from the self steering gear problems that Sir Robin endured during his circumnavigation.


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