Golden Globe Race. An international race around the world. Sport

India, France, Canada, United States, Great Britain, South Africa, Australia, Austria, Ireland, Finland… With ten countries at the start, the Golden Globe Race is a resolutely international race. A status that it acquired, from its second edition, in 2018. Fifty years after the original event and the victory of the Briton Robin Knox-Johnston. To date, in single-handed and non-stop sailing competitions around the world, it is also the only race, that of 1968-1969, which has not been won by a Frenchman. The first nine editions of the Vendée Globe show a Frenchman on the winners list. And to be complete, it is Jean-Luc Van Den Heede who has entered his name in the 2018-2019 opus of the Golden Globe Race.

Three stories, one legend…

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede has the particularity of having completed four round the world solo and non-stop, including the first two Vendée Globes (3rd and 2nd). The sailor from Sablais explains to us why the Golden Globe Race, formerly called the Golden Globe Challenge, has been internationally recognized since its first edition. “Already, the race was organized by the Sunday Times, with all the means of communication that this implied. The British newspaper knew how to make it an event. In France, there was a lot of talk about Bernard Moitessier who gave up the race when he was in the lead, but it created an international buzz. There is the victory of Robin Knox-Johnston, the only finisher. And the dramatic story of Donald Crowhurst, who cheated by giving false positions, before disappearing. »

A trip around the world for 100,000 euros

These three stories, among many others, have made the legend of the Golden Globe Race around the world. “When Don McIntyre had the idea of ​​relaunching the race with the same boats and the same means of navigation as in 1968, there were plenty of sailors who were interested in the event, summarizes Jean-Luc. Whereas the Vendée Globe, apart from a few sailors who know about it, has become less international than the Golden Globe. »

In 2018, there were eighteen starters and twelve nationalities. “The other reason is that if in France, we find sponsors, it is more complicated in other countries, such as South Africa. However, there are two at the start, including a woman: Kirsten Neuscäffer. With a budget of 100,000 euros, we can make the Golden Globe. For the Vendée Globe, it’s between 5 and 8 million over four years. It is not easy to find such a budget in some countries…”

Damien Guillou facing the rest of the world…

As in the Vendée Globe, there are adventurers and competitors in the Golden Globe. Frenchman Damien Guillou is the favourite. “It’s the best prepared, explains VDH. But it’s an open race where it’s not just a question of budget. Among those who can win are Austrian Michaël Guggenberger, Finnish Tapio Lehbinen, American Guy de Boer, Briton Simon Curwen and South African Kirsten Neuscäffer. » Between the Rustlers, Tashiba, Gaia, Biscay and others, there will also be a race within the race: that of the architects. To be continued…

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Golden Globe Race. An international race around the world. Sport