2018 Golden Globe Race

Thursday, 05 October 2017



Press release
4th October 2017

2018 Golden Globe Race moves to
Les Sables d’Olonne - Vendée (France)

Dateline: Les Sables d'Olonne, 4th October 2017.

The 2018 Golden Globe Race will now start from Les Sables d’Olonne France on Sunday July 1st 2018. The race will mark the 50th Anniversary of the original event which was first held in 1968 and was the fist race of its kind.

Les Sables d’Olonne also hosts the start and finish of the 4-yearly Vendée Globe solo non-stop round the world race in Open 60 class yachts, is now a partner in the 2018 Golden Globe Race and will host a 2-week celebration to the origins of solo sailing in the port prior to the start.

The 2018 Golden Globe race will now start from Les Sables d'Olonne, France on July 1st and take the fleet around the five great Capes in the Southern Ocean.
©Les Sables d’Olonne Agglomération

At a press conference held in Les Sables d’Olonne today, Yannick Moreau, President of the Sables d'Olonne Agglomeration said:

"The port of Les Sables d'Olonne, home of the Vendée Globe, is happy to welcome the ‘Golden Globe Race’, the father of all the solo round the world events, a race that places man at the heart of this maritime adventure.

The Golden Globe Race 2018 could not have chosen a better port in Europe to organise such a legendary race that has attracted so many sailors and adventurers from all over the world.

The Sables d'Olonne agglomeration, the city and the Vendée partners will be happy to offer both the Vendée Globe channel and public support to these adventurers who set sail from Les Sables on July 1, 2018.

The event will be 50 years after Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Bernard Moitessier and their companions left on the "long route".

The Golden Globe Race is also an opportunity for Les Sables d'Olonne to reinforce its popularity with sea lovers all around the world. This is a maritime adventure with a capital "A". Welcome to Les Sables d'Olonne!"

Agreed Partnership: Don McIntyre organiser of the course
and Yannick Moreau - President of Les Sables d’Olonne city centre
©Les Sables d’Olonne Agglomération

Suhaili Falmouth - Parade of Sail

Before the start of the Golden Globe race, the entire GGR fleet of traditional long-keeled yachts and their skippers will participate in a special Suhaili Parade of Sail in Falmouth, Cornwall on Thursday June 14th to mark the day that Sir Robin Knox-Johnston set out to win the original Golden Globe Race 50 years before.

One of nine entrants, Sir Robin was the solo finisher. Frenchman Bernard Moitessier sailing Joshua, rounded Cape Horn 17 days behind Knox-Johnston. Moitessier, having the bigger yacht, might have overtaken his English rival however instead of heading back to the Atlantic in hot pursuit, Moitessier turned east to make a second circumnavigation of the Southern Ocean to ‘Save my soul’ as he put it.

This Parade of Sail is organised by the Falmouth Town Team and Royal Cornwall Yacht Club - where Sir Robin stepped ashore upon his return and promises to be quite a spectacle. Sir Robin, sailing on his famous yacht Suhaili, will lead Bernhard Moitessier’s yacht Joshua, Sir Francis Chichester’s Gipsy Moth IV and Sir Alec Rose’s Lively Lady in a ‘Parade of Sail’ around Falmouth Harbour saluted by the Golden Globe Race skippers and other boats.

Les Sables d’Olonne - now a world centre for solo sailing

SITraN Challenge Race from Falmouth to Les Sables d’Olonne

At 13:45, which is the time that Sir Robin slipped his mooring at the start 50 years before, he will fire a cannon from the deck of Suhaili to start the GGR SITraN Challenge charity race to Les Sables d’Olonne with Joshua marking the leeward end of the line.

The Golden Globe Race had been planned to start from Plymouth, England, but a two-year search for sponsorship across the UK did not produce a successful outcome and prompted this change of host port.

Suhaili and Joshua will compete against other famous yachts and their arrival in Les Sables d’Olonne with the GGR fleet will mark the opening of the 2018 Golden Globe Race Village two weeks before the start.

The Golden Globe Race had been planned to start from Plymouth, England, but a two-year search for sponsorship across the UK did not produce a successful outcome and prompted this change of host port.

Don McIntyre, the Race Chairman, said today. “We would like to thank Plymouth City Council and the Royal Western Yacht Club for all their support. With less than a year to the start, it became clear that the uncertainties surrounding BREXIT has greatly restricted financial opportunities. We are very pleased to be partnering with Les Sables d’Olonne to host the start and finish of the Golden Globe Race and look forward to a great event.”

It was the original Golden Globe Race of course that started the modern Vendée Globe solo non-stop round the world race that starts and finishes in Les Sables d’Olonne, and held halfway between the four year cycle of the Vendée Globe, the 2018 Golden Globe Race creates real synergy for both events. One is super high tech and commercial while the other is all about human endeavour and Corinthian spirit. Les Sables d’Olonne grasped the GGR opportunity with great enthusiasm and has worked closely with the Organisers to develop a comprehensive support and logistics package. This includes a comprehensive Race Village, Media Centre, Marina Management and co-ordination across the entire region.

The Race will be run under the auspices of the Royal Nukuma Yacht Club, and the Race Office will be based in Les Sables d’Olonne for the duration of the event. The official language will be English with French translation. Les Sables d’Olonne will support all finishing yachts and organise the Official finish celebrations. The Race Director will speak French and English with all bilingual media.

Les Sables d’Olonne is a lead supporter of the GGR, an Official Presenting Sponsor sought with three Official Partners. Volunteers at the start of the race and participating within the event organisation, make up an important element of the event. A register of interested volunteers has started. The French have a passion for events like the GGR and entrants are sure to become national heroes to many. The harbour facilities are first class and this new Partnership with Les Sables d’Olonne is a strong endorsement for the Race.

From left to right: Antoine Cousot (skipper), Yannick Moreau (President LSOA) Don McIntyre (race organiser) Jean-Luc Van Den Heede (skipper)
©Les Sables d'Olonne Agglomération

Entry list – 4 places still available

Over the past year some of the original entrants have dropped out however those on the waiting List eagerly filled their places. This has left a list of 26 entrants including 6 from France.

It also gives the opportunity for four more to fulfil lifelong dreams of sailing around the world. “The Race is limited to 30 entrants, and since we have received more than 150 enquiries, we don’t think it will be long before our list is full again” says McIntyre.

For further details, go to www.goldengloberace.com

Key figures:

The course: 30,000 miles with 4 meeting points.

  • 26 participants (maximum entry is 30)
  • Competitors are from 14 countries
  • USA (3) AUS (3) BRA (2) GBR (3) EST (1) FIN (1) FRA (6) IND (1) IRL (1) ITA (1) NDL (1) NOR (1) PSE (1) RUS (1)
  • Oldest competitor:
    Jean-Luc van den Heede (FRA) 72.
  • Youngest competitors:
    aged 27:  Roy Hubbard (USA) Susie Goodall (GBR) and Nérée Cornuz (Italy/Switzerland)


Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 October 2017 )