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Tracking the 50th Anniversary of the Golden Globe Race

A flotilla of yachts
Photo Credit: GGR 2018

The 2018 Golden Globe Race marked the 50th anniversary of the ‘68/’69 Times Golden Globe Race, and was a tribute to Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the winner (and only finisher) of that first nonstop circumnavigation of the globe. Relying on sextants, paper charts and guesstimating the weather, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston took 312 days to return home to Falmouth, UK.

The 2018 Golden Globe Race went to great lengths to stay true to the spirit of that original race. Yachts were robust pre 1988 affairs with full length keels and overall lengths from 32ft - 36ft. Communication with the outside world was available only when the long-range radios allowed for it. For most of the 300 or so days at sea, skippers sail alone and unassisted.

According to the regulations, absolutely no post 1968 equipment can be used during the race, including mobile phones, computers, digital cameras, and of course no new-fangled yarns made out of Kevlar or carbon fibre. Want to take a picture? Put some film in your analogue camera. Want to write on paper? A pen or a typewriter are your only two choices. Ripped sail? Break out the waxed twine and sail needles.

The objective of this race isn’t so much to win, but rather to take part in the experience of retro sailing through the five great capes of the world. The race attracted a fearless group of skippers ranging from 73 year old and five-time circumnavigator Jean-Luc van den Heede to 28 year old Susie Goodall, two time transatlantic crosser and yacht builder.

What was YB Tracking doing in a retro yacht race?

Safety regulations, emergency communication and tracking updates are unavoidable nowadays. Even the most vintage of events needs some modern peace of mind. Viewers could also keep track of the race as it unfolded, by visiting our sleek, modern and wholly computerised YB Race Viewer.

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