All 18 of the competing yachts in the Golden Globe Race have now gathered at Falmouth Marina ready to sail to Brittany for the start from Les Sables d’Olonne on July 1.
Most of the solo sailors have been preparing for three years, since the race was proposed by Don McIntyre as an antidote to the big budget events which dominate sailing news. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston sailing his beloved Wm Atkins ketch Suhaili sailed into Falmouth yesterday, 10 June, marking the moment when he set sail 50 years ago in the original Golden Globe Race (1968 – 1969).
The yachts in this race have to be between 32 and 36 feet overall length and be pre-1986 production designs with more than 20 models built. They can be wood, GRP, steel or composite. They can also be a copy of Suhaili and one, Thuriya is a strip-built replica built in Goa by Indian Navy pilot Abhilash Tomy.
The programme of events in Falmouth includes briefings today with receptions at St Mawes and Falmouth yacht clubs. The pontoons will be open to the public to see the boats from 11 am to 6pm. Volunteers are on hand to guide visitors around.
On Thursday the yachts, led by Suhaili and Gypsy Moth IV, will have a parade of sail around Falmouth Harbour and Carrick Roads from 10:30 til 1pm at which point the Golden Globers will start their race to France.