To mark the 50th anniversary of the first solo non-stop circumnavigation under sail achieved by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston during the 1968-69 Sunday Times Golden Globe Yacht Race, a new Golden Globe Race is set to start from Falmouth, England on June 14, 2018 — the same day and month that Knox-Johnston set out on his epic voyage 50 years earlier.
What distinguishes this race from others around the globe will be its “retro” outfitting of the boat — entrants are restricted to using the type of yachts and equipment that were available to Knox-Johnston in that first race. That means sailing without modern technology or the benefit of satellite-based navigation aids.
Competitors must sail in production boats that are 32 to 36 feet overall and designed prior to 1988 with a full-length keel and a rudder attached to their trailing edge, similar in concept to Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili.
The announcement is significant, marking the 46th anniversary of Knox-Johnston’s victorious return to Falmouth in 1969 as the sole finisher in the original Sunday Times event.
“I’m a great believer in the freedom of the individual. I think this race is a great idea, giving an opportunity for those who want to do something special with their lives,” Knox-Johnston said in a statement. “You can enter this race in an ordinary seaworthy boat and know that success will be down to personal drive and determination, and not to the biggest budget. I intend to be at the start with Suhaili to celebrate this anniversary and expect to be joined by two other yachts that competed in the original Sunday Times Race.”
A prize purse of 75,000 pounds, or about $112,777, has been budgeted for the 2018 Golden Globe Race, and all who finish before 3:25 p.m. on April 22, 2019, (the anniversary of Knox-Johnston’s finish) will receive a Suhaili trophy and a refund of their entry fee.
Applications for an invitation to compete in the 2018 Golden Globe Race close on Jan. 31, 2018. A provisional non-refundable entry fee of 1,500 pounds is due with the application. The balance of 5,500 pounds, or a total of $10,525 for the full entry fee, must be paid no later than Jan. 31, 2018. Entries are limited to 20 participants.