Just before the first media drop-off Dutch entrant Mark Slats hears : 'Ohpen Maverick, Ohpen Maverick, this is the Seahorse' on the radio. Slats is currently sailing at Lanzarote on the Canary Islands and does not know his own position. The call appears to be from the Dutch vlogger Andries Bik who sails around the Canary Islands with his ship The Seahorse. Bik reacted a few days earlier to a call from Slat's supporters on Facebook; 'Who can make photos and / or videos of Mark Slats, the only Dutch entrant in the Golden Globe Race 2018, near the Canary Islands?'
The Golden Globe Race is a retro race, as a tribute to Sir Robin Knox Johnston who crossed the finish line 50 years earlier. In 1968 seven participants had to stop their solo, non-stop, sailing trip around the world early and one participant committed suicide. Today's race is sailed under the technical conditions of 1968, 'sailing like it's 1968', so modern navigation and / or communication equipment. Well-known sailing races such as the Volvo Ocean Race and the Vendee Globe originated from the 'Sunday Times's Golden Globe Race' of 1968.
Slats reacted, as usual, super excited. As fanatic as he is, he wanted to know exactly which position he had in the fleet. Bik said that Slats' great competitor, the experienced navigator and Frenchman Philippe Péché, was the only participant in front of him but missed the mandatory buoy at Marina Rubicon (Lanzarote) and therefore lost up to 3 hours ahead of Slats. Slats became more fanatic and wanted to know how far his other competitor, the highly experienced French sailor Jean Luc van den Heede, was behind him. Bik was able to provide Slats with all information, including important weather reports for the coming days. Bik was not allowed to advise Slats about the route. Slats, who is second in the fleet, continued his race at high speed after he deliverd 2 super8 film cassettes and letters to the Race control. Hunting on Péché and ready to take over the first place again.
Participants in the Golden Globe Race sail 30,000 nautical miles, solo, non-stop, around the world without, for example, GPS, autopilot or mobile phone. Assistance from outside is not allowed. There is no contact with friends or family at home. However, Slats may request his position and weather forecasts, via VHF or SSB radio, to vessels in the vicinity.
While Slats had contact with the Dutch vlogger via VHF, Bik gave family, friends and fans of Mark, all over the world, a great impression of Slats' sailing skills through a live connection on Facebook. Slats crashed the world record ocean rowing earlier this year. He rowed in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge in 30 days from La Gomera to Antigua. In this sailing race, Slats also makes a strong impression by sailing the largest part of the race on 1 or 2. Later in the race, Slats will also benefit from his proven, very strong mental and physical condition. Should Slats end up in a wind-free zone, he has two life-size oars on board. He can get 2 - 2.5 knot speedsusing his oars.
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