On July 1st, Mark Slats started in the Golden Globe Race. After exactly 8 weeks Slats is almost rounding Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. As second placed in the fleet of only 12 participants in this historic sailing race, Mark is doing well. His text message from Saturday night was 'great package deal, snow, hail, 40+ knots, messy sea and big waves'. A few hours later he reported 'Gusting 50+ knots in squalls but everything goes well just storm jib all fine'. Now Slats has to avoid risks and keep his boat in good conditionsl. Slats, who has no access to now a days communication and navigation equipment during his race around the world, is steady in second place behind experienced French skipper Jean-Luc Van den Heede.
As the fleet moves more and more east, the weather changes, so do the conditions on board and the text messages from the participants. The skippers have no contact with friends and family. They can only broadcast a short message every six hours via their YB tracker. Receiving messages is not possible. Two weeks ago the messages mostly concerned wind stills, reading books, caught tuna and Albatrosses' companions, these have now given way to reports of snow, hail, strong wind, big waves, hard work and damage sustained. Several participants have had to make repairs to be as well prepared as possible for the even more violent conditions of the Southern Ocean. Are Wiig reported Saturday night that he had two knockdowns. Are and his boat are still doing well, the boat has only suffered a few minor damage.
After 56 days there are only 12 of the 18 participants left in the race. This weekend, two skippers decided to stop the race early. Frenchman Antoine Cousot is on his way to Rio de Janeiro Brazil and Frenchman Philippe Péché arrived on Saturday in Cape Town, South Africa. Technical problems made them choose not to defy the wretched conditions of the Southern Ocean. In addition to technical problems, Cousot also sustained injuries, which made the choice to continue irresponsible. After his arrival in Capetown Philippe Péché was sure that he should have taken more parts with him to be able to carry out repairs at sea. The Frenchman was eager to take on board as little weight as possible at the start. He wanted to be able to race. He realized that the participants from 1968 did not push their boats. Péché himself together with Jean Luc Van den Heede and Mark Slats in particular have raced so far.
During the Golden Globe Race Mark, under the name Sailing4cancer, raises money for more research into cancer, for research by Professor Dr Rene Bernards of the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam (Antoni van Leeuwenhoek). Mark's goal is to raise € 50,000. Earlier this year, Mark dr Bernards already handed over a check for € 44,321 because of his participation in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. He rowed under the name Row4cancer solo, non-stop from La Gomera (Canary Islands) to Antigua. He finished as first solo boat and pulverized the world record. Donations for Sailing4cancer are welcome at https://actie.avlfoundation.nl/sailing4cancer
Press release & photo : Karen Hogenbirk | Hogenbirk Support
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