The 1st of July... a day to remember

On the 1st of July 2018, only 6 months after I crossed the Atlantic Ocean in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, my next adventure took place: participating in the Golden Globe race. The Golden Globe race is a solo non-stop circumnavigation, departing from Les Sables-d'Olonne and sailing solo, non-stop around the world via the five Great Capes and returning to Les Sables-d'Olonne. Participants are limited to sailing similar yachts and equipment that was available to Sir Robin Knox-Johnston during the first edition of the race in 1968. That means sailing without modern technology or benefit of satellite based navigation aids. So in short, sailing as if it were 1968. I bought a Rustler 36, called Maverick. She would prove to be a highly reliable choice.

A nice anecdote is that previous to my registration for the race I received a phone call of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston with the invitation to participate in the GGR 2018. I was completely blown away by this phone call. It's not every day you get a call from your hero!

Now, two years later I like to look back on this day. The start at Les Sable-d'Olonne. In the days leading up to the start I said goodbye to friends and family, gave interviews, attended the GGR press conference, accidentally bumped into Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in person (you want to know his favorite Dutch word... it's 'kaaskop' 😁), ate some great fresh meals and making final preparations on the boat until it was the 1st of July. We left the harbour, which gave me goose bumps: so many people came to see us off. In front of the fleet of participants there were two boats which participated in the 1968 edition of the race: the Suhaili (of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston) and the Joshua (of Bernard Moitessier), forming the imaginary starting line. After crossing the starting line, it was game on 👊🏼.

In the video below you see a great compilation of the race, created by one of my loyal sponsors, Sunbeam System. If you followed the race in 2018, you know that it was brutal, devastating, competitive as well as beautiful, life changing, inspirational, epic and of course memorable. The race began with 18 competitors, only 5 successfully finished.

And on this 1st July, I also wonder who will participate in the 2022 edition...

If you have any questions for me about the GGR2018, just let me know!

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