Is Sailing Around The World Your Idea Of Fun Travel?

by Shelli Stein

Many of us travel the world. We fly, we go over land, we travel for a few days or for a few months. Some people prefer to travel over vast stretches of sea. Some prefer to travel on curated tours, with family, with friends, and even on solo travel journeys. Here’s a group of adventurers, however, giving travel another meaning entirely. They race solo around the world in a sailboat. Their race is called the Golden Globe Race.

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What Is The Golden Globe Race?

The Golden Globe Race is possibly the most challenging competition the sailing world offers. The race is a solo, nonstop, unassisted circumnavigation. This feat was first accomplished in 1969.

Golden Globe entrants sail low-tech boats. They sail without modern electronics which means no laptops or electronic charts, radar or sophisticated weather routing. To find their position at sea they navigate by the sun and stars and simple speed calculations.

According to the rules, satellite phones are allowed, but only for communication with race officials and the occasional media interview. Each boat has collision-avoidance alarms and a GPS tracker, but entrants can’t view their position data. There’s a separate GPS for navigation, but it’s sealed and only for emergencies. Its use can lead to disqualification. Entrants are permitted to use radios to communicate with each other and with passing ships. They’re allowed to briefly anchor, but not get off the boat nor have anyone aboard. And no one is allowed to give them supplies or assistance.

What’s The Allure Of The Race?

It’s not the money, that’s for sure. The prize of 5,000 pounds (about $6,045) is the same as it was in the 1960s. That amount is not even enough to cover entry fees. The real lure is the challenge. It’s about sailing old school style!

If you want to read more about the race, who participates, what their days are like, and more about their trials and tribulations, check this out.

Kirsten Neuschafer, the only woman sailor in this year’s race says she’s looking forward to finishing in early spring. But first, she still has to traverse the entire Atlantic Ocean from south to north. “I’ll get off and enjoy feeling the land beneath my feet.” After that, she says, “the first thing I’d like to do is eat ice cream.”

To me this all sounds scary and yet fascinating. I’ve been sailing with friends who have sailboats but this kind of undertaking is sailing leveled up to the max. No wonder for sailors it’s the Mount Everest of the sea!

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