First Golden Globe Race 2018 Press Conference

I just came back from the first Informal meeting in London regarding the Golden Globe Race 2018. In this essay i want to share with you my  impressions and describe the whole thing a little bit.

For me, as I am a newbie in the field of official meetings in the sailing-world I was very exited about going to London and meeting all the people competing in and organizing this unique event! There have been a lot of questions in my mind… What kind of people will i get to know? Will it be fun? Or will it be very professional with only posing for pictures and interviews all day? Do the competitors just talk to their companions or is there an exchange of information?

Good Morning in the Little Ship Club, Left: Barry Pickthall from PPL PHOTO AGENCY

Good Morning in the Little Ship Club,
Left: Barry Pickthall from PPL PHOTO AGENCY

The venue of the first Golden Globe Race press conference was very well chosen. The Little Ship Club is a nice and classic club facing the Thames in the heard of London. Dark wooden furniture, classic leather seating’s, lots of pictures of the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race…Classic!

So all in all I got to say it was pretty informative and I met a lot of very interesting, nice and normal´ish people. One wouldn’t guess that these persons have the dream of racing a little yacht over the oceans for such long time. I don’t know what i expected these people should look like. Hero-costumes or Foul weather gear all day long:)… But if you would pass by them in the train you wouldn’t recognize them as the adventurer. There have been people like me (adventurous and full of visions) on the one side and guys like Jean-Luc van den Heede aged 70 who circumnavigated the world 5 times, on the other. One of his adventures was a nonstop solo circumnavigation against the prevailing winds and currents. And he still holds the speed record for this west about around the globe journey. No crewed boat made it within those 122 days and some hours it took him to do it…

From the beginning on, people where very friendly and whe had a lot of good conversations about the project, the notice of race which is the rulebook so to say, individual thoughts and concerns. Of course a lot of talks about boats, waves, weather…

Don McIntyre, Chairman and founder of the 2018 Golden Globe Race © PPL PHOTO AGENCY

Don McIntyre, Chairman and founder of the 2018 Golden Globe Race
© PPL PHOTO AGENCY

Don MacIntyre, who founded the race, started the conference with presenting the project and introducing the race organization team. Jane Zhou-Finance and Admin, Annette Pfeffer-Social and Multi Media and Barry Pickthall PR. He told us about the news related to producing a documentary about the Golden Globe Race. Eggplant-TV is now the executive-production-company under contract and they started collecting footage immediately. The competitors who couldn’t make it to London where also introduced by Don and then everybody of us had 2 min. to introduce us. Some, including me, where very nervous, others just made it like there daily business.

Neree Cornuz said while his introduction: “ It is funny… Sailing in force 10 winds? No Problem… but talking into a Microphone in front of some people and cameras shocks me!! I found this was very true for me aswell.

Don announced that he will not be able to take part in the race due to the fact that he is going to be so deeply involved in organizing this event that it is simply not possible for him to leave his position while the race is on. So this free spot immediately went on to one of the waitlisted entrants. Then a presentation of the new and upcoming face of the Golden Globe Race brought to us by Annette. She was talking about and showing moods of the new website and ideas about the logo. After that it was posing for pictures, doing interviews and again talking to Race-members while having Lunch.

Race skippers and Race management (left to right): Ian Reid - UK, Graham Applin - UK, Michael Guggenberger - Austria; Susie Bundegaard Goodall - UK; Barry Pickthall - GGR Media Co-ordinator; Don McIntyre, GGR Chairman; Jane Zhou - GGR Administrator; Chris Jacks - UK; Neree Cornuz - Italy; Are Wiig - Norway; Fabrizio Ladi - Switzerland; Shane Freeman - Australia; Tim Newson - UK; Antoine Cousot - France; Jean-Luc van den Heede - France; Annette Pfeffe, GGR Digital manager; Uku Randmaa - Estonia, Istvan Kopar - USA; © PPL PHOTO AGENCY

Race skippers and Race management (left to right):
Ian Reid – UK, Graham Applin – UK, Michael Guggenberger – Austria; Susie Bundegaard Goodall – UK; Barry Pickthall – GGR Media Co-ordinator; Don McIntyre, GGR Chairman; Jane Zhou – GGR Administrator; Chris Jacks – UK; Neree Cornuz – Italy; Are Wiig – Norway; Fabrizio Ladi – Switzerland; Shane Freeman – Australia; Tim Newson – UK; Antoine Cousot – France; Jean-Luc van den Heede – France; Annette Pfeffe, GGR Digital manager; Uku Randmaa – Estonia, Istvan Kopar – USA;
© PPL PHOTO AGENCY

In the afternoon Don was going through the pre-notice of race, which will be updated by June 2016 to the final Notice of Race, discussing it point by point to bring in more clearance about different aspects. Mostly it was about what is allowed to have and what not. For example: No high-tech sails, no high-tech ropes, no electronic log, freeze dried food yes or no, how communication will work and so on. And we also discussed the different equipment, which is mandatory.
Last but not least Don made a whole lot of suggestions how to secure Sponsorship for this project.

By then it was around 5 pm and we all went off to meet up again later for a Thames dinner cruise. It was a great idea to catch up again at a different site. As it was a “skippers and their partners only dinner” everybody opened up even more and all of us got into a more relaxed mood. Really nice!
Time passed by very quickly due to the many good conversations in this nice atmosphere. Getting back to the hotel I realized the tension I have had inside me the last days and how it all fell off as this day was fading out…

Skippers at the conference, surrounded by historic pictures from the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race back in 1968/9 © PPL PHOTO AGENCY

Skippers at the conference, surrounded by historic pictures from the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race back in 1968/9
© PPL PHOTO AGENCY

To wrap this up! It was a very well organized conference to start this adventurous event. Everybody especially Don showed his passion for this unique retro race in a way that impressed me. But the most interessting thing for me to see was, that all of these guys cook with water. And all of them want to compete in the Golden Globe Race for there personal, but very similar reasons. The love for the infinity of the oceans. I could see the eyes of each of them glowing if the talk was about Sailing. And the desire to do something very special in a unique way. For me this meeting brought a face to the whole thing. And I actually do like the look of it more and more.

So lets see how I go on cooking this soup. What ingredients I want to use and which spices will find a way into it…

 

Questions or suggestions? Just email me or use the comment section to leave me a message.

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “First Golden Globe Race 2018 Press Conference

  1. Gratulation zu Deinem Entschluss und Deiner Teilnahme! Ich (auch Jg 1977) schaue mit Spannung auf den Anlass. Die Initiative von Don und sein Engagement finde ich grossartig!

    Trotzdem: Dein Bericht vom ersten Treffen in London hat für mich viele Fragen aufgeworfen. Vielleicht kannst Du Sie ja in einem nächsten Blogeintrag einmal aufnehmen.

    In Voiles et Voiliers (führende Segelzeitschrift aus Frankreich) wurde eine lustige Episode berichtet, in der offenbar der junge Engländer Tim Newson bei dem Treffen in London gefragt hat, weshalb man keinen ipod mitnehmen darf.. und ob man denn, wenn man Musik auf alten Audio-Kassetten hören müsse, auch nur Musik aus den 60er-Jahren hören dürfe.

    «Newson : Pourquoi je ne peux pas emmener mon iPod ? Réponse de la direction de course : C’est un appareil digital. Newson : Et pour la musique ? Direction de course : Tu peux emmener des cassettes audio. Newson : Cela implique qu’on ne pourra écouter que de la musique des années 60 ? »

    Jetzt wo die Regeln zur technischen Ausrüstung sehr detailliert bekannt sind. Was denkst Du den Regeln? Zurück in die Vergangenheit! Das wird in den Regeln wörtlich genommen. Das macht ja bestimmt auch den Reiz des Anlasses aus und unterscheidet diesen Parcour von den anderen Regatten. Andererseits wirkt es auch künstlich und inszeniert: dass man sich einem solchen Regelwerk unterwirft. Nicht einmal Digitalkameras sind erlaubt. Das ist schon sehr nostalgisch, beinahe folkloristisch. Filmen auf 36mm oder 8mm. Ist das reizvoll? Ist Retro auch sonst dein Lebensstil oder etwas, das Du gut und schön findest? Ich denke einfach, diese Ambivalenz kommt auch gut in den Fragen von Tim Newson zum Ausdruck, von denen berichtet wurde.

    Der Widerspruch zeigt sich dann darin, dass es ein live-Tracking geben soll, dass wir zu Hause Gebliebenen also in der Gegenwart bleiben und Euch live verfolgen können. Deshalb habe ich geschrieben „inszeniert“: das ganze bekommt dadurch eine Art Spielshow-Charakter. Das ist nicht abschätzig gemeint; ich analysiere bloss und versuche den Widerspruch zu beschreiben, den ich darin sehe. Wie gesagt: ich finde das Rennen und die Initiative grossartig. Mir ist aber jetzt beim Lesen der Regeln klar geworden, dass es auch eine „strange side“ hat.

    Ist eine Weltumsegelung, zumal nonstop und einhand, heute kein Abenteuer und keine persönliche Herausforderung mehr, ist die öffentliche Aufmerksamkeit und die Anerkennung zu klein geworden, in einer Zeit, in der das schon viele gemacht haben? Yvan Bourgnon hat die Welt in einem Sportkatameran auch ohne Elektronik (allerdings mit ais und mit Zwischenstopps) umrundet, andere mit einem 6.5m Mini.. doch weshalb sollte man sich heute technisch in die Zeit der ersten Mondlandung zurück versetzen?

    Du schreibst, Du hast „the desire to do something very special in a unique way“. Aber weshalb gerade wie Ende der 1960er-Jahre? Weshalb in einer Nostalgie-Regatte? Es gibt so viele Arten, mit dem Schiff auf eigene Art und Weise spezielle Entdeckungen zu machen. Ich denke etwa an Uwe Röttgering, der hatte m.E. einen sehr eigenen Weg einer Weltumsegelung gefunden. Weshalb in den 1960er-Jahren, frage ich mich einfach immer wieder?

    Geht es mehr um die Vorstellung, dass man so in einer kleinen Gruppe von Personen dabei ist, die etwas einzigartiges machen? Also eine Hoffnung, dass einem Ruhm, Aufmerksamkeit und Ehre zuteil wird. Oder geht es auch um eine Vorstellung, dass man heute keine „richtigen Abenteuer“ mehr machen, dass man durch Sicherheitsüberlegungen und Technik zwischen sich und dem „richtigen Erlebnis“ von Natur und ihren Gewalten steht?

    Es gibt ja viele Leute, die es bedauern, dass es nicht mehr ist wie früher; dass man keine Regionen mehr als erster entdecken und besegeln kann. Für mich persönlich ist das nie ein Problem gewesen, weil ich selbst ja immer wieder neues lernen und neues entdecken kann. Wenn ich zum ersten Mal an einen neuen Ort komme: für mich ist das Erlebnis immer neu.

    Wie gesagt: Ich habe einige Bücher von Moitessier gelesen und freue mich auf den Anlass! Dennoch weiss ich nicht so recht, wie ich das alles einordnen soll, jetzt wo ich die Regeln gelesen habe.

    Da sind einfach so Fragen, die sich mir in Reaktion auf Lektüre deines Eintrages und der Regeln ergeben haben.

    ich wünsche Dir weiterhin eine intensive Zeit beim Vorbereiten und allem was noch kommt, keep us posted,
    Grüsse aus der Schweiz
    Christian

    • Hi Christian!
      Thank you for your inputs! I really appreciate it!
      Well you ask me if I live a retro lifestyle and what I think about the rules of this event as they seem partly contradictory to you. I have to declare that I am actually living a quite normal life. And yes I use a Smartphone and I own a Computer and a Tablet and I use it all quite a lot… And I find modern gadgets fascinating… But what I do also see is that most of the difficulties we are facing in our world today (environment, society, politics…) are at least supported by the fact that people (including me) are distracted through all this technology and media.
      And I believe that by renouncing all those electronic devices and modern materials for this happening I will give myself a good cleansing period of fasting. Which I probably wouldn’t do without a reason…
      I expect it to be a very pure challenge because there will be no distraction through electronics and the pace of our modern world…

      And yes for me taking pictures with a 35mm Camera or Videos on Super 8 is a totally different thing. I remember me trekking in Nepali-Himalayas with a Nikon SLR-Camera and a small Olympus Mju Automatic Camera. In the Nikon I had a Slide-Film-Roll 35mm and in the Mju normal 35mm films. I do remember setting up the tripod preparing the camera and wait for this one cloud to move on, so the Sun hits the summit I wanted to photograph. Just to repack all equipment because the picture wasn’t perfect and probably there would be a better picture waiting for me around the next corner. I had exactly 4 rolls slide and 4 rolls film 24 pictures each available for a period of 2,5 month…
      This was 18 years ago. And 3 years ago I have been there again taking most pictures with my phone. I tell you what, I have far more pictures of this first Nepal-Trip in my mind than I remember from the second one.
      That for sure also relies on the fact that 18 years ago I had no return-ticket waiting and just took the time I needed to enjoy what I wanted to see. And 3 years ago there was a job waiting for me and we wanted to see this, this and that… having a serious time-plan.

      The Question about my Intention… Well it is not so much the public attention (for sure a little bit 🙂 ) but more the fact that taking part in this race gives some kind of safety to me as there are many checks and rules for safety. The GPS Tracking System will not only keep you guys on shore informed but also gives the Race Control the possibility to check where we are and if our Position report, which is mandatory once a week, is correct. It is also a part of the rules to leave 50°S latitude to starboard until 100° W longitude. So therefore it is as well a good thing because it makes controlling this possible, it is levelling the chances to win and adds safety.

      The mandatory safety-equipment I find also cool. Because going without electronics and modern comfort is probably romantic and dreamy, for sure it is extending ones horizon. And we can have a conversation about the sense of it forever.
      But going without the modern safety-devices, which are available in these days would be just stupid.

      And why set time back exactly to the 60ies? Well this race is a tribute to Robin Knox Johnston and his achievement to be the first to circumnavigate our globe solo and nonstop in the years 68&69. And under the circumstances he did this, I still think it was a masterpiece of sailing adventures. Which I would be proud of doing myself!

      On that first Conference in London, Don was kind of defending his idea of the retro-race but giving every question a serious thought and in the end stayed true to his idea.
      For example Headphones are allowed but only normal ones. No Headphones with noise reduction…
      Some things probably have to get defined more exact but the game is: go out there without electronic support of any kind, find your way around the globe and return without assistance. Face all problems without a filter and live a pure life in coordination with the great powers of our oceans. And this seems to me a wonderful idea!
      I hope I could answer some of your questions to your satisfaction!
      Thanks again for your comment!
      Cheers Michael

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