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?
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 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.
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…
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.