In the spring of 2018, the Golden Globe Race came onto my radar after a chat with my brother John. Shortly after looking at the Golden Globe website, I was gone down a worm hole that was the start of a wonderful, mighty, mad journey.
It was interesting to look into the different boats that the entrants in the GGR18 had chosen. It was definitely to late to try to enter the GGR18 with only five months left before the start. But I had decided fairly fast that it was something I would love to do.
It was good to follow preparation of the 18 entrants, including the Irish one
Gregor McGuckin. Once the race started I followed the tracker morning, noon and night.
I can still remember the terrible sadness felt as the boats were lost. Four sank and one managed to sail back into Cape Town under Jury rig. Of the eighteen starters, five finished.
After getting my wife's blessings and support I started looking for a boat for the GGR22. Before the end of 2018, I was entered and picked the Saltram Sage 36 as my boat. Looking at and studying the boats was a great part of the journey.
It was March before the boat was mine. My first sail was down through Amsterdam into the North Sea, down the English channel and the Bay of Biscay to Les Sable's d'Olonne, just in time for the GGR18 prize giving.
After a great week in Les Sable's d'Olonne including meeting the GGR team and skippers, I sailed home to Ireland getting back end of April. I had managed to purchase the boat, pay the entire fee and still have some money left to start working on the campaign. Before I knew it COVID-19 had arrived. It was a difficult time for all. But as Don McIntyre said, "There is always something" and he is so right.
The next few years flew by, working on the boat when possible. Towards the start of the race, looking back, I mismanaged my time, or did not step back and look to see what was the most important things to do. Some people were late doing jobs for me that pushed other jobs down the line. I had intended sending my Aries to Holland for a full service. It still bothers me that I didn't. But such is life. Most likely I would have finished well if it had been serviced.
You can find a link to my YouTube channel on this website if you want more information on preparing the boat for the GGR22.
Of the thirty two paid entrants only sixteen made the start. I believe what I learned from the GGR22 will stand to me in the '26 race.