“It was a bad decision by the skipper”: Guy de Boer on the grounding which ended his Golden Globe Race

American skipper Guy de Boer has spoken about how his Tashiba 36, ​​Spirit ended up on the rocks while taking part in the 2022 Golden Globe Race

Guy de Boer has been explaining how his Tashiba 36, Spiritended up on rocks off the coast of Fuerteventura, ending his dreams of completing the 2022 Golden Globe Race.

The American skipper fell asleep in the cockpit of his boat after passing through the first of the event’s photo gates in Lanzarote.

A golden Globe race boat on a beach

A salvage operation is now underway to rescue the Tashiba 36, Spirit. Credit: Alex Craig

‘I was awake for over 30 hours getting the boat to the checkpoint and after going through I chose to go down the east side of Fuerteventura [..] I was close hauled and I was sailing 30° above the island so I was safe and I knew I was tired, so I stood up and smoked a cigar to help keep me awake,’ he explained.

‘I stood up there for two hours, and I decided to sit down and the moment I sat down, I fell asleep because I was so fatigued, and the reason the boat hit the rocks is the breeze velocity dropped off significantly and in doing so the boat turned to port towards the rocks, and I was not aware of that until the boat hit the rocks,’ explained the 66 year old, who was almost thrown overboard.

Spirit hit rocks on September 18 at 0545 local time, 50 meters off the beach on the North Coast of Fuereventura.  Credit: Alex Craig

Spirit hit rocks on September 18 at 0545 local time, 50 meters off the beach on the North Coast of Fuereventura. Credit: Alex Craig

‘Each wave would pick the boat up several feet and drop it; I was thrown across the cabin, and I had to crawl back up. It did that probably for 40-45 minutes, and each wave it got almost easier as the boat got more protected in the shallower water. It is a sad situation. Truly rethinking [it], if I went on the west side of the island rather than the east I wouldn’t have had a lee shore. It was a bad decision by the skipper, which is me and I am paying the penalty for it,’ admitted de Boer, who had hoped to be the first American skipper to win a solo non-stop around the world yacht race.

Uninjured, he issued a Mayday and managed to leave the boat with assistance from the local coastguard.

A salvage operation is now underway, with proposals to float the boat or crane it from the beach. Spirit will then be moved to a boat yard for repairs.

American skipper Guy de Boer was awake for 30 hours trying to get his boat Spirit to the first photo gate.  This fatigue led to the critical error which ended his Golden Globe Race dreams.  Credit: Nora Havel/GGR

American skipper Guy de Boer was awake for 30 hours trying to get his boat Spirit to the first photo gate. This fatigue led to the critical error which ended his Golden Globe Race dreams. Credit: Nora Havel/GGR

‘The boat has not caused any environmental impact; the diesel has been evacuated from the boat. There is no damage to the reef, it is lava rocks [where the boat hit]. There is no [environmental] damage which I am very happy about,’ stated de Boer, who earlier in the race lost all radio contact. His AIS detector alarm was also damaged during the confused seas of the first week. He narrowly missed a collision with a fishing boat earlier last week after the vessel failed to see his AIS transponder and did not hail him on VHF radio, which was still working.

Continues below…

A man with a white beard wearing a blue and white t-shirt on the deck of a boat

Guy deBoer wants to become the first American skipper to win aa solo non-stop around the world yacht race.…

A sailor waving as he leaves the pontoon

It was not an easy start for the 16 skippers in the 2022 Golden Globe Race, with strong headwinds making…

Damien Guillou is now heading back into Biscay to join the 14 other GGR 2022 skippers left in the fleet.  Credit: Christophe Huchet/Ville des Sables d'Olonne

French favorite in the 2022 Golden Globe Race, Damien Guillou has left Les Sables d’Olonne after making repairs to his…

Boats crossing the starting line of the 2018 Golden Globe Race.  The 2022 Golden Globe Race will start on 1 September 2022. The 2018 race started on 1 July 2018. The change in the start date is to prevent boats entering the Southern Ocean too early.

Follow the build-up to the 2022 Golden Globe Race as the skippers prepare to race solo around the world without…

There are now 14 skippers left in the Golden Globe Race 2022. Canadian sailor Edward Walentynowicz retired after four days due to personal reasons, but is considering entering the 2026 event.

Leading the fleet is British sailor Simon Curwen, who was the first to pass through the Lanzarote photo gate.

Tapio Lehtinen, who finished fifth in the 2018 Golden Globe Race, is chasing him in his Gaia 36, Asteria, closely followed by the only Irish entrant, Pat Lawless. Former Indian commander Abhilash Tomy in his Rustler 36, Bayanat is hot on their heels, along with South African Kirsten Neuschafer in her Cape George 36 cutter, considered by many to be one of the fastest boats in the fleet.

Kirsten Neuschafer is making good daily speeds in her Cape George 36 cutter.  Credit: Nora Havel/GGR

Kirsten Neuschafer is making good daily speeds in her Cape George 36 cutter. Credit: Nora Havel/GGR

Behind them are Jeremy Bagshaw in his OE32, the smallest boat taking part, British former Clipper Race skipper, Guy Waites, Ertan Beskardes in his Rustler 36, Lazy Otter and Michael Guggenberger in the only ketch in the fleet, the Biscay 36, Nuri.

French favorite Damien Guillou, who returned to Les Sables d’Olonne to make repairs to his Hydrovane windvane steering system, is catching the fleet, having already sailed past fellow French sailor, Arnaud Gaist and Australian Mark Sinclair.

Pat Lawless

Pat Lawless has injured his knee but has refused antibiotics. Credit: GGR2022 / Aïda Valceanu

British skipper Ian Herbert-Jones and American Elliot Smith are just passing through the Canary Islands.

Smith, who is sailing a Gale Force 34, Second Wind, has repairs to make while underway before he hits the trade winds. His through deck mast collar packing is damaged, allowing movement of the mast, and his hull deck rub rail is constantly leaking. But, he has managed to build a companionway dodger to help protect him from the elements.

A sailor in a blue t-shirt on the deck of his boat

Abhilash Tomy, who broke his back in the 2018 Golden Globe Race, is hoping to finish in 2022 aboard his Rustler 36, and is currently in fourth place. Credit: GGR2022 / Aïda Valceanu

It is expected that the gap between the splits in the fleet will become wider as the faster boats break away as they head towards the island of Trindade, before turning for the second photo gate in South Africa.

Current positions of the Golden Globe Race 2022 skippers on 121 September 2022 at 1200 UTC

Simon Curwen, (UK), Biscay 36, Clara
Tapio Lehtinen, (Finland), Gaia 36, Asteria
Pat Lawless, (Ireland), Saltram Saga 36, Green Rebel
Abhilash Tomy, (India), Rustler 36, Bayanat
Kirsten Neuschafer, (South Africa), Cape George 36 cutter, Minnehaha
Jeremy Bagshaw, (South Africa), OE32, Olleanna
Guy Waites (UK), Tradewind 35, Sagarmatha
Ertan Beskardes, (UK), Rustler 36, Lazy Otter
Michael Guggenberger, (Austria), Biscay 36, Nuri
Elliot Smith, (USA), Gale Force 34, Second Wind
Ian Herbert-Jones (UK), Tradewind 35, Puffin
Damien Guillou, (France), Rustler 36, PRB
Mark Sinclair (Australia), Lello 34, Coconut
Arnaud Gaist, (France), Barbican 33 Mk 2, Hermes Phoning

Retired:

Edward Walentynowicz, (Canada), Rustler 36, Noah’s Jest
Guy deBoer, (USA), Tashiba 36, Spirit


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