Captain Coconut Mark Sincliar (Australia) crossed the famous Nouch Sud cardinal buoy off Les Sables d’Olonne, France on May 27, ending a 174-day solitary voyage at sea on his Lello 34 Coconut.
Short on water, plagued by a barnacle invasion, the competitor in the 2018 Golden Globe Race had chosen to stop December 2018 in his home port of Adelaide South Australia as Christmas approached.
He then entered the 2022 Golden Globe Race, so resumed his journey three years later on December 5, 2021, in order to return to the starting point. Sinclair therefore becomes the last competitor to finish the GGR 2018, and first in the Chichester Class (one stop-over only), the GGR 2018 edition not having a time limit. Only five of the 17 skippers completed the 2018-19 Golden Globe Race non-stop.
After sailing up the mythical channel of Les Sables d’Olonne, Sinclair moored Coconut at the Vendée Globe pontoon at 15:30, welcomed by Yannick Moreau, Mayor of Les Sables-d’Olonne; Don McIntyre, founder of the Golden Globe Race; and Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, winner of the 2018 GGR.
The people of Les Sables d’Olonne, who are currently celebrating the Vendée Va’a, came in large numbers to show their admiration and give a warm welcome to the Australian sailor.
“The people of Les Sables are always proud and happy when a great sailor returns to Port Olona,” said Moreau. “Welcome Captain Coconut, who after 174 days at sea with no electronics, is joining the training pontoons of the world’s longest sporting event.
“It takes a lot of courage and panache to go on one adventure after another and to embark on another old-fashioned circumnavigation of the globe. The GGR 2022 has many surprises in store for us and promises to keep us on our toes as the competitors are so motivated to enter the legend.”
After weathering four successive storms in February 2022 while rounding Cape Horn, Sinclair, an oceanographer and former Australian Navy Captain, thought he had done the hardest part, but ended up in a very deep low-pressure system mid-May before entering the Bay of Biscay, being knocked down twice, damaging his forestay, inner forestay, and his last satellite phone.
To spice-up his finish, he had run out of cooked meals and toilet paper for days! On crossing the finish line, McIntyre gave him with a special “round the world” menu from La Mie Câline, partner of local circumnavigator Arnaud Boissière.
Since leaving Les Sables D’Olonne in July 2018, Sinclair had spent a total of 332 days at sea to complete his circumnavigation. He has exactly 100 days left to recover from his half circumnavigation and repair Coconut before the start of the GGR 2022 on September 4.
Les Sables-d’Olonne, city of the Vendée Globe and Adventure capital, will be hosting the Golden Globe Race village beginning August 20, 2022.
2022 GGR entrants to date:
1. Abhilash Tomy (43) / India / Rustler 36
2. Aleix Selles Vidal (34) / Spain / Rustler 36
3. Arnaud Gaist (50) / France / BARBICAN 33 MKII (long keel version)
4. Damien Guillou (39) / France / Rustler 36
5. David Scott Cowper (80) / UK / Tradewind 35
6. Edward Walentynowicz (68) / Canada / Rustler 36
7. Elliott Smith (27) / USA / Gale Force 34
8. Ertan Beskardes (60) / UK / Rustler 36
9. Gaurav Shinde (35) / Canada / Baba 35
10. Graham Dalton (68) / New Zealand / Rustler 36
11. Guido Cantini (53) / Italy / Vancouver 34
12. Guy deBoer (66) / USA / Tashiba 36
13. Guy Waites (54) / UK / Tradewind 35
14. Ian Herbert Jones (52) / UK / Tradewind 35
15. Jeremy Bagshaw (59) / South Africa / OE32
16. Kirsten Neuschäfer (39) / South Africa / Cape George 36
17. Mark Sinclair (63) / Australia / Lello 34
18. Matthew Wright (52) / Australia / Rustler 36
19. Michael Guggenberger (44) / Austria / Biscay 36
20. Pat Lawless (66) / Ireland / Saga 36
21. Robin Davie (70) / UK / Rustler 36
22. Simon Curwen (63) / UK / Biscay 36
23. Tapio Lehtinen (64) / Finland / Gaia 36 Masthead sloop
Event details – Entry list – Facebook
About the 2022 Golden Globe Race
On September 4, 2022, the third edition of the Golden Globe Race will start from Les Sables d’Olonne, France. Twenty-three sailors from 13 countries will face eight months of isolation sailing 30,000 miles across five oceans solo non-stop and unassisted.
In 1968, while man was preparing to take his first steps on the moon, a mild mannered and modest young man was setting out on his own record breaking voyage of discovery. He had entered the original Golden Globe. Nine men started that first solo non-stop sailing race around the World. Only one finished. He was 29 year old Sir Robin Knox Johnston. History was made. Navigating only with a sextant, paper charts and an accurate and reliable time piece, Sir Robin navigated around the world.
In 2018, to celebrate 50 years since that first record breaking achievement, the Golden Globe Race was resurrected. It instantly gained traction with adventurers, captivated by the spirit and opportunity. Eighteen started with five finishers. To embrace the original race, boat types were restricted and sailors used only sextants, paper charts, wind up clocks, and cassette tapes for music.