Carlos Pich Martínez: What a couple of regattas


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All over our planet there are many good regattas, perhaps dozens, including those held every two, three or four years. There are for all tastes, but not as many as there are colors in pantone.

A server likes many of them. Oceanic, coastal or buoy boats, sailed on keelboats, monotypes or dinghies. Although I would love to, I cannot follow them all even electronically. Mission Impossible.

It may be my age or my sailing roots, or both, but from time to time I fall in love with a competition that offers something interesting, and if it is also different, I fall for it. The penultimate one that caught me was the Golden Globe Race, that non-stop solo round the world

in old boats of reduced length and with the prohibition of using any digital device. Sextant, clock hands, filming on tape, without external communication… but with a lot of foundation, a lot.

Beyond the media coverage, the first edition was a resounding success. 18 sailors started, of which only five were able to finish it, prevailing the legendary Frenchman Jean-Luc Van den Heede. This coming September 4th, it will return from Les Sables d’Olonne, where yes not, the second edition that at the moment has 25 registered, among them the Spanish Aleix Sellés with a Rustler 36, which is shown as the ideal boat among the short list of allowed options.

Without a doubt, the GGR paved the way for some new regatta around the world designed for “mortals”. One of them is the Global Solo Challenge, also solo and non-stop, but with less restrictive rules in terms of boats, without technological limitations and external routing allowed.

It admits boats with a length of 32 to 55 feet and an IRC rating of less than 1,370. So far, everything is correct, but what most attracts me about its proposal is the reverse output. Seven groups of boats will be formed according to their rating that will come out in stages, first the slowest, so that from there they compete in real time. The winner will be the first to cross the finish line.

It seems to me an attractive scenario because it is exciting, easy to follow and very fair. To date there are 40 registered, three of them Spanish. Gorka Rosas with a NorthWind 40 from 1974, Javier Lapresa with a Furia 37 from 1984 and Juan Mederiz with a more recent Pogo 40S from 2008.

The Global Solo Challenge starts and ends in A Coruña in the fall of 2023. The first group will start on September 2 and the last will do so eight weeks later, on October 28. The registration period is still open.

I leave it there.

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