(March 3, 2023)- In August 2015 Michael Guggenbergger read a magazine announcing the 50th anniversary edition of the first ever 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. It would start from Les Sables d’Olonne in three years. He immediately sent his entry and his life began to change. He bought a boat, sold his house and focused on the challenge ahead.
A few years later his dream met reality and it all fell apart. Beaten by time and money he kept pushing forward. Eight years later, following weeks of storms, and utter determination, Captain GUGG finally sailed solo around Cape Horn, at 0228hrsUTC 26th February (eating NURI chilli sardines), 175 days and 21000 miles after setting out from Les Sables d’olonne in France. His Biscay 36 NURI is in great shape and he is relieved, emotional and a little sad that it is all coming to an end. He has 7000 miles and nine weeks to sail to the finish and is now running in third place.
Simon Curwen (GBR) sailing HOWDENS, another Biscay 36, had a dream to sail solo around the world. He had previously come 2nd in the Classe Mini Transat Race and faced many sailing challenges, including falling overboard while sailing solo in the English Channel. The British sailor led the GGR for 150 days thanks to his razor-sharp skills, and beautifully prepared yacht, but storm damage 1000 miles from the Horn required a stop for repairs and a change to the one stop Chichester Class.
Now back at sea he is racing hard even though no longer in the rankings. The fun and challenge is still there and he sails for les Sables with racing spirit and passion. He rounded Cape Horn at 23:34hrs UTC on the 25th of Feb just hours ahead of Capt Gugg, in mild weather close enough at dawn for a picture and a VHF chat with the light house Sergeant Jose Luarte who lives on the island with his family.
While it’s been tough getting to Cape Horn, the twin Biscay 36 have had more frustrations continuing on toward the Falkland Islands with elusive winds, unstable in both force and direction, alternating nothingness of squalls with violent fronts and lows. Both skippers are getting little sleep. Simon is slowly pulling away from NURI and enjoying the close racing…