Rarely ever has a regatta been to polarizing as the first “Sunday Times Golden Globe Race” 50 years ago. In 1968, nine sailors of varying experience set out on a journey to circumnavigate the globe non-stop – and only one of them would make it.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston wrote history and, for his achievement, was knighted by the Queen of the United Kingdom.
It is required at this return of the race that the equipment on board is of the same type than in 1968 – high-tech equipment is not decisive, but the precision of the measuring instruments and the ability of the skipper to know what the figures mean. We are happy to accompany Istvan Kopar on his voyage with a Wempe Maritim Unified Chronometer, a Wempe Zeitmeister Sport wristwatch, and a high precision Wempe barometer.
A Matter of Skill over TechnologyOn July 1, precisely 50 years after the historic start to the first race, 18 courageous sailors will set out on an unparalleled adventure in honor of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in a manner fundamentally unlike a modern, high-tech race. It is estimated that it will take 300 days for the participants to circumnavigate the globe non-stop. It’s them against the sea. With each one of them on their own and possessing the same technology as in 1968, they will commence their journey from the French port of Les Sables d’Olonne.
The race’s organizer, Don McIntyre, sums up what makes this race so special: “The sailors will be navigating with sextants, chronometers, and nautical charts without any electronic aids or autopilot functionality. They will fill out their log books and notes by hand, cook with kerosene, and observe weather conditions themselves, all the while only infrequently having the ability to communicate with the outside world via VHF radio.”