Back on dry land

Gregor McGuckin arrives in Perth.

02 October 2018


Gregor McGuckin arrived into Rockingham, Perth, Western Australia today aboard the Australian frigate HMAS Ballarat following the dismasting of his Biscay 36 yacht Hanley Energy Endurance during a southern ocean storm on 21 September.

Speaking at a press conference, the 32-year old Irish yachtsman said “It’s fantastic to be here in Perth. While Australia was never my intended final port, I couldn’t be happier and more grateful right now. My journey started some 92 days ago, when I departed France on Hanley Energy Endurance in an attempt to sail alone non-stop around the world.

“In a horrendous storm, my yacht was capsized and dismasted, as was my competitor Abhilash Tomy’s yacht. I was uninjured and was planning to sail to safety. However, Abhilash was not so lucky. He suffered a back injury and was in immediate danger, so I built a jury rig and set a course for his location. Thankfully, we were both picked up and Abhilash is now recovering.



“The real heroes today are the professionals that coordinate and execute such missions. All services were tested to their limits and excelled. The international cooperation between Australia, France, and India has proven that no matter how remote, there is always cover, and the investment in naval assets and training paid off. I understand the Ballarat crew had returned early from leave and I pass on my deep gratitude to them and their families for their dedication to duty.”

McGuckin added: “Of course, the Golden Globe Race continues and my thoughts are very much with my fellow competitors. My incident merely underpins the challenges they face and I am sure we would all wish the remaining boats a safe passage until the race completes next year. I would also like to thank Don McIntyre and his team for their support.”

Indian, Abhilash Tomy, who was rescued at the same time is now enroute to his home waters and recovering.

These two retirements now leave 8 of the original 18 Golden Globe entrants who continue to be led by French veteran Jean-Luc Van Den Heede and his Rustler 36 Matmut.

Jean-Luc has built up a 1,500 mile lead over 2nd placed Dutchman Mark Slats and is expected to reach the film gate in Storm Bay, Tasmania on Friday.

In a satellite call to Race HQ today, the 73-year old Frenchman reported: “All Good, had a good week and good winds. Since this morning i have had 15 knot headwinds from the SE so am close hauled, and can’t go more south at the moment. No major nor minor problem. ETA: 3 – 4 days depending on the wind direction changing soon or not.”

Estonian Uku Randmaa sailing another Rustler 36 One and All, is 2,132 miles behind the leader, and now in 3rd place. He reported a major change in the weather since last week’s storms. “No Wind, boat ok. On the radio with Susie Goodall and Mark Slats everyday. ETA: 20 days to Hobart”.

Goodall and her yacht DHL Starlight, 664 miles behind, has also been plagued by light winds: “”No wind, but now used to these calms. Boat OK. A whale came yesterday very close, and a sea lion this morning. Not so much water. I’m a little bit concerned.”

She would normally be collecting rain caught in the yacht’s mainsail, but the yellow paint finish on the cloth is tinting the water she collects. Her concern is that this could be toxic.

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