Guy Waites has crossed the finish line of the 2022 Golden Globe Race. The Scarborough skipper completed his solo circumnavigation of the world with two stops
Guy Waites has finished his solo circumnavigation of the world, and has arrived back at Les Sables d’Olonne in France.
Speaking at the finish line he said: ”It is good to be back after 287 days. It is a circumnavigation singlehanded and that was the big deal for me and that is what kept me motivated and kept me going.’
The Scarborough-based solo sailor was one of 16 entrants who started the 2022 Golden Globe Race on 4 September 2022.
But his race ended in the Indian Ocean, due to chronic barnacle growth on the hull of his Tradewind 35, Sagarmatha.
He initially noticed the yacht was slowing down while sailing across the Atlantic, and by the time he reached Trinidade, the crustacean growth was so bad that he could not remove them with a scraper.
Waites said sailing with that level of fouling on the hull was “like I am trailing warps or a drogue”.
Initially, he planned to making port at Itajaí, Brazil to lift the boat out and clean the hull before continuing with his solo circumnavigation.
Instead, Guy Waites decided to push on and hauled the boat out in Cape Town. This put him in the Golden Globe Race’s Chichester Class for entrants who make one stop.
In the South African port, he removed the remains of his Seajet Shogun paint before re-antifouling the hull.
Back in the water on 22 December 2022, he pushed on towards the Hobart gate but was unable to reach it by the deadline of 31 January 2023.
The stop and the failure to meet the Hobart deadline meant Guy Waites was disqualified from the 2022 Golden Globe Race, although he continued with his solo circumnavigation.
A member of Scarborough Yacht Club, Waites sailed through his fair share of heavy weather; Sagarmatha was knocked down in strong winds and big seas in the Great Australian Bight; the liferaft was lost overboard. This meant he had to stop in Hobart to replace it before continuing with his solo circumnavigation of the world.
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Apart from the loss of his liferaft, the only other gear breakages Guy Waites had to deal with were the failure of his wind turbine after rounding Cape Horn – ‘It [the turbine] suddenly made a loud rattling noise and then went very very quiet and off they [the blades] flew’ – a broken stanchion, and minor holes in his sails.
‘I have one small tear in a code sail, in an asymmetric, a tiny finger sized hole in the lightweight overlapping genoa and another one the size of your finger tip in the mainsail by the luff near reef one and a bit of chafe,’ he said.
‘The boat was rock solid. The fact it is all in one piece at the end is amazing. The Tradewind 35 is a boat that can get you round. That is why I bought it initially. I didn’t buy it to win the race; all I cared about was getting round and I have done. For the boat to be in as good shape as she is, is a testament to the boat as much as me.’
Guy Waites ran out of food a few days before finishing, although he had plenty of water.
After mooring alongside the Vendée Globe dock at Les Sables d’Olonne, Waites enjoyed a bag of croissants and sandwiches and drank sparkling wine.
‘Endurance is the biggest thing in the Golden Globe Race. It is not the bad weather or dealing with storms, as you don’t get too many of those, it is just keeping going every single day. It is a long old slog. The endurance part is the most testing of all,’ he said.
Guy Waites plans to sell Sagarmatha and will shortly be returning to work as a professional skipper.
‘Leaving work aside, the Vendée Globe is the big one for any solo sailor. I would love to do another circumnavigation,’ he added.
Chichester Class entrant, Simon Curwen was the first to cross the line in the 2022 Golden Globe Race, hours ahead of the 2022 Golden Globe Race winner Kirsten Neuschafer.
Read in depth interviews with all of the five finishers in the 2022 Golden Globe Race in the Summer 2023 issue of Yachting Monthly – out on 22 June 2023
Final positions of the Golden Globe Race 2022 skippers
Kirsten Neuschafer, (South Africa), Cape George 36 cutter, Minnehaha – FINISHED 1st
Abhilash Tomy, (India), Rustler 36, Bayanat – FINISHED 2nd
Michael Guggenberger, (Austria), Biscay 36, Nuri – FINISHED 3rd
Edward Walentynowicz, (Canada), Rustler 36, Noah’s Jest
Guy deBoer, (USA), Tashiba 36, Spirit
Mark Sinclair (Australia), Lello 34, Coconut
Pat Lawless, (Ireland), Saltram Saga 36, Green Rebel
Damien Guillou, (France), Rustler 36, PRB
Ertan Beskardes, (UK), Rustler 36, Lazy Otter
Tapio Lehtinen, (Finland), Gaia 36, Asteria
Arnaud Gaist, (France), Barbican 33 Mk 2, Hermes Phoning
Elliot Smith, (USA), Gale Force 34, Second Wind
Guy Waites (UK), Tradewind 35, Sagarmatha
Ian Herbert-Jones (UK), Tradewind 35, Puffin
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