Entrants announced for Golden Globe solo non-stop circumnavigation yacht race

By: Ben Keys, Photography by: Freeman Boat/Freeman

Presented by
  • Trade-A-Boat

The entrants have been announced for the Golden Globe solo non-stop circumnavigation race around the world.

Entrants announced for Golden Globe solo non-stop circumnavigation yacht race
Shane Freeman’s Tradewind 35 racing yacht is a proven offshore performer that he will sail around the world.


  • 2018 Golden Globe Race is a solo, non-stop race around the world circumnavigation, departing Falmouth, UK, on June 14, 2018.


  • The solo sailing race commemorates Sir Robin Knox Johnson’s 1988/89 win aboard his yacht Suhaili. Sailors must complete their circumnavigation by April 22, 2019, to be eligible for the Suhaili trophy.


  • Entry places have now been filled, but the race oragnisers are yet to offer five more Special Entries and there is also a Wait List available for hopeful entrants.


After sailing his little yacht from Melbourne to the UK via Cape Horn next year, Shane Freeman will turn around and sail back to Australia in 2018.

But before he leaves Falmouth harbour on England’s south coast, Freeman will also ditch every useful electronic item from his yacht, taking to the ocean at the mercies of compass, sextant and paper charts. Oh, and he’ll be accompanied by around 25 other technologically-challenged sailors, all heading south toward the Cape of Good Hope.

Victorian-based Freeman aims to sail his Tradewind 35 around the world in 2018 as part of the Golden Globe Race — a historically-accurate re-enactment of Sir Robin Knox Johnson’s epic 1968 voyage. But first he needs to get to the startline in Falmouth, UK.


Solo race around the world

This 50th anniversary race has captured the imagination of sailors around the world, chiefly for its eccentric rules that have brought solo racing back into the realm of the amateur adventurer.

Entrants must complete their circumnavigation without electronic navigation aids (and no sat phones, computers or even digital watches) while sailing the same type of yachts that were available in 1968.

This mean’s Freeman’s UK-made Tradewind 35 with its full keel and heavy fibreglass hull fits the bill nicely, because without the aid of weather routing, racers must rely completely on their boat to get them home safely.

The skipper was able to test this theory during a rough and windy shakedown cruise from Brisbane to Newcastle when he dislocated a troublesome shoulder. After 16 hours at sea, Freeman reached his destination safely and decided he’d better sort out the recurring injury before taking on the Golden Globe.

Golden Globe solo race around the world map


Non-stop circumnavigation

Back home in Melbourne, he was still recuperating in a sling from shoulder reconstruction surgery when Trade-a-Boat caught up for a chat, and using the downtime to create a comprehensive to-do list for his sailing expedition.

"I figure about 80 per cent of anyone’s success in this race will come down to planning and pre-preparation," he said.

"I’m approaching it as a multi-year project, of which the sailing occupies a relatively small part of it."

On his journey to reach to the English startline, Freeman will use his time at sea to test the boat and its systems, including the ‘traditional’ navigation instruments – sextant, nautical almanac, dividers – all that good analogue stuff.

A large part of his pre-departure checklist revolves around inspecting and replacing any critical yacht parts that could cause a catastrophic failure, such as chain plates, rudder and the rig itself.

 "A lot of my focus is on making the boat’s systems as good as they can be, but I also need to concentrate on my own mental preparedness," he said.

"So I need to make sure the cabin itself is safe, dry and as comfortable as possible, and that I am confident I have prepared about as much as I can".

Shane Freeman
"A lot can go wrong, but you need the resourcefulness and the resilience to stay on top of any situation," says Shane Freeman.

Freeman has offshore racing experience and has spent time bluewater cruising too, but the unique challenges of a solo, unassisted, non-stop circumnavigation are not lost on the Aussie skipper.

"I think the biggest mental challenge is to have a great time doing this," he said. "It's a rare life experience".

"A lot can go wrong, but you need the resourcefulness and the resilience to stay on top of any situation.

"That’s why I’m focusing on preparing the boat and also on preparing myself."

"If I get the planning and the preparation sorted on those two areas, then I’ll have a great experience, which is what my objective is."




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