Global sailing race to pay homage to Portsmouth sailor’s greatest feat

Bernard Moitessier's famous 40ft ketch rigged yacht in which he competed in the 1968/9 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. PPP-170822-133328001
Bernard Moitessier's famous 40ft ketch rigged yacht in which he competed in the 1968/9 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. PPP-170822-133328001
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A RACE around the world will pay homage to and aim to uncover myths surrounding one of the greatest races in solo sailing history.

Renowned Portsmouth sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in his iconic Suhaili beat French competitor Bernard Moitessier’s Joshua in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in an epic battle back in 1968.

3D Render of the JOSHUA Class one-design yacht modelled on the  original JOSHUA ketch sailing by French sailing legend Bernard Moitessier in the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968/9.  The new class of high latitude steel yachts has been commissioned to race as a class in the 2022 Golden Globe Race PPP-170822-133317001

3D Render of the JOSHUA Class one-design yacht modelled on the original JOSHUA ketch sailing by French sailing legend Bernard Moitessier in the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968/9. The new class of high latitude steel yachts has been commissioned to race as a class in the 2022 Golden Globe Race PPP-170822-133317001

Now, following the 49th anniversary of his famous victory, a new 40ft Joshua steel-built one-design yacht has been unveiled ahead of the 2022 Golden Globe Race to explore the key facets of the battle between the two adversaries.

It comes too soon for next year’s race, starting from Plymouth on June 30, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sir Knox-Johnston’s victory in the 32ft yacht Suhaili

The aim of the new Joshua Golden Globe class will be to ascertain key elements of the famous race back in 1968.

Notably, to discover if Moitessier would have beaten Portsmouth’s sailing legend had he not turned east on the final 8,000 mile chase back up the Atlantic.

They are incredibly strong with five watertight compartments and will make classic high latitude adventure yachts able to cruise safely anywhere in the world, including Antarctica before and after the 2022 race.

Dom McIntyre, race founder

Sir Knox-Johnston set out from Falmouth on June 14 with Moitessier following 79 days later.

By Cape Horn, the Brit’s lead had shrunk to 17 days with many expecting the Frenchman to overhaul his rival on the final chase.

But Moitessier decided to make a second circumnavigation of the Southern Ocean and Sir Knox-Johnston went on to claim the prize.

Now, to test what would have happened if Moitessier stayed on course, a maximum fleet of 10 Joshua Golden Globe one-design yachts will take part in the race, setting sail approximately three weeks after the smaller Suhaili-class yachts set off in 2022.

The first of the Joshua class is currently under construction in Turkey and will be presented at the start of the 2018 Golden Globe Race.

Dom McIntyre, race founder, said: ‘This is an exciting development for the Golden Globe Race, creating a new class of simple, safe, affordable and competitive one-design yachts to race around the world.

‘They are incredibly strong with five watertight compartments and will make classic high latitude adventure yachts able to cruise safely anywhere in the world, including Antarctica before and after the 2022 race.’

Entries for the race opened yesterday, with a maximum of 20 Suhaili replicas to take part against the 10 Joshua replicas.