All solo skippers of the inaugural McIntyre Adventure Globe 5.80 Transat sail into Lanzarote

  • All skippers and yachts in Marina Rubicón, Lanzarote, now preparing for the Nov. 18th start of the second 3000 nm leg to Antigua
  • TREKKA sails through extreme conditions 45-55kts and 5m seas
  • 600 nm qualifier leg won by Numbatou, from Swiss entry Etienne Messikommer
  • Boat design deemed “very safe” in rough weather, sailing well under windvane and fun to sail
  • Departure Press Conference set for 1100hrs UTC on the 15th Nov at Rubicon Marina

Dateline: Marina Rubicon, Lanzarote, Spain

With late starter Jim Schofield from Ireland arriving safely in Marina Rubicon Lanzarote on the 10th of November, all entrants of this eventful inaugural qualifier are now gathered in Lanzarote (Spain), including Class Globe 5.80 Class founder Don McIntyre. 

Late starter Jim Schofield from Ireland arriving safely in Marina Rubicon Lanzarote on the 10th of November

All are celebrating the start of an adventure which began just over a year ago, as they each started building their plywood  epoxy kit 5.8m Mini ocean racers. All in different countries, but with a common dream to make the Globe Transat.

N° 88, the swiss entry Numbatou from Etienne Messikommer won the first leg, completing the 600 nautical miles qualifier in 4 days, 20 hours and 55 minutes after a constant battle with the elements, and the Czech entry Menawan from Michal Krysta.

600 nm qualifier leg won by Numbatou, from Swiss entry Etienne Messikommer

Many including skippers themselves wondered how the boat would perform due to the little time at sea, with only Numbatou and Menawan clocking offshore miles between Les Sables d’Olonnes and Lagos in Portugal prior to the start.

The boat however, behaved splendidly, the Globe 580 Transat Race Director Lutz Kohne puts it: “With all experiencing a mix of conditions and gusts to 35 knots and above with swells of 3-4 meters, these amateur home build boats just proved their seaworthiness and fun factor.”

Don McIntyre sailed his TREKKA through the biggest storm and probably learnt the most about this new experimental design. After spending a night running under bare poles steered by wind vane at 5-8kts, getting plenty of sleep below, conditions continued to build next day climaxing in 45-55kts with 5m seas for five hours before rapidly abating.

TREKKA arrives Lanzarote after sailing through 45-55kt storm with 5m seas

“She is simply an amazing boat that feels bigger than she is” said Don McIntyre” you have to sail her like a small displacement boat sitting IN the water, NOT on top and reduce sail to go faster! She will surf in swells, can take you around the world and really looked after me in that storm.” 

Most experienced surfing surges of 12-14kts with Michal clocking up to 16 knots and regularly posting 24 hour distance above 130 miles but could not work out how to use his windvane.

The Czech entry Michal Krysta (Hull 07: Menawan) here pushing to the finish line with it all up! a few hours behind first place

Michal recalls: “Due to issues with the pilot and windvane, I have spent up to 70 hours at the helm with winds of 40 knots going down big walls of water in the 5.80 reaching a personal best of 16 knots of boat speed!”

Other entrants have not helmed that much, praising the efficiency of their South Atlantic windvane such as Etienne: I am very pleased with the boat and the self steering gear in particular, I barely touched the helm. The boat is small and nimble, so I felt like a washing machine in the crossed, confused seas of the early days, but never in danger. She behaves like a bigger boat, and I have learned to push her to max speed in order to gain momentum and control in the big seas. 

Third on the podium, Peter Kenyon had less time on the boat than Etienne and Michal but kept in touch throughout the race. “It was quite an eventful inaugural trip! From my best moment was dolphins waking me up from my nap in the cockpit to the worst, finding water in the aft compartment and not knowing where it had come from…” After finding the water ingress came from fittings in the cockpit that we constantly awash with waves, Peter has only praises for the design: “the boat is the biggest surprise of those testing 600 miles, she feels solid, really safe and confidence inspiring”.

The UK entry Peter Kenyon (Hull 47: Origami) came 3rd

3000 nm to Antigua

Leg two is already in everyone’s mind with a week before the start, while the boat design and home-built construction satisfied entrants and organizers alike some valuable lessons were learned from leg one, with tweaks and mods being planned.

Mostly improving storage on board with more places to store small items below and placement of deck fittings and blocks to simplify manoeuvres. The big question is weight distribution and loading. Many put heavy items at the mast position and above the keel, but some may now move weights further aft.

When asked about Leg 2, the Race Director Lutz Kohne mentioned “Sleep, mental strength and the right tweak of windvane and main sail will be the key elements to be competitive for the race starting Nov 18.”

Severin Hummer (Nº98: Shrimp, Switzerland) at 25 is the youngest entrant and took a few days to settle into this solo challenge and then come to terms with how best to handle the boat. The windvane was challenging so used an electric autopilot. Full of passion and determined he is happy for the windvane advice now given by other entrants and looking forward to the next leg.

The gallant 5.80 skippers have a week to work on their boats, stock-up food and rest, but they are already established as trailblazers by the 150 other Globe 5.80 builders around the world, all watching and learning. They are making history in this new trend of home-built, one-design racing, all true legends within the fast-growing Class Globe 5.80 family!

The farewell PRESS CONFERENCE for the Globe 5.80 Transat with all skippers is set for 1100hrs UTC on Monday 15th NOV at Rubicon Marina Lanzarote. Covered live on Facebook at the Globe 580 Transat page.

McIntyre Adventure Globe 5.80 Transat First Leg Top 3, left to right: Peter, Michal and Etienne. Picture Credit: Aïda Valceanu

Follow the race, on the Yellow Brick tracker updating positions every 4 hours and daily tweets from entrants on our twitter account , with bi-weekly phone calls on SoundCloud