The solo sailor Gregor McGuckin's marks his 32nd birthday today (Wednesday,15th August), where he is now 45 days into the Golden Globe Race on board the Hanley Energy Endurance.
If successful with his voyage, McGuckin will be the first Irish person to sail alone non-stop around the planet. It is hoped that he will achieve this in around 270 days. First, he must cross the Indian Ocean, then the Pacific, and then complete the final leg back up the Atlantic and into France.
McGuckin is currently making his way east in the South Atlantic, headed for the Cape of Good Hope, the first of the three great capes he will round as part of the Golden Globe Race. The race marks 50 years since the first successful solo non-stop circumnavigation by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. Sir Robin was 28 years old when he set sail in 1969 and took 312 days to complete the race.
Primary school book publisher CJ Fallon and the Marine Institute's Explorers Education Programme have teamed up to create a resource book for teachers to track the race and learn about our oceans. Every primary school and teacher will have free access to the resources online and schools will receive packs directly to help them follow this epic adventure and learn more about ocean.
The Golden Globe Race competitors are largely limited to the technology that was available when Sir Robin set sail, meaning no GPS, no watermakers, no weather routing and no modern forms of communication. McGuckin's yacht, Hanley Energy Endurance, is older than he is, she was launched in 1984, two years before McGuckin was born.
Speaking about Gregor's birthday, his Campaign Manager, Neil O'Hagan, said "Gregor is a very social guy so today will be hard for him. If he's lucky, he might get to speak to someone on a passing ship or some of his competitors, but there will be no party, no calls to his family and friends and no break from tending to his yacht Hanley Energy Endurance. The shore crew snuck on some birthday cards and presents so hopefully he finds them."
McGuckin is part of a new breed of Irish offshore solo sailors. His race is being supported by a number of Irish companies led by Hanley Energy, an award-winning data center solution innovator, headquartered in Ireland with many global operations. For more on McGuckin and the school's programme visit GregorMcGuckin.com
Notes to the Editor
A selection of photos available in this Dropbox Folder.
Gregor will be out of contact until after the race. For further comment from Gregor McGuckin - Team Ireland's shore team contact neil [at] teamireland [dot] ie / 0864095225