Yachting Monthly

Golden Globe Race: Ian Herbert-Jones rescued

April 11, 2023

British Golden Globe Race skipper Ian Herbert-Jones is now safely onboard the Taiwanese fishing vessel, Zi Da Wang after his boat was dismasted in a severe Southern Atlantic storm

Ian Herbert-Jones has been rescued by the crew of the Taiwanese fishing vessel, Zi Da Wang, after spending around 24 hours in his dismasted Golden Globe Race yacht, following a severe South Atlantic storm.

The 52-year-old solo sailor, who is from Shropshire, suffered a back and shoulder injury, as well as a cut to his head, after his Tradewind 35 cutter, Puffin was rolled and dismasted in confused 7.7m seas and 50 knots winds around 900 miles ENE of the Falkland Islands.

Conditions had eased considerably by the time the Zi Da Wang and her crew arrived on the scene, and the rescue was carried out in 25 knot winds and 4m seas.

Battered and bruised but Golden Globe Race skipper Ian Herbert-Jones is now safely onboard a fishing boat after his boat dismasted in a severe storm. Credit: Ian Herbert Jones / GGR2022

The fishing vessel was positioned west of Puffin to windward in order to reduce the wind and flatten the sea for Ian Herbert-Jones to manoeuvre Puffin at close quarters before he was transfered from the Tradewind 35 to the fishing boat.

The operation was co-ordinated by MRCC Argentina.

Ian Herbert-Jones was recovered from his boat at 1845 UTC.

Ian Herbert-Jones was sailing the Tradewind 35 cutter, Puffin in the 2022 Golden Globe Race. Credit: Nora Havel/GGR2022

A spokesperson for the Golden Globe Race said the British solo skipper was ‘battered and bruised with scrapes and scratches, some back pain, but he is very happy to be with the crew.’

‘The master of the rescue ship moved straight into a recovery operation in the 25k wind and 4-meter sea as soon as they were on scene. Congratulations to all the personnel, ships, government agencies involved over the past 30 hours who have displayed complete professionalism, dedication and passion in continuing one of the strong traditions of the sea.’

Ian Herbert-Jones battled with headwinds and calms while crossing the Pacific, which meant he was the last of the 2022 Golden Globe Race skippers to round Cape Horn. Credit: Nora Havel/GGR 2022

‘The GGR wish to thank the SAR Puerto Belgrano in Argentina and the MRCC Taiwan for an exemplary international coordination of Ian’s rescue, as well as the shipowner, masters and crew of the F/V Zi Da Wang and the F/V Fa Da Cai and Yuh Sheng N°1. MRCC UK and GRIZ NEZ France were also on standby.’

The Zi Da Wang is believed to be heading for Cape Town.

It is not known if Puffin has been scuttled or will be salvaged.

The solo sailor activated his EPIRB and then his Yellow Brick distress signal manually at 1725 UTC on 10 April.

He had been sailing Puffin under bare poles in the storm and had tried to deploy his drogue, but was unable to in the extreme conditions. This meant it was difficult to control the boat stern into the waves and avoid being rolled in the large seas.

No modern navigation equipment is allowed during the race. Credit: Ian Herbert-Jones

Ian Herbert-Jones, who learnt to sail in the Army over two decades ago, prepared extremely well for the 2022 Golden Globe Race.

He fitted a new Seldén mast to Puffin ahead of the start, and installed a Solent stay on the boat.

He also spent a long time preparing the yacht, making sure the boat’s electronics were sealed behind the boat’s bulkhead with watertight boxes in the event of a knockdown.

Ian Herbert-Jones has previously circumnavigated the world during the 2007-2008 Clipper Round the World Race, but the 2022 Golden Globe Race was the first time he had attempted the milestone solo.

Ian Herbert-Jones spent over a year refitting his Tradewind 35 for the Golden Globe Race 2022. Credit: Ian Herbert-Jones

Just the week before, he had anchored at Picton Island to make repairs to his Hydrovane windvane steering, which had been damaged during severe weather whilst rounding Cape Horn.

At the time, he used his safety GPS and satellite phone to contact his shore manager, which put him in the race’s Chichester Class.

The skipper was notified about the heavy weather by Golden Globe Race HQ, which alerts entrants of winds over 35 knots.

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