Before you – a material of Vladimir Snegirev in today’s issue of “Russian newspaper”. Anyone who watched the Golden Globe Race – a must-read!
© Vladimir Snegirev
The postoperative period
Russian sailor went round the world race directly from a hospital ward
Text: Vladimir Snegirev (Les Sables-d’olonne)
On the coast of the Bay of Biscay in a cozy French town, which has long won a reputation as the world capital of yacht racing, held a ceremony honoring the winners and participants of the unique super marathon “Golden globe”.
The finish line got four
It was here on 1 July last year was the start of this regatta, perhaps the most extraordinary, the most risky and unpredictable in the history of yachting. Eighteen brave men declared their desire to circumnavigate the globe on terms that exactly fifty years ago was accompanied by the first “globe”: that is, without interruption, on the boats of the old buildings, without using digital means of communication and navigation. In 1969, reached the finish line were the only member – the British Robin Knox-Johnston awarded for this feat of all possible honors, and during his lifetime became a legend. He shot from an old cannon aboard his yacht “Suhaili” sent to the ocean participants GGR-2018. And it was he, then giving an interview “RG”, said it would be nice, if to finish will get at least half of those who enrolled.
The main prize was the participation in the race, this extraordinary family involvement to the greatest adventure, the willingness to risk himself to save others
It seems that the old skipper knew what he says. Only four sailors were able to cope with all the trials and close the world here in Les Sables-d’olonne to deadlines.
First on the joy of the locals in the Marina after 211 days came the ships of their 73-year-old countryman of the great French rider Jean-Luc van den Heede. Behind him, in three days, finished two-meter giant from Holland mark Slats who had distinguished himself in fights without rules, and for six months prior to the start of the world tour won a Transatlantic rowing regatta. And third, presenting the present to the most discerning experts, was the Estonian Uku, Randmaa, before the start of modestly calling himself “an Amateur.” Finally, the fourth position is occupied by an American with Hungarian roots Istvan Kopar.
And the last three had a SIP of dashing over the edge. The boat Brand hurricane-force winds in the southern ocean several times over. The Estonians in the middle of the Atlantic on the way back we ran out of food, and he was forced, without reducing a course, fishing. Two big Marlin caught them helped, but UCF still lost weight over twenty pounds. Yacht Stephen is also tapped so that a large part of the path he had to follow without a connection to the land, its shortwave transmitter was flooded and out of order.
Finally, a chance to reach the French coast there is also a fifth participant – the Finn Tapio Lehtinen, but his boat was so overgrown with barnacles that if he finishes, it is not until the end of may.
For all that all these riders you can still be considered lucky. Because the fate of the others was much worse. Four boats lost in the abyss, and their skippers had to be evacuated from remote areas of the World ocean involving aircraft and ships. And rescue operations, as it may seem to someone strange, can also be recorded in the asset GGR, for concerted action sailors, airmen and coast services of different countries have shown: to help people in distress at any point of the planet, and literally in a matter of hours.
And this is just one of the lessons of the regatta “Golden globe”. Now is the time to talk about something else – it taught only Russian participant Igor Zaretsky.
The diagnosis: courage and resilience
The fact that this 67-year-old athlete on the logic that guided almost all ordinary people, well, could not participate in this cannibalistic competition. However, in any other contest too. Because six months before the start of the while undergoing a routine medical examination, the doctors revealed Zaretsky cancer of the kidney with metastases in the stomach. In January 2018 he underwent surgery to remove a kidney, and in March he again went under the knife – now was resection of the stomach.
No need to explain how serious were these two interventions, and what consequences they threatened. But Igor Zaretsky, just getting out of the hospital bed, immediately went to the Spanish city of Alicante, where in the shipyard preparing for his circumnavigation of the “Esmeralda”, and in April he went to sea in it: the boat after a major overhaul followed thoroughly to break in.
By itself, this fact was amazing, and all-coast team of Igor tormented by doubt: can a person go into the race at a distance of thirty thousand miles after everything? The last word by Zaretsky. And on 1 July it came out at the start.
For a long time, Igor has successfully coped with all adversities of the ocean, steadily took position in the middle of the fleet GGR. But in the South Atlantic case his boat below the waterline was too fast to grow shellfish, which immediately affected the speed. Alas, on the approach to Australia this problem has become so serious that Igor decided to go to the port to get rid of the “Esmeralda” from the ballast. It automatically translates it to the class, “Chichester”, which is intended as time for the participants, who once enlisted the help of coastal services. But he was not.
However, as became clear in Australia, the clams were not the only trouble. While the hull is cleaned, Igor decided to re-medical examination at a local clinic, after which the doctors recommended that the boater to interrupt the race, to return to Russia to continue treatment. A month ago he did another surgery. Now doctors are optimistic about his condition.
What’s next? Arriving in Les Sables-d’olonne Zaretsky responded to this question: “in the Fall I will continue the circumnavigation in class “Chichester” and will close it here.” The GGR organizers acknowledged the decision deserves respect.
Yes, this man won the “Golden globe”. But he won another victory, possibly much more important. He became an example for many people is a disease. Not obediently surrender under the onslaught of the disease, but to go against her!
I did not call all without exception to such exotic treatment is a non-stop round the world yacht race. Everyone chooses their own path. But obviously something else: part in extreme adventures are always strongly mobilizes all the resources of the human body, directs us to fight.
Was not lost
By the way, in this connection, we may recall another race – much thinner UCU, Randmaa. When it after the finish asked, how did the sailor for eight months of grueling battle with the elements, this is a typical “hot Estonian guy” with a soft smile said, “Better ask this question to my wife.” And then he added: “judging by the blood tests taken before the race and after the race, but now they are much better. Apparently, the fresh air helped.”
One of the most popular people in the ceremony was, of course, the pilot of the naval aviation of India Abilash Tom. Because of his rescue in the Indian ocean with excitement watched the whole world: boat Abilasha, committing overkill, lost a mast, and the driver was seriously injured spine, and for three days lay there unmoving in his defeated Typhoon quarters. To help him rushed the Irishman Gregor Macguckin, who at that time was closest to the Indian. But his boat was nearly destroyed by the same hurricane.
At home the pilot had serious surgery, securing his spine with two titanium plates. He says he will soon begin to fly and then to participate in a new yachting adventure.
In General, it’s amazing: a town on the Bay of Biscay to the ceremony came almost all the participants GGR. Not only was Tapio Lehtinen, which is still in the ocean, and Australian Kevin Farebrother – he went down the distance of this voyage, almost immediately went to conquer Everest. It was very touching to see together so many cool guys plus one lady from Britain, suzy Goodall. Susie enjoyed a particularly affectionate attention, she also got in the southern ocean, her boat capsized, it was a real crash, a horrible risk.
It seemed to me that all of them – and come down to the finish, and the castaways, are the winners. And perhaps the most important achievement of this race was this human unity. Alas, the organizers were unable to find wealthy sponsors, even the winner GGR Frenchman Jean-Luc van den Heed got for his triumph modest cheque for five thousand pounds. But in this case the prize was the participation in the race, this extraordinary family involvement to the greatest adventure, the willingness to risk himself to save others. It kept saying to me – some with tears in their eyes. Because, by God, they did not want to say goodbye. But all things come to an end.
However, it should be noted: the start of the next world tour in GGR format will take place in 2022. And to participate in it already have expressed desire two dozen new daredevils.