Wednesday, 15 August, marks Gregor McGuckin’s 32nd birthday. The solo sailor is now 45 days into what could be a 270 day non-stop voyage around the globe onboard his 36ft yacht Hanley Energy Endurance.
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.
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 speaking to 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 snook on some birthday cards and presents so hopefully he finds them.”
If successful with his voyage, McGuckin will be the first Irish person to sail alone non-stop around the planet. First, he must cross the Indian Ocean, then the Pacific, and then complete the final leg back up the Atlantic and into France.
Primary school book publisher CJ Fallon and the Marine Institute have teamed up to create an Ocean Literacy 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.
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. Anyone wishing to give a gift to Gregor, the GoFundMe page is still open to donations.