The Battle of Gotland The Battle of Gotland
Photo by Marek Wilczek
The Four Elements

The Battle of Gotland

A Regatta in the Baltic Sea
Wojtek Antonów
time 10 minutes

The most difficult challenge that sailors face today are solo races. Conquering the seas and oceans, reliant on their skills, they fight not only the forces of nature, but also their own physical limitations. The best of them dream of entering the legendary Vendée Globe. Others look towards the adventure of a lifetime: taking part in The Great Sailing Battle of Gotland, recognized as the most demanding race on the Baltic Sea.

Everest on the ocean

Single-handed sailing is not for everyone. In the 2018 Golden Globe Race, one of the competitors – who had summitted Mount Everest three times – pulled out after two weeks’ sailing. “I’m not cut out for solo sailing”, said the Australian, Kevin Farebrother, explaining his decision. “For me it is like getting into the back seat of a moving car to sleep when no-one is at the wheel. As a result, I’ve had very little sleep over the past two weeks… My boat is now for sale!”

The race took place on the 50th anniversary of the legendary Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. The competitors were restricted to sailing only with equipment that was available to Robin Knox-Johnston, who won the race back in 1968 – this meant no GPS, satellite telephones, or access to radar systems.

In contrast, the yachts that enter the so-called “Everest of the seas” – the Vendée Globe – are the most modern boats in the world, stuffed with electronics and built for


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