Case studies

Gregor McGuckin

Yachtmaster graduate – Golden Globe Race

Yachtmaster graduate – Gregor McGuckin competes in the Golden Globe Race

Irish sailor Gregor McGuckin who trained at UKSA is competing in the Golden Globe Race circumnavigating the world solo June 6, 2018, Cowes: Irish sailor Gregor McGuckin who achieved his Yachtmaster Ocean at maritime training charity, UKSA, in 2013, is to compete solo, non-stop, around the world, in the incredible Golden Globe Race. Last minute preparations are in progress for one of most challenging yacht races ever, nicknamed ‘Everest of the Seas’ for good reason.

Gregor faces a gruelling nine-month, global circumnavigation in the extreme heat of the tropics and very challenging sea conditions, as he sails down to beyond 56 degrees south into freezing conditions to round the infamous Cape Horn

Sponsored mainly by Irish-owned global company, Hanley Energy, Gregor still needs to raise funds to buy a heavy weather mainsail and lots of other kit to be ready for the start line in Les Sables-d’Olonne, France, July 1, 2018.

“It will be a challenge like nothing I have done before and I am throwing myself completely into it.”

Gregor crossed the Atlantic many times delivering Yachts

Gregor was a late starter to sailing. An outdoor education course when Gregor was 19 years old set him on the path to a career on the water going from windsurfing to yachting. He started off in professional yacht deliveries for PYD, crossing the Atlantic many times amassing over 50,000 miles. After skippering a 62-foot sailing yacht in the Caribbean, Gregor has been solo training whilst campaigning for two years; and is now ready for his solo challenge.

Over to Gregor: “I jumped at the chance to compete in the Golden Globe Race. This was everything that I had worked for and I had a chance to live it. For the past few years, I have been working flat out with a team of people to realise my ultimate goal of doing this race. It will be a challenge like nothing I have done before and I am throwing myself completely into it.”

Sailing yacht, ‘Hanley Energy Endurance’, is setting sail from Dublin, Ireland, to Falmouth on Friday June 8, ready to commemorate the pioneer Sir Robin Knox- Johnston’s Golden Globe voyage 50 years ago. Since then, fewer than 200 sailors have managed this feat. Gregor’s boat will be moored alongside Sir Robin’s boat in Falmouth and will be similar in that it will have no GPS, no weather routing, and no desalination systems. This lack of technology closely matches the challenges faced 50 years ago.

Through the support of the CJ Fallon and Marine Institute, primary schools across Ireland will follow Gregor and learn about the ocean – a live race tracking map will be available online for the duration of the race. UKSA will be watching Gregor’s progress closely and we wish him well for this incredible challenge.

If you would like to sponsor Gregor so that he can buy that heavy weather mainsail for the Southern Ocean, you can find the details here:

UKSA is a maritime charity which offers professional maritime training courses alongside youth development programmes to help young people transform their lives for the better. For more information on UKSA visit:

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