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  • Southside

Solo sailor spends birthday alone at sea

Friday, 31st August, 2018 1:00pm
Solo sailor spends birthday alone at sea
Solo sailor spends birthday alone at sea

SOUTHSIDE sailor, Gregor McGuckin, celebrated his 32nd birthday alone at sea as he continued on his epic Golden Globe Race.

Wednesday, August 15 also marked the solo sailor’s 45th day into what could be a 270-day non-stop voyage around the globe onboard his 36ft yacht Hanley Energy Endurance.

McGuckin, from Goatstown, is currently making his way east in the South Atlantic, and is 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 completed the race in 312 days.

The Golden Globe Race competitors are largely limited to the technology that was available when Sir Robin set sail, meaning no GPS, no water makers, no weather routing and no modern forms of communication. McGuckin’s yacht, Hanley Energy Endurance, is older than he is, as 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 hid 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 centre solution innovator, headquartered in Ireland with many global operations. 

For more on McGuckin and the school's programme visit

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here