The legacy of French legendary yachtsman, Bernard Moitessier, will be celebrated with a second class of 40ft Joshua steel-built one-design yachts for the Golden Globe Race 2022 fleet

The battle between Bernard Moitessier’s Joshua and Robin Knox-Johnson’s Suhaili in the 1968-69 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race has gone down in solo sailing history.

Now, the Frenchman’s legendary ketch is being celebrated with the introduction of a second class of 40-ft Joshua steel-built one-design yachts to the revived Golden Globe Race.

But it won’t be for the 2018 race, which is expected to start and finish in Plymouth on 30 June 2018.

Instead, this new class will be introduced to the race planned for 2022.

Bernard Moitessier

Bernard Moitessier on Joshua

Race organisers say the decision to introduce the Joshua one-design is not only to mark the contributions by Moitessier, but to test whether the French yacht would have come close to beating Knox-Johnston’s 32-foot Bermuda ketch, Suhaili.

A maximum fleet of 10 Joshua Golden Globe one-design yachts will make up a Class 2 start on Sunday, 21 August, 2022, approximately three weeks after the smaller Suhaili class yachts.

The exact date will be determined from the average time that the first six yachts take to complete the 2018 Golden Globe Race.

‘The leading yachts in next year’s race are predicted to better Suhaili’s 313 day record by 40 to 50 days, so it is important to set a realistic rather than historic time gap between the two classes,” explained race founder, Don McIntyre.

Hull number one, currently under construction at Asboat Yacht Builder in Izmir, Turkey, will be alongside the original Joshua at the start of the 2018 Golden Globe Race in Plymouth.

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Organisers say everything about this new one-design class “speaks of the original Joshua.”

“She may be slightly longer, have a little more beam and draft, together with a taller main mast, but the essence remains. She looks, feels and will sail just like the original,” they add.

Constructed from laser-cut 5mm, 6mm and 8mm steel sheet, these multi-chined class yachts are being built to strict one-design rules.

“This is an exciting development for the Golden Globe Race, creating a new class of simple, safe, affordable and competitive one-design yachts to race around the world,” continued McIntyre.

A render of the new Joshua one design

Credit: Golden Globe Race/PPL

“They are incredibly strong with five watertight compartments and will make classic high latitude adventure yachts able to cruise safely anywhere in the world, including Antarctica, before or after the 2022 Golden Globe Race,” he added.

The strict one-design rules also stipulate the number of sails that can be carried during the race, and to make it a completely level playing field, sails for all Joshua class yachts will be supplied by one official loft.

And to further the spirit of Bernard Moitessier, competitors can use only replicas of Joshua’s original wind vane self steering system.

Moitessier with a cigarette in his hand on board his ketch Joshua

Bernard Moitessier works on Joshua’s sails. Credit: Getty Images

And unlike the original Joshua, the new one-design will not have reclaimed telegraph poles as masts

A fully-equipped Joshua GGR yacht and entry in the 2022 Golden Globe Race will cost around 300,000.

Joshua One Design Technical Specifications:

LOA: 14.00m (incl. bowsprit)
LOH: 12.40m
LWL: 10.25m
Beam: 3.75m

Draft: 1.62m
Disp: 15.00 tonnes

Further details are at the official website.

The 2018 Golden Globe Race, set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Knox-Johnston’s victory in his traditional 32ft yacht Suhaili, has attracted 27 sailors from 14 countries to compete in similar type yachts between 32-36ft in length.

Entries for the 2022 Golden Globe Race will open on 22 August 2018.

The current 22 production yacht designs, including Eric designed Suhaili replicas approved for the 2018 GGR, will be maintained and make up the Suhaili Class. This will have a maximum of 20 entries.

The new Joshua Class will be restricted to 10 entries, all built under licence to the same strict one-design rules.

The Notice of Race will be modelled on that for the 2018 Golden Globe Race with only minor amendments expected.

There will be overall and class winners, together with a special trophy for the first Joshua class yacht to reach Tahiti on the second lap