The 2023 Ocean Globe Race will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original 1973 Whitbread, the first ever fully crewed race, around the world.
Already, 25 entrants are paid up and another three have committed, representing 17 countries. The expectation is that a full fleet of 34 yachts, sailed by professional and amateur, mixed gender crews, will cross the start line on 10 September, 2023. If so, the OGR is set to become the largest ever crewed, round-the-world race.
Starting in Europe, the four leg 28,000-mile race, via the three Capes, will stop over in South Africa, Australia and South America, before sailing back to Europe in late April 2024.
“The excitement and enthusiasm for the Ocean Globe Race from the sailors that know about it, has been extraordinary,” said Don McIntyre, OGR founder and race organiser “When COVID first appeared in February 2020, we decided to stop all promotion of the race, as the World faced serious challenges. Now we are recommencing promotions and available places are filling fast. We had to close Adventure Class, but entries are still available in the remaining three classes.”
The OGR steps back in time to the 1970s as a Retro Race, with two classes sailing production yachts designed before 1988 (Adventure Class 47-55ft and Sayula Class 56-65ft) and a third Flyer Class, sailing previous Whitbread entrants from the first three editions of the original races. Retro Classes must navigate by sextant, use no modern high-tech equipment, or computers and have only cassette tapes for music.
A fourth Classic Challenge Modern Class, sailing Whitbread Maxis and Whitbread/Volvo 60s will use the same start finish ports, but race a longer course than the slower Retro Classes for a special ‘Big Red’ Trophy, in honour of the late Sir Peter Blake. The combined fleet covers the entire history of the Whitbread Race.