There’s been ribbon-cutting, cannon fire, astro navigation demonstrations, medical training, safety inspections, and a Pimms or two on the pontoons. With the 14 iconic yachts taking part in the McIntyre Ocean Globe docked in MDL Ocean Village Marina, Southampton, there’s never a dull moment with the 218 crews frantically preparing to sail around the world.
Activities kicked off with Lord Mayor Cllr Valerie Laurent, opening MDL Race Village, a symbolic moment for skippers and crew who’ve worked for years to get to the start line of the McIntyre OGR. But they’re not there yet! There’s still much to be done before the international fleet, representing sailors from 23 countries, depart on their eight-month adventure.
This fully-crewed retro race in the spirit of the 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race, marks the 50th anniversary of the original event. At 13:00 hr, 10th September, the yachts will set sail from the Royal Yacht Squadron start line, Cowes, UK, to circumnavigate the globe, using no computers, satellites or GPS navigation aids or high-tech materials and use Cassette tapes for music. For eight months, they’ll take on the world’s toughest oceans powered only by humans – all in the name of adventure, sailing like it’s 1973!
Ensuring the yachts are up to the momentous challenge of the three great Capes, Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, Australia’s Cape Leeuwin, and South America’s notorious Cape Horn means inspecting every lifejacket, counting fire extinguishers, opening ‘grab bags’ and testing navigation lights – and that’s the easy bit!
Every yacht is subject to a forensically-detailed safety inspection – which must be passed before receiving the coveted ‘Green Card’ required to take part in the race.
Assistant Race Director, Lutz Kohne has been busy coordinating the mammoth task.
“We are halfway through the safety inspections and see all kinds of things. Some boats surpass the high safety equipment requirements, others have quite a substantial to-do list remaining. However, the overall feedback from our inspectors is: ‘I would sail with them in the Southern Ocea.’” said Lutz.
Providing adventure therapy for military service members suffering from PTSD is Skeleton Crew’s mission.
“Inspections are notoriously painful in the service and sometimes you try to curry favour with your inspector by leaving out some ‘inspiration’ to help make the inspection go a little easier, and sometimes the kindness is returned with a passing mark. Unfortunately, I think our inspectors today might be teetotallers, so we’re out of luck,” said Colm Walker, Skeleton Crew member.
We can confirm – no rum was consumed, during the inspection at least.
But it’s not only the boats that need to be taken care of. As required by the Notice of Race, every boat must have two medically trained crew, who also must attend additional specialised training provided by Dr Spike Briggs of MSOS (Medical Support Offshore).
“I was asked to take charge of the workshop dedicated to intravascular cannulation, intravascular and intramuscular injections. It was funny because it’s been a few years since I had taught students, but I was satisfied to see that everyone was skillful.” said former anaesthetist Patrick Bodiou, the doctor onboard Australian entrant Explorer AU (28), who took part in the medical briefings.
And while cleaning winches, fixing sails and provisioning continue apace, there is still time to socialise.
“We are the biggest boat and docked in the middle of the fleet, so Pen Duick VI is the place to be. I like when people come and visit the boat, they are always very curious, and they are free to come and spend time onboard,” said Marie Tabarly, skipper of Pen Duick VI FR (14).
The well-known yacht is one of seven former Whitbread boats taking part in the race. She’s the flagship of the association The Elemen’Terre Project, whose goal is to raise public awareness of the major environmental and societal issues of our time.
Pen Duick VI FR (14) is one of seven former Whitbread boats taking part in the race. While some of the yachts entered MDL Ocean Village Marina to the sounds of Guns ’n’ Roses’, Tapio Lehtinen, skipper of Galiana WithSecure FI (06) went down the more traditional route – with cannon fire. As the last yacht of the 14 yachts to arrive, Galiana WithSecure was greeted with whoops and cheers from fellow crews relieved to see the stunning Swan 55.
Galiana WithSecure was dismasted during the Fastnet Race and Tapio and crew have been working around the clock to get a new mast installed in time for the race. It was Pimms on the dock to celebrate their achievement.
How to Follow the Race!
Keeping up with the race fleet is easy. Up to four tweets a day can be sent from each yacht which will be distributed on Twitter and Facebook. Once a week, each yacht will have a safety check, satellite call to race control lasting approximately 15 minutes, distributed on the OGR website and facebook as a SoundCloud recording. The crew send two satellite photos a week, will be put up to Instagram. You can download the YB Races APP and follow the tracker 24hrs a day.
Every morning at 09:00 hrs UTC Don McIntyre, race founder and sponsor, will keep you fully updated on the fleet’s progress with a 20 minute LIVE tracker update – which can be viewed on OGR YouTube and Facebook simultaneously. You can spend your Friday evenings in the company of guest race experts for a lively discussion with hosts Don McIntyre and Whitbread veteran Brian Hancok.
Go to www.oceangloberace.com homepage for direct access to everything you ever wanted to know about the race!
Race Village schedule of public events includes:
- Daily 10.30 hrs LIVE entrants interviews / WEBTV – Race Village
- Daily celestial navigation demonstrations – Race Village
- Friday 1st September, 13:30 hrs – A Welcome from the City of Southampton
- Tuesday 5th September, 17:30 hrs – Whitbread Veteran Reunion
- Thursday 7th September, 10 hrs – McIntyre OGR Press Conference
- Saturday 9th September, 14:00 hrs –ALL OGR Teams’ Public Farewell onstage presentation!
- Sunday 10th September, 09:00 hrs – Full Teams parade of honour from MDL Race Village to their yachts
13:00 hrs – RACE START – Royal Yacht Squadron start line, Cowes, UK. Viewing of the start line can be seen off the beaches in Gurnard, Isle of Wight or Lepe Beach in the New Forest.
MDL Race Village, Ocean Village, Southampton
You’re welcome to visit MDL Race Village for daily events including OGR WebTV, Astro Navigation demonstrations and the chance to mingle with the OGR crews and see the 14 yachts preparing to sail around the world. There are also a bar and food stalls available.
For a full schedule of events click HERE
Ocean Globe Race 2023 PUBLIC Pontoon Access… Pick a time slot for one-hour access to the pontoons at Ocean Village Marina in Southampton to see the yachts up close and personal. To book a time click HERE