It was all smiles and cheers from the crew of Outlaw AU (08) as they completed their circumnavigation at 13:39 UTC, 18th April ranking 6th in line honours and provisional 6th in IRC for Leg 4 of the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race. Skipper Campbell Mackie, and ten crew, were greeted by overjoyed family and friends for a bright, sunny afternoon arrival into Cowes, where they’d set off from 220 days previously. The Australian registered yacht sailed in under jury rig after her backstay broke earlier in the week.

Outlaw, which raced in the 1985 Whitbread under the name Equity and Law, has placed fifth in line honours and IRC for leg 1, ninth and tenth respectively for leg 2 and 8th in line honours and 7th 1RC for the Auckland to Punta del Este leg. They’re also claiming to be the fictitious ‘Adelaide Cup’ winners coming in ahead of the other Adelaide entrant, Explorer AU (28).

A chance meeting with OGR founder Don McIntyre inspired skipper Campbell Mackie to put together a crew, including former Clipper Round The World friends, to enter the OGR. In 2021 the Baltic 55 was found in a boat builders’ yard in Albany, USA. The team, who’d formed an owner’s cooperative to purchase Outlaw then spent 12 months on the self-funded project getting her seaworthy to sail across the Atlantic in time for the race start last September.

Arriving into Cowes, Campbell paid tribute to that tightly bonded team.

“The crew and how they’ve all worked out is probably a highlight of the whole two and a half years. This is not just seven months of the race, but there’s the preparation, getting to the start line and then the way it is working on the boat. It’s just wonderful. We got the right people on the right seats on the bus and it’s just been marvellous. If that’s my biggest achievement out of the whole thing, I’m well satisfied. They’re just a bloody fabulous group of people.” CAMPBELL MACKIE, A VERY PROUD SKIPPER OF OUTLAW.

Just weeks before the OGR started Outlaw took part in the Rolex Fastnet Race. They were met with challenging conditions during the first 24 hours and were forced to retire due to a gooseneck failure. However, the crew used the experience as an invaluable team bonding experience and proved a useful test of both the boat and crew. They also proved their resilience, by getting Outlaw ready for the OGR start line in time.

More drama ensued during leg one when Outlaw came across a sole male drifting in a 20ft canoe, 90nm off the coast of Dakar. He didn’t speak English or French, had no water, limited fuel in two small cans, no fishing gear and no sign of a radio. The crew provided food and water and took the sailor under tow. Upon arrival into Dakar the mariner was met by another small boat and departed without future incident. Outlaw was awarded a 32-hour time compensation for the diversion.

Then earlier this week Campbell contacted the OGR race control to report that their backstay had broken. They’d managed to complete repairs and were sailing under jury rig and making good progress.

Navigator, India Syms, spoke about how the crew pulled together during the incident.

“We had made it all the way around with very minor damage to the boat. So, it’s unfortunate that it should break so close to the end, we all just thought NO!! But the whole crew did really, really well. We managed to jury rig the backstay very quickly and we still made good progress. We had three reefs in the main, the storm staysail up and we were still flying, up until about eight hours ago! Ten of us started on this boat and the same ten finished – I’m so proud.” INDIA SYMS, NAVIGATOR OF OUTLAW

For anyone inspired by Outlaw’s OGR adventures, she is now up for sale!!

Meanwhile, the six remaining yachts racing continue to make slow progress towards Cowes. Consistent headwinds are making things challenging for the crews who still have approx. 700 nm to finish. White Shadow ESP (17) has gained miles – it’s now anyone’s call between White Shadow, Evrika FR (07), Traina FR (66) and Galiana WithSecure FI (06).

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