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Final Countdown, McIntyre Ocean Globe Race Fleet busy in Punta del Este!

The crew of Translated 9 ITL (09) clearly delighted to pass the Punta del Este finish line - but still plenty of work to be completed before the starting gun on March 5th Credit: OGR2023/Rob Havill
  • Arrival receptions, Q&As, crew briefings, yacht maintenance, safety inspections and just a ‘little’ partying crammed into the crew’s hectic schedule.
  • Translated 9 ITL (09) sail over Punta del Este finish line – in time for Leg 4!
Fellow crews turn out to cheer on Translated 9 as they pass the finish line. Credit: Don McIntyre / OGR2024

The sunny coastal resort of Punta del Este, Uruguay is abuzz with busy OGR crew juggling their yacht and social commitments. Having completed the notorious Cape Horn Leg most crews took a day or two off for some much-needed rest and relaxation before launching into deep cleans, safety inspections, stitching ripped sails, reprovisioning, and only then having a glass of wine or two or three.

Events kicked off on Monday evening with a question-and-answer session hosted by the Yacht Club Punta del Este. The club’s members questioned skippers and crew on topics ranging from how often crew shower onboard, to more technical queries on the weather, the challenges of celestial navigation and feeding hungry sailors for 40-plus days at sea.

Skipper Campbell Mackie and navigator India Syms from Outlaw explains to the Yacht Club Punta del Este members the complexities of racing around the world using the sun and stars for navigation. Credit: JJ/ OGR2023

Tuesday evening the OGR crews were lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the crew of Uruguay Natural, the 1993 Uruguay entrant in the Whitbread Round the World Race. The Whitbread sailors were guests at the ‘Arrivals Reception’ where they were presented with the OGR ‘Gold Coins’ which have been given to Whitbread veterans in Southampton and Auckland.

Don McIntyre presents the much sought-after Whitbread Veteran Gold Coins to the crew of Uruguay Natural. Credit:OGR2023/Jacqueline Kavanagh

Since Uruguay Natural completed the race, we’ve felt like a big family. I spent half the world sailing with them and some of us were involved in the project for two or three years just to prepare the boat. So, when the race started in 1993, we’d the commitment to not only finish the race as fast as we could but mostly to do it safely. We pushed the boat to the limits but without any accidents.

Having an event with the Ocean Globe Race we felt the same spirit we had 30 years ago – a group of friends pushing the limits and sailing around the world. Luckily for us and the new generations of sailors, there’s a chance for amateur crews to sail around the world again.

Alvaro Robaina, President of the Race Committee of Yacht Club Punta del Este and crew member of Uruguay Natural.
The crew of Uruguay Natural during the 1993 Whitbread. Credit: Ricardo Figueredo

Vice Commodore Daniel Sielecki then presented each of the OGR entrants with an impressive coffee table book documenting the history of Yacht Club Punta del Este on its 100-year anniversary.

The British Ambassador, Faye O’Connor and Honorary Consol Andrew Beare visit Maiden for a boat tour. Credit: OGR2023/Rob Havill

It was then down to serious business once again on Wednesday morning for the obligatory Skipper and First Mate briefing. The coffee on offer was very welcomed by those who’d clearly enjoyed the club’s hospitality the previous evening.

The mandatory safety inspections have been taking place across the fleet – a requirement for the revalidation of the yachts coveted ‘Green Card’. Skippers have taken on the task of inspecting each other’s yachts, ticking off the many requirements under the OGR Notice of Race.

Explorer’s Mark Sinclair & Jill carrying out Maiden’s safety inspection – you’ll be relieved to hear they passed with flying colours!! Credit: OGR2023/Jacqueline Kavanagh

Translated 9 ITL (09), crossed the Punta del Este breakwater at 15:13 local time, meaning they’re within the four-day in-port stopover requirement obligatory under the Notice of Race. They can now start Leg 4 on March 5th with the rest of the fleet, much to the relief of crew and supporters alike! The stunning Swan 65 and former 1977 Whitbread yacht diverted to the Falklands to repair cracks in their hull.

After crossing the line the Italians sailed onto a Piriapolis to carry on with essential maintenance – including fixing their engine that stopped working en route to Punta del Este from the Falklands. Translated 9 are out of the ranking for Leg 3, but will resume racing in Leg 4.

Between all the activities, crews have also found the time to rehearse their ‘party pieces’ for Prize giving on Sunday night! A full report to follow.


  • 10:15 am – Teams Assemble at Yacht Club Punta del Este for a group photo.
  • 11:00 am – Yachts depart the marina at five-minute intervals.
  • 14:00 am – Leg 4, Punta del Este to Cowes, UK – RACE START!!


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