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Calling All Whitbread Veterans – OGR 50th Anniversary Reunion!

"Neptune" raced in the 1977 Whitbread. Veterans can relive the experience at the Veteran Reunion. Photo Credit: Team Neptune

Countdown 60 Days – Ocean Globe Race Start!

  • Strong interest in OGR Whitbread Veterans’ Reunion party – September 5th.
  • Last minute refits, haulouts, crew training across a 14 strong fleet.
  • French media entrepreneur Jean d’Arthuys Triana FR (66) launches campaign, Maiden UK (03) rig removed. L’Esprit d’Équipe FR (85) and Neptune FR (56) back in the water.
  • Under 24s sailing on all teams and McIntyre Adventure sponsored youth berths available.
  • Galiana WithSecure FI (06) and Outlaw AU (08) enter Fastnet 50th Anniversary.
  • MEDIA ALERT JULY 18th 1300hrs Local MDL and OGR Press Conference.

A Whitbread Veteran Reunion celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Whitbread Race is planned for the Ocean Globe Race Village, in Southampton. All previous Whitbread and Volvo Race crew are invited. Hosted by McIntyre Adventure and sponsored by an evening of drinks, guest speakers, historic footage and mingling with 2023 OGR crews is planned. It’s a chance for veterans to relive their former glories and rub shoulders with ‘old’ crewmates and rivals.

A second even bigger reunion is planned for host port Auckland at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and will prove popular, thanks to the city’s rich history with the Whitbread dating back to 1977 and the huge number of Kiwi Whitbread sailors. 

This will certainly be a highlight of the OGR celebrations and already whole ex-Whitbread teams have confirmed for the party and to watch the start. For them it is sure to rekindle strong emotions from their past adventures. If you are a veteran contact us for an invitation.

Don McIntyre, OGR founder and Race Director

A full programme of events is planned for Race Village in the build up to the OGR. A race in keeping with the spirit of the 1973 Whitbread, where ‘ordinary’ sailors compete with sextants and paper charts, but without phenomenal budgets, foils and computers. A return to non-GPS days of real people, real adventures and a real chance to witness what determination and human spirit can achieve.

The OGR Village in Ocean Village, Southampton, UK opens Tuesday 29th August. Details and FREE tickets from here.

The OGR starts Sunday 10th September 2023, 13:00 hrs from the Royal Yacht Squadron start line, Cowes, UK.

#OGR2023 Flyer Class “Maiden” Crew hard at work. Photo Credit @The Maiden Factor
#OGR2023 Flyer Class “Maiden” Crew hard at work. Photo Credit @The Maiden Factor

Last Minute Preparations Continue

Maiden UK (03) rig has been removed for inspection and rerouting of electrical cables for wind instruments and weather fax. The crew are also undergoing Astro navigation training to hone their traditional navigation skills.

Former Whitbread entrant “Neptune” FR (56) back where she belongs. Photo Credit: Neptune – Gagner Avec Parkinson

The much loved 60 ft Aluminum Sloop, Neptune FR (56) returned to the water recently after extensive work. On board the former Whitbread yacht is Bertrand Delhom, a Parkinson’s sufferer, who’s sailing with the aim of spreading inspiration to those affected by Parkinsons.

This mirrors the ambitions of the OGR, a supporter of SITraN, the world’s leading center for research into Motor Neurone Disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

Former Whitbread winner L’Esprit d’Équipe FR (85) also returned to the water this week after antifouling, painting of the deck and now work begins on her interior. 

#OGR2023 Flyer Class “L’Esprit d’Équipe“ FR (85) looking race ready after some tender loving care. Photo Credit: L’Esprit d’Équipe

As well as refits, skippers are busy ensuring crews are prepared for the 27,000-mile adventure.

 Jean-Christophe Petit, owner of the only Spanish entry, White Shadow ES (17), faces the challenge of ensuring his crew from eight different countries communicate effectively.

You take people from different cultures and different backgrounds. It’s a challenge, but overall, we’ve the same objective and it creates something that is rich. You’ve to make sure everyone is aligned. We need to make sure we’re all on the same page.

Jean-Christophe,White Shadow ES (17)

Finding sponsorship is proving another mammoth task eating up hours of time and energy. It’s something the crew of the Swan 53, South African Sterna SA (42) are all too aware of.

We need sponsors so we can race the way we’d like to race, with enough sails and very good preparations. We can do it with what we have, but it would be a little bit easier if in our prep time we didn’t have to turn things around that probably should be replaced. 

Rufus Brand, Skipper of “Sterna” SA (42)
French entrants Triana FR (66) and Neptune FR (56) two-of-the-five French yachts in the OGR. Photo Credit: Margault Demasles

Owner and skipper of the French entrant Triana FR (66) Jean D’Arthuys, yesterday launched his OGR campaign.

It’s hard to explain the call of the sea. It takes hold of you with a mixture of fear and irrepressible attraction. The ocean makes it possible to find moments of truth and sharing through this magnificent competition.

Jean D’Arthuys, Skipper of “Triana” FR (66)

He dreamed of this challenge since childhood and is now inspiring other young people, with the majority of his crew under 30. Motivation, personality and team spirit were a major factor in who the media entrepreneur and winemaker chose to accompany him. 

The crew of Triana FR (66) a Swan 53, have a specific mission with the Fondation de la Mer and its President, Sabine Roux de Bézieux. The foundation acts globally to protect marine biodiversity, fight against pollution at sea, inform and raise awareness. One of the crews’ missions is to observe the Great Albatrosses of the South Seas, perfectly located on the route of the OGR. The M6 Group will be their main media partner and will broadcast Triana’s logbooks every week on M6’s news and on RTL radio.

South African (23) Cameron Schmidt will sail into Cape Town thanks to the McIntyre Adventure Sponsored Youth Opportunity Scheme. Photo Credit: Cameron Schmidt

OGR entrants must have a mixed gender crew, with the exception of Maiden UK (03), with at least one crew member on each yacht under 24 years. Fulfilling this criteria Cameron Schmidt (23) was recruited from a number of applicants as part of the McIntyre Adventure Sponsored Youth Opportunity Scheme (HERE). Sponsored berths for young crew are still available onboard Explorer AU (28) from each host port. Cameron will sail Leg 1 into his hometown of Cape Town. (One circumnavigating berth and “leg one” berth are also available for contributing crew.)

When Don (McIntyre) told me about the zero technology I couldn’t believe it! My friends have been sending me cassettes that are apparently ‘good’. It is crazy that communication back home will be limited as I feel that will be the toughest part for them and me. I am hoping to have the crew round for a Braai and some local beers when we get to Cape Town.

Cameron Schmidt (23) Selected Leg 1 Youth Crew onboard Sayula Class “Explorer” AU.

Let’s see if he’s still playing those cassettes at the party! Explorer AU (28) is currently sailing its 1500 mile ocean qualifier.

Also celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Rolex Fastnet Race has attracted OGR entrants, Outlaw AU (08) and Galiana WithSecure FI (06). Race will start from Cowes, UK Saturday 22nd July 2023.

MEDIA ALERT JULY 18th 1300hrs Local MDL and OGR Press Conference scheduled at Ocean Village to announce schedule of events for the arrival of the Ocean Globe in Southampton. Coverage LIVE on OGR Facebook/YouTube simultaneously.



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