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Ocean Globe Race countdown, 51 days! Southampton Ocean Village details announced

Maiden Makes a triumphant return to Southampton in 1990. And she's back for the OGR! PHOTO CREDIT: OGR2023 / Team Maiden
  • UK MDL Marinas Ocean Village Press conference.
  • Outlaw AU (28) skipper Campbell Mackie excited about the OGR. Maiden UK (03) reliving history with youth crew. 
  • You can join the SS Shieldhall official OGR committee vessel for the day and follow the fleet across the line and out toward The Needles.
  • See the yachts, meet the crews, Daily OGR WebTV, Astro Navigation, Captain’s Dinner and Charity Auction planned. 
  • Galiana WithSecure FI (06) success in Gotland Runt. Godspeed USA (01) rushing across the Atlantic for Southampton and EXPLORER AU (28) completes qualifier but now more work!

MDL Marinas and the Ocean Globe Race revealed plans for Ocean Village Marina, at a press conference in Southampton. Celebrating their own 50th anniversary, MDL Marinas previously hosted the 1989, 1993, 1997 and 2001 Whitbread races. Now it’s the 50th Anniversary recreation of the first 1973 Whitbread. 

We are looking forward to welcoming the Southampton community to Ocean Village to be part of the OGR. It’s exciting and an absolute privilege to be part of the team bringing this race back home to the city of Southampton, the home of ocean racing.


The OGR is a race in keeping with the spirit of the original Whitbread races, 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, sailing beautiful yachts on real adventures around Cape Horn with a real chance to witness what courage and human spirit can achieve. 

It’s 30 years since anyone has seen anything like this event where amateur sailors are sailing  their classic yachts all the way around the world. I know the sailors competing are happy to be starting this epic adventure from the UK, the birthplace of the 1973 Whitbread.

Don McIntyre OGR Founder and Race Director

OGR entrants from 8 countries start arriving at Ocean Village from 26th August. The Race Village opens on August 29th. Daily Live WebTV sessions, opportunities to meet teams, Astro Navigation demonstrations and the chance to mingle with Whitbread Veterans are just some of the Ocean Village events. A black tie MDL Captains’ Dinner and Charity Auction with all proceeds split between the charities Blue Marine Foundation, Ocean Youth Trust South and The Maiden Factor Foundation is also planned. 

In the marina, experience the buzz as 14 iconic yachts, including seven previous Whitbread entrants, complete preparations before setting out around the world. There will be plenty of pressure and last minute rush, as final briefings and comprehensive safety inspections take place before yachts are signed off to start. 

ADVENTURE CLASS (47ft-56ft) Team Outlaw Crews in the UK MDL Marinas Ocean Village Press conference. PHOTO CREDIT: Aïda Valceanu/ OGR2023

Outlaw AU (28) Baltic 55 skipper Campbell Mackie from Australia spoke about his enthusiasm for the OGR, despite the frustrations and challenges involved in completing a 12 month refit in the USA and selecting a competent crew before crossing the Atlantic, and now the Fastnet Race, as final preparations for the Ocean Globe. 

It has been a crazy few years and we are still working hard on the boat! But one thing that does ring strongly in my mind is some words Don (McIntyre) once said to me, that getting to the start line is about two thirds of the effort. All I can say is, I bloody well hope so!

Outlaw AU (28) Baltic 55 skipper Campbell Mackie

The 1989/1990 Whitbread saw Tracy Edwards MBE sail home the first ever all-female Whitbread crew onboard Maiden to Ocean Village Marina. Maiden UK (03) will once again relive history with Maiden UK (03) the UK’s only OGR entry. 

At the Press Conference, Youth crew member Junella King 22 who was selected to sail onboard Maiden from the Antigua Sailing Academy and team manager Marie-Claude Heys explained Maiden’s mission to empower young girls. PHOTO CREDIT: Rob Havill / OGR2023

Maiden UK (03) crew member Junella King (22) who was selected to sail onboard from the ranks of  the Antigua Sailing Academy was truly excited at the chance of being offered to compete in the Ocean Globe Race and further The Maiden Factor’s mission. This includes raising awareness of the 130 million girls worldwide who are currently unable to access an education and fundraising for and supporting community programmes which enable girls into education. 

Our main goal, as well as preparing for the race, is still empowering little girls and raising funds for female education. And now entering the OGR is exciting and challenging and allows me to experience some amazing ocean racing.

Maiden UK (03) crew member Junella King (22)

Race Village schedule of events include:

  • Tuesday 29th August, 11:00 hrs – Official Ribbon Cutting
  • Friday 1st September, 13:30 hrs – An OGR Welcome from the City of Southampton
  • Friday 1st September, 18:30 hrs – Captain’s Dinner and Charity Auction
  • Tuesday 5th September, 17:30 hrs – Whitbread Veterans Reunion
  • Thursday 7th September, 14:00 hrs  – OGR Final Press Conference
  • Friday 8th September, 18:00 hrs – MDL OGR Farewell Hog Roast Party
  • Saturday 9th September, 14:00 hrs – Teams’ Public Farewell presentation 
  • Sunday 10th September, 09:00 hrs – Full teams parade depart Race Village to their yachts, 11:00 hrs – SS Shieldhall OGR Cruise to the start and follow the fleet out, 13:00 hrs – RACE START – Royal Yacht Squadron start line, Cowes, UK.

Click on the links below for a full schedule of events and your free tickets.

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

OCEAN GLOBE RACE 2023 – COPYRIGHT FREE for Editorial Use Join the Steamship Shieldhall for #OGR2023 race start and the chance to be part of the action. Credit: Will Faulkner

The OGR starts Sunday 10th September 2023, 13:00 hrs from the Royal Yacht Squadron start line, Cowes, UK. You can buy tickets to join the official OGR committee vessel, SS Shieldhall for the day with lunch and expert commentary following the fleet out from the marina, then the start gun and nearly to The Needles. This will be the ultimate OGR start day experience, bookings open for 150 guests 1st August.  

Classic OGR Planning, Preparation and Execution

Challenging conditions didn’t faze Galiana WithSecure FI (06) which came 4th in the Gotland Runt, the popular Swedish race, another opportunity for the team to tune their OGR skills.

Success for Galiana WithSecure FI (06) taking silverware at the popular Swedish Gotland Runt, the world’s largest annual offshore race. (OGR2023 Adventure Class) PHOTO CREDIT: Petri Porkola

We had a spectacular start to the Gotland Runt in the heart of Stockholm followed by a day-long beat out to sea admiring the beautiful archipelago. By the time we passed Sandhamn, the Cowes of the Baltic, a gale from the South West had started. Then all hands on deck for furling out our classic cutter rig of a yankee and staysail. Galiana WithSecure was one of just 24 boats finishing the race out of 174 starting boats, in the strongest winds ever in the history of the race since 1937, great training for the OGR!!

Explained Pia Grönblom, Galiana WithSecure FI (06) Team Manager

GGR entrant, owner and skipper of Galiana WithSecure FI (06) Tapio Lehtinen and his crew were rewarded at the prize giving with trophies for Best Youth Team, Best Finnish Team and Best Swan. They are certainly one of the best prepared entrants in the OGR. They’re now making their way towards Southampton to take part in the 50th Edition of the Rolex Fastnet where they’ll compete alongside Australian OGR entrant Outlaw AU (08), skippered by Campbell Mackie. OGR’s Race Manager, Georgie Vintner, will be aboard Outlawfor the race. Sail safe and good luck to everyone taking part!   

Military vets finally underway!

It was an emotional farewell from Portsmouth Naval Shipyard USA, New Hampshire for Godspeed USA (01) Swan 51 now crossing the Atlantic, enroute to Southampton.  The only American entrant, Skeleton Crew Sailing, is a non-profit founded in 2016 by US Navy veteran Taylor Grieger and provides adventure therapy to military service members and veterans through sailing expeditions. They have assembled a crew with representatives from all US military services and First Responders. A global search for a suitable yacht that was in their budget only succeeded months ago and considerable work was required to get her up to the tough OGR standard. They have been battling 24/7 to keep it together.    

Such a relief to be sailing and by the time we get to England this will be a fine-tuned and very salty crew.

Godspeed USA (01) Skipper Taylor Grieger.

Several entrants are under real pressure to complete all necessary registrations for the OGR, before they will receive their GREEN card to compete. It is only after all certifications and inspections are completed that an OGR green card is issued allowing them to cross the start line. A few teams are way behind, not meeting deadlines required by the organisers.  

Crew training continues across the fleet

Final preparations are underway onboard Spirit of Helsinki FI (71) for their departure for Southampton on July 21st. The Swan 651 finished third when it competed in the 1986 Whitbread under the name “Fazer Finland”. 

Catheryne Langford and Patrick Bodiou enjoying the sun on board Explorer AU (28) (OGR2023 Sayula Class Entry) PHOTO CREDIT: OGR2023 / McIntyre Adventure
Doctor Patrick Bodiou is checking that Skipper Mark Sinclair, aka Captain Coconut, still has all his toes. On board Explorer AU (28) (OGR2023 Sayula Class Entry) PHOTO CREDIT: OGR2023 / McIntyre Adventure

Skipper Mark Sinclair, aka Captain Coconut of GGR fame, was happy with the boat and his crew’s progress on board Australian entrant Explorer AU (28) during their 1,500nm qualifying passage completed on Monday and now back to refit work! Like many entrants in France, it has been difficult to find skilled refit workers and now back in Les Sables d’Olonne there is a long list of new equipment to be fitted, including a Spectra desalinator, Watt & Sea hydro generator, HF SSB radio, new VHF, weather fax and a cassette tape player all with just weeks to go!   

We sailed up to the Fastnet rock, down to the coast of Spain, around the Bay of Biscay. EXPLORER performed really well but the job list never ends and finally we have an electrician to help us. The next few weeks are going to be crazy and I reckon we may still be screwing things down when we arrive in Southampton, but we will get there. The important thing is the crew are bonding and proven safe sailors.

Mark Sinclair, Explorer AU (28) Skipper

As the start gun looms large over the fleet, one thing is obvious and clear for all to see. This OGR adventure is all about people pushing themselves to follow a dream. It is a far cry from elite yachting, money, corporations and speed, but more so a grand adventure built around an epic race.   



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