Patron – Sir Chay Blyth
Sir Chay Blyth was the first person to sail single-handed non-stop westwards around the world (1971), on a 59-foot boat called British Steel.
This however is only one of his many achievements. Since 1966, when he and John Ridgway rowed across the Atlantic, Chay has been pushing the boundaries again and again in sailing, and in business. He has been awarded the BEM and CBE, and is an inspiration to many.
We are delighted to have Chay represent the race as Patron of the Ocean Globe Race 2023.
Ocean Frontiers Pty Ltd, a company registered in the Australia, is responsible for the organisation, management and promotion the 2023 Ocean Globe Race. The Globe Yacht Club (sponsored by McIntyre Adventure Ltd) is the host yacht club.
Don McIntyre – Founder & Race Chairman
Don McIntyre is the founder and Race Chairman of the Ocean Globe Race. Don is an experienced circumnavigator and recognised as one of Australia’s greatest explorers.
In 2012 the Australian Geographic Society, recognising his many divers expeditions over the years and his ongoing efforts to promote adventure, presented him with its highest accolade, a ‘Gold’ Medal for a ‘Lifetime of Adventure’. This was only the 12th time it had been presented in the 25 year history of the Society. The inscription on this ultimate ‘Gold’ medal, simply read ‘For a life spent encouraging Adventure and Discovery’.
Passionate about all forms of adventure and inspiring others, this race was born from his desire to recreate the Golden Age of solo sailing.
Don finished 2nd in class in the 1990-91 BOC Challenge solo around the world yacht race. In 2010, he led the successful 4-man Talisker Bounty Boat Challenge to re-enact the Mutiny on the Bounty voyage from Tonga to West Timor in a similar boat and with the same limited supplies available to Captain Bligh 221 years before. In 2021 he raced solo across the Atlantic in the Globe 5.80 Transat in his 5.80m plywood Mini TREKKA in 28 days.
For 23 years, Don has been leading annual expeditions to Antarctica. He moved to Hobart to live in 1999 and was a member of the RYCT for many years. From 2008 until 2020 he spent only a few weeks a year in Australia and lived in the Kingdom of Tonga on the island of Nomuka IKI.
Since 2020, Don lives full-time in Les Sables d’Olonne, France.
Nick Bice – OGR Race Director
Nick hails from South Australia, has done 5 Volvo Ocean Race campaigns, as a boat builder, sailor, shore-manager and ultimately heading the VOR boatyard. He certainly knows how to get a yacht race around the world.
Nick also competes in ironman championships and will bring even more energy to the team.
Sébastien Delasnerie – Joint Media Director and Assistant Race Director
Sébastien is a journalist, columnist, communications and public affairs professional with 20 years of experience in various countries of Europe, Africa and the Middle East. When not at work, Seb has consistently been doing his best to spend more time at sea than on land, cruising and campaigning yachts offshore between France, the UK, Ireland and Spain. After the Golden Globe Race 2018, he quickly switched to retro sailing, changing his Archambault 35 for short-handed offshore racing on his 1978 Aphrodite 101. Joining the GGR/OGR team is a natural way for Seb to reconcile his passion for sailing with his communications expertise, bringing both events to larger audiences.
Lutz Kohne – OGR Manager
While finishing his Political Science degree in Frankfurt, Lutz moved aboard his first boat called ‘Little Olive’, a 1977 Contest 34 – without any sailing experience at all! Since then, he has logged nearly 10,000 miles, crossed oceans and would always pick the Channel over the Med. He has worked as Secretary General for a European non-profit, has been involved in various intercultural projects, and spent time in Myanmar, USA and Canada. In 2021, he once again swapped landlubber for liveaboard life and sailed his boat to Les Sables to be part of the GGR/OGR team.
Jane Zhou – Founder, Finance & Admin
‘Jane Jane’ manages all financial affairs of the OGR and GGR, all Facebook Live feeds, assists with race photography and never stops smiling.
She is a qualified charter skipper, whale swim guide, diver and Antarctic Zodiac driver who originally trained as an Air Traffic Controller.
She met Don in 2005 as project manager/Chinese interpreter on a boat building project. From Zhuhai China, she finally married Don during the Hobart stopover of the 2018 GGR and they now live in Les Sables d’ Olonne and keep an apartment in China.
Aïda Valceanu – Public Relations and Major Events
Significant journalism and communication experience, great versatility, dual culture.
Dynamic, autonomous, team player, excellent interpersonal skills.
Barry Pickthall – OGR Ambassador, Historian and Media Consultant
Barry Pickthall is ‘Mr Whitbread’. The former yachting correspondent for The Times newspaper is one of a handful of journalists to have covered each and every one of the Whitbread Round the World Races. He was in HMS Hornet in Portsmouth to see the fleet set sail in 1973 and count them back the following year.
He has also played the role of shore manager for two entries: Conny van Rietschoten’s winning yacht Flyer in 1981/2 and Eric Tabarly’s Cote d’Or in 1985/6.
Barry has also written five books about the race and his photo library PPL Media Ltd holds the official photo archive tracing the complete history of the event.
Joao Bento – Marketing Manager
20 years of communications in events like Euro 2004, brand activation such as Triumph Motorcycles, special projects in ocean, beach and nautical tourism. Now 1000% focused on the Ocean Globe Race. The show goes on and now a sea, human and pure challenge is back!
Brian Hancock – OGR Commentator
In 1981, Brian raced his first Whitbread Round the World Race aboard the American yacht Alaska Eagle. Four years later he raced again aboard Drum, the boat owned by Simon Le Bon, lead singer of the rock group Duran Duran. In 1989, Brian was hired as Sailing Master aboard Fazisi, the first, and by happenstance, last Soviet Union entry.
In the 90s Brian took up solo sailing on his stripped-out carbon Open 50 named Great Circle and sailed his qualifying voyage for the 89/90 Around Alone race by sailing from Spain to Bermuda. Unfortunately his plans to compete in the Around Alone were scuttled when he hit the reef off Bermuda. Brian co-founded the Portimão Global Ocean Race, the first event aimed at smaller boats (40-feet) and smaller crew (either solo or double handed).
Brian is the author of six books including two memoirs and a tome about sails and sailmaking titled Maximum Sail Power – the Complete Guide to Sails, Sail Technology and Performance. He is a leading sailmaker building sails under his own brand – Great Circle Sails. He lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
Melissa Payne – Media CEO
I have 25 years of experience in the sporting/event world, from production, technical and commercial project management, I have done it all. Whether the sporting talent has two legs or four, takes place on land or on water, I have covered it. Alongside my Vice President hat at IMG, I was also Head of Sailing/Nautical Sports for 15 years, during which time I have managed 2 America’s Cups, World Match Racing Tour, Extreme Sailing Series, Volvo Ocean Race, Class One and the H20 series.
I am extremely excited by these projects and have started to build a great team. As I have said many times before, you don’t need an army, just like-minded passionate people, who all have the same goal – to ensure all events/sports are a huge success.
Gary Norman – Media Team
I come to this project with 30+ years of broadcasting and media experience gained at the BBC, IMG and BSKYB, where I helped launch Sky Sports. I have worked on almost everything from Olympic Games and Ryder Cups to basketball, darts, Premier League football, equestrian and even fishing. I’ve been in front of the camera as well as behind it and I look forward to bringing all that experience to this project, undoubtedly, one of the highlights of my career to date.
Selim Kemahli – Media Team
I started Case Productions 26 years ago as a small production house in Istanbul, Turkey. We now have offices in London, Dubai, Istanbul and Los Angeles.
Over the last 15 years I have been involved with the Class 1 World Offshore Powerboat Championship, The F1 World Inshore Circuit Championship, The World Jet Ski Championship, The World Kiteboarding Championship and The World Parkour Championship. I have also worked closely on some extreme projects with Red Bull and and the Formula 1 Red Bull Racing Team.
Case Productions have worked on major sailing regattas and Olympic windsurf qualifiers as well as the World Surf League – hence we are very familar with the intricacies and requirements of working with on-water activities. I am hopeful that I can use all of this experience and expertise to help produce some outstanding content for the GGR and OGR.
Nora Havel – Photographer/Media Library
Nora is an architect and project manager from Switzerland/Germany with a passion for photography.
To bring her enthusiasm for sailing to a more experienced level, Nora recently joined the Clipper Race as crew for the crossing of the Pacific Ocean. Her additional role on board was media. WIth her coordination skills and an eye for extraordinary shots, Nora will be joining the OGR team as photographer and media library manager.
Evelyne has 10 years of international academic and professional experience in project management, management of national and international continuous improvement processes and management of sustainable development and social responsibility processes within the higher education sector.
Fabrice has 20 years of international experience in research, teaching and management of pedagogical projects in Europe (France, UK, Germany, Spain and Italy), in Latin America (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay) and in India. Through his international academic network, he has developed several international research projects on innovation.