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 Director
Don McIntyre is the founder and Race Director 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.
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.
Georgie Vintner – Operations Manager
Loving life on the water from an early age racing dinghies, yachts and anything that floats. Gaining her Yachtmaster Offshore at the age of 22, she was first mate aboard classic yachts for 6 years. Georgie now has many years of experience working with teams and managing projects and events for a number of different clients primarily in the maritime industry. Her home port is the River Hamble, Southampton, where she has enjoyed being an active part of the racing community.
Lutz Kohne – Assistant Race Director
In 2019, leaving Frankfurt with a fresh Political Science degree in his pocket, Lutz moved aboard his first boat called ‘Little Olive’, a 1977 Contest 34 – without any sailing experience at all. The sea immediately became his ‘love at first sight’, logging 12.000 miles within four years, half of which solo, including a solo Atlantic crossing from west to east aboard his GGR Rustler 36 ‘Ems’.
He is an entrant of the GGR 2026, Race Director of the Globe 5.80 Transat, passionate about celestial navigation and always keen to pour some scented water over hot stones in a proper Finnish sauna.
Jacqueline Kavanagh – Media Manager
Jacqueline is passionate about all things sailing and has a strong journalistic background, writing for national newspapers and magazines in her home country of Ireland. But she has also dipped her toes into various careers over the years, including teaching English in France, volunteer work and as a media company director.
Having completed a circumnavigation with the Clipper Round the World Race in August 2022, Jacqueline stepped back on her own boat and continued sailing, crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean. She’s now excited to return to land to join the OGR team.
Aïda Valceanu – Public Relations & French Media
Aïda Valceanu is an experienced journalist and public relations expert with a wide range of skills and a multicultural background. Originally from Romania, she has been living in France for the past 20 years. Aïda has worked for Romanian Public Television, newspapers and TV stations in France as well as book festivals in France and Switzerland as a journalist. She spent several years working as a PR professional in the French Parliament. In 2018, Aida joined the GGR (Golden Globe Race) as the manager of One and All, skippered by Estonian sailor Uku Randmaa. She also published her logbook titled “20 000 lieues au-délà des mers” in France. Aïda joins the OGR as a French commentator, all while navigating her rib around the course to capture videos!
Rob Havill – Digital Director
Rob has 20 years’ experience in managing creative and digital design projects. From brand design to film production, his interests and skills are wide ranging.
Originally a graduate of design engineering, he has captained his own design company since the early days of digital marketing.
Passionate about telling the deeper human stories that inspire others to pursue their own dreams.
Marco Ausderau – Logistics & Crew Manager
Working with Don McIntyre on his Mini TREKKA Globe 580 solo Transat and then during the Golden Globe Race Village in Les Sables-d’Olonne before the start was quite special.
Now managing logistics and boat prep for Swan 57 ‘EXPLORER’ in the Ocean Globe Race 2023.
Annette Pfeffer – Social Media Director
Annette ‘Pepper’ has been an integral member of the team since the idea to reinvent the Golden Globe Race was born on a boat in Tonga in 2014.
As a highly skilled designer with an extensive background in the international advertising and media industry, she has crafted the brand identity for both GGR and McIntyre Adventure. She served on the GGR management team until 2018 and was responsible for visual identity, social media, and website development. The foundational structure and design principles she established continue to serve as the cornerstone of the current iteration.
In the 2022 edition, she primarily focused on designing essential parts for the race village and managing the GGR Instagram account.
Melissa Payne – Media CEO
Melissa has 25 years of experience in the sporting/event world, from production, technical and commercial project management.
Whether the sporting talent has two legs or four, takes place on land or on water, she has covered it.
Alongside her Vice President hat at IMG, she was also Head of Sailing/Nautical Sports for 15 years, during which time she managed 2 Americas Cups, World Match Racing Tour, Extreme Sailing Series, Volvo Ocean Race, Class One and the H20 series.
Evelyne Gross – Sustainability Team
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 Galia – Sustainability Team
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.
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.
Brian Hancock – OGR Commentator
Brian Hancock is one of a select group of sailors with a quarter of a million miles of ocean racing under their belt. In 1981 he took part in his first Whitbread round the world race on board the American boat Alaskan Eagle. Four years later he sailed again on Drum.
In 1989 Brian was hired as a sailmaker on Fazisi, the first and last Soviet boat to participate in the race. In the 90s Brian continued to sail single-handed. He owned Great Circle, a carbon stripped Open 50 and qualified from Spain to Bermuda for the 1989 Around Alone. Brian is the author of six books including two memoirs and a volume on sails and their production entitled Maximum Sail Power.
Butch Dalrymple-Smith – Guest Commentator
Butch Dalrymple-Smith grew up with sailing yachts. He raced successfully in virtually every class from a 65ft shorthanded multihull to a Sydney Harbour 18ft skiff, with world championship wins in Maxis, One, Half and Quarter Tonners, Admiral’s Cups and in the 1973-74 Whitbread Round the World Race.
Butch was a crew member aboard the winning Mexican yacht Sayula II under the legendary skipper Ramón Carlín.