Classic course for Ocean Global Race

Published on October 4th, 2022

The inaugural Ocean Globe Race (OGR) is refining the course for their crewed race around the world which embraces the ethos of the original 1973 Whitbread Race, with the 50th anniversary event to start September 10, 2023.

While the European start/finish line is not yet confirmed, the three stopover ports – Cape Town, South Africa; Auckland, New Zealand; and Punta del Este, Uruguay – are now revealed.

“Following years of negotiations with many ports, compounded by COVID issues and tough economic times, we are excited to finally confirm cities rooted into the DNA of the original Whitbread,” noted Don McIntyre, Founder and Chairman of the Ocean Globe Race. “We are particularly excited to be stopping in Auckland at the halfway mark, an absolute favorite stopover for many Whitbread and later Volvo ocean race crews.”

Cape Town is always in the mix for its strategic location as the gateway to the southern oceans, while Auckland has been part of the Whitbread since the second edition in 1977. This halfway stopover during the southern summer festive season of Christmas/New Year becomes a family holiday for most, before the serious business of preparing for a transit of Cape Horn.

Punta del Este came later in the Whitbread’s history for the 1985 edition that was won by French yacht L’esprit d’Equipe skippered by Lionel Péan. This same yacht is set to race around the world once again in the 2023 Ocean Globe Race with French skipper Lionel Reigner. Being the first stop after Cape Horn and the last stop before the sprint to the finish, emotions are sure to be running high.

The fleet is divided into the Adventure Class (47ft-56ft), Sayula Class (56.1ft- 66ft), and Flyer Class which is for yachts previously entered in the 1973, 1977, or 1981 Whitbread Round the World Race, or of ‘relevant’ historic significance and ‘approved’ production-built, ocean-certified, sail-training yachts generally 55ft to 68ft LOA.

Using sextants and paper charts in the spirit of the earlier era, the race is for ‘approved’ ocean voyaging monohulled GRP production yachts designed before 1988 with first of type launched no later than 1988 (Flyer Class exceptions to 68ft).

“Maintaining a genuine clipper ship route was important for the 50th anniversary OGR,” noted McIntyre. “Sadly UK ports are not interested in hosting the start and finish of this epic adventure and historic occasion. Discussions continue with EU ports with this important decision to be announced in the weeks ahead. A Prologue prior to the start is planned and could leave from Portugal or Spain.”

Event informationRace rulesEntry list

The Ocean Globe Race (OGR) is a fully crewed, retro race, in the spirit of the 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race, marking the 50th Anniversary of the original event. Starting in Europe in September 2023, the OGR is a 27,000-mile sprint around the Globe, divided into four legs that passes south of the three great Capes. The fleet is divided in three classes with stop-overs in Capt Town, South Africa; Auckland, New Zealand; and Punta del Este, Uruguay before returning to Europe in April 2024.

Source: OGR

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