WANTED: Ordinary sailors for retro race
Published on December 14th, 2022
The opportunity to participate in the 2023-24 Ocean Globe Race has been made by organizer Don McIntyre and retired Navy commander Mark Sinclair who are looking for crew to join them in this retro crewed race around the world.
McIntyre will be entering his classic 1978 Nautor Swan 57 ketch EXPLORER in this 50th anniversary re-creation of the first ever crewed race, the original 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race. Crew places are open now for ordinary sailors to join the team.
Sinclair, recently retired from the 2022 Golden Globe Race, will skipper the entry and build the team. McIntyre, who will sail on leg three around Cape Horn, is excited to offer this opportunity to all sailors looking to challenge themselves and dreaming of a circumnavigation.
Twenty classic and historic yachts sailed by amateur sailors and legends will face off against all the oceans of the world in an epic voyage and life defining experience. Racing round all the great capes, including the infamous Cape Horn, stopovers will include Cape Town, South Africa; Auckland, New Zealand; and Punta Del Este, Uruguay.
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).
“We conceived the Ocean Globe Races to inspire people and it was clear there were a huge number of sailors wanting to be part of history and sail in the race. But there are not enough yachts to carry them,” noted McIntyre.
“For the past year I had been thinking about an OGR entry and just doing the Cape Horn leg. I have to run the event rather than sail all of it. I could not find the right boat, then two weeks ago, I finally did. I bought her three days later and asked Mark if he was up for it? BANG! He was in and we are both very excited!”
The first Whitbread was won by a Swan 65 SAYULA and again in the second 1977 edition, Swan 65s Kings Legend, Disque D’or, and ADC Accutrac placed 2nd, 4th and 5th respectively.
The Swan 57 was designed by Sparkman & Stephens in 1977 as a modern and more powerful little sister to these iconic yachts, reinforcing their reputation as a strong seaworthy performer. EXPLORER has had just two meticulous owners since 1978 and is in excellent condition having been maintained regardless of expense.
Over the next four month a final refit will add OGR systems and safety gear to prepare her for the rigors of the voyage, after which Sinclair takes over to train and shape the crew of nine into a cohesive team.
“This really is an exciting program for everyone involved,” said Sinclair. “Skippering a Swan 57 in the southern oceans is a dream come true and the OGR will provide another incredible opportunity to relive history, and maybe even create some more.
“We follow the same route as the original Clipper ships and navigate in the same way as those great mariners, using sextant, chronometer, astronomical tables, a pencil, and paper charts. We will be back to basics, using the sun, moon, planets and stars, without GPS and modern electronics and only HF radios for communication.
“Being immersed in the OGR will be a true challenge of seamanship skills for all onboard. We are sure to be tested! I’m looking forward to developing the camaraderie of a tightly knit crew. They will all know a sextant by the end of the voyage. Let’s go!”
Crew can sign on for one of the four legs of the OGR, or the entire circumnavigation. All are required to undergo survival and medical training as well as complete a comprehensive medical examination. This opportunity is open to any sailor really wanting it.
A can-do attitude, being prepared for a real adventure and knowing how to have fun, stay safe and work as part of a team helps. All crew share the costs involved with this OGR entry and will undergo onboard training leading up to the start.
“If you are passionate about the idea and have trouble sleeping at night thinking about this, then I would love to hear from you,” said McIntyre. “All the details are available on the McIntyreAdventure.com website. Keep the dream alive!”
For additional information and application, click here.
The 2023-24 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 on September 10, 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.