Round and round the world we go

Published on October 24th, 2023

While The Ocean Race (first held in 1973) and the Vendee Globe (first held in 1989) remain the elite competitions for crewed and solo round the world races, respectively, this space in the sport is getting crowded.

As the cost of elite competition gets out of reach, more affordable races have been introduced to meet the needs of adventurous sailors. The first-ever Globe40 was held June 2022-March 2023 for doublehanded Class40s, with three other races around the world now underway:

Global Solo Challenge: An inaugural budget-friendly solo, non-stop race around the world. Using a pursuit start format for the 2023-24 edition, entrants from 34 to 70 feet depart between August 26 to January 6 from A Coruña, Spain, with the first boat to return deemed the winner.

Ocean Globe Race: Being held for the first time, this fully crewed, retro race has rules in the spirit of the 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race. Boats from 51 to 73 feet started in Southampton (UK) on September 10, with the course divided into four legs that passes south of the three great Capes. Results are based on IRC rating.

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race: The 13th edition has 11 identical Tony Castro designed Clipper 70s racing around the world, with crew paying to compete in some or all of a course which is divided into 8 legs and 14 individual races. First held in 1996, the 2023-24 race started September 3 in the UK and returns in July.

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