Being the only woman on board

Published on April 2nd, 2024

by Nikki Henderson, Yachting World
For Leg 3 of the Ocean Globe Race, L’Esprit d’équipe (FR) and Neptune (FR) were granted dispensation to sail with an all-male crew. The Notice of Race stipulates that every yacht must sail with a mixed crew, which is defined as a crew where there is at least one woman.

In the Ocean Globe Race (OGR) newsletter, race organizers explained that the teams had found it ‘too difficult to find crew members at such short notice during the festive season’. The Race Committee found this a valid enough reason to permit both yachts to compete without suffering a penalty.

For context, there are time and financial penalties outlined throughout the Notice of Race for not complying with the rules of safety equipment inspections, not attending media photo shoots, or not conforming to Ocean Globe Race branding. It’s interesting the OGR does not regard having a mixed team as critical to its brand.

This news was highlighted to me via the Women who Sail Facebook group. As you can imagine, the story inspired the voicing of some strong opinions. But you might be assuming that the response was negative, criticizing the OGR management or full of disparaging comments about all-male crews. That assumption would be wrong. – Full report

Event informationRace rulesEntry listTracker

No longer racing:
• Swan 51 Godspeed (USA) – retired after Leg 1

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. Racing without computers, GPS, and high-tech materials, they navigate with sextants and paper charts. Seven of the fleet are former Whitbread competitors.

Starting in Southampton (UK) 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 Cape Town, South Africa; Auckland, New Zealand; and Punta del Este, Uruguay before returning to Southhampton in April 2024.

2023-24 Ocean Globe Race:
FIRST LEG: Start 10 September 2023. 7800 miles. First boats finish 9-21 October 2023.
SECOND LEG: Start 5 November 2023. 7250 miles. First boats finish 14-23 December 2023.
THIRD LEG: Start 14 January 2024. 6500 miles. First boats finish 9-14 February 2024.
FOURTH LEG: Start 5 March. 6550 miles. Finish 1-10 April 2024.

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