A home found for the Ocean Globe Race 2023

It’s been confirmed that the start and finish of the Ocean Globe Race 2023 will be in Southampton, UK.

The Ocean Globe Race (OGR) is organised by the highly experienced ocean race organiser, Don McIntyre, who is also responsible for the Golden Globe Race (GGR). Both races have the same ethos – they are Round-the-World sailing races recreating the conditions of their founding race and using the technologies available at the time.

Map of the OGR race route
The OGR is a 27,000-mile sprint around the globe, spread across four legs, taking in the Southern Ocean and the three Great Capes. (Map: OGR2023)

The big difference is that the GGR, based on the original Golden Globe Race in 1968, is non-stop round-the-world by solo sailors in small boats.

The OGR, based on the original Whitbread Round-the-World race of 1973, is a large crewed yacht race with three stopovers (Cape Town, Auckland and Punta Del Este).

Both races are run using only materials and equipment available at the time of the founding race – in short, no GPS, only sextants and Radio Direction Finding (RDF), and no carbon fibre or kevlar.*

Don McIntyre ran the first revived GGR in 2018, the 50th anniversary of the original race. The “third edition” (2022) is currently underway. I saw the 16 entrants start back in September, and the remaining three competitors are now back in the Atlantic and expected to finish in a few weeks.

The Ocean Globe Race 2023 host port

When Don decided in 2015 to mark the 50th anniversary of the first ever Whitbread race with a new edition, he wanted it to start & finish in the UK, as the original race had done.

The same had been true of the Golden Globe race, but sadly no support came from British ports so the 2018 GGR went to Les Sables d’Olonne in France (home of the Vendée Globe) where it was welcomed with open arms and strong investment that generated US$185m in media returns.

Until now it looked like the Ocean Globe Race was going the same way. Indeed final discussions were underway in October with European ports for the hosting rights.

Fortunately, a large corporate entity with UK connections heard that the race might move to Europe. They felt strongly that the OGR should stay in the UK. At the same time MDL Marinas wanted to save the event for the UK as a celebration of their own 50th anniversary. They were passionate about bringing this iconic sailing race back to Southampton and their Ocean Village Marina, the home of so many previous Whitbread races. A deal was struck with both parties and now Ocean Village Southampton is the home of the OGR! This is a huge win for the UK that has seen other significant events move to Europe.

Announcing the host port, Don McIntyre said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have an anonymous partner and MDL on board for the 2023 Ocean Globe Race and starting from Ocean Village in Southampton is a personal dream for me.”

Sunset aerial shot of a peaceful marina
Ocean Village Southampton, home of several Whitbread races, is now home to the Ocean Globe Race! (Photo: Ocean Village Southampton)

The Race Village at Ocean Village Marina will open on 26 August 2023, two weeks prior to the start of the race on 10 September. During the run up to the start, the Race Village will host speakers, pre-race activities, past race screenings, hospitality and entertainment as well as the media centre and sailors’ briefing area.

Ocean Globe Race 2023 entrants

Two Whitbread yachts race close together with spinnakers
Clare Francis’ Translated in the 1977/78 Whitbread) racing with the 1973 winner Saula. (Photo: Team Translated / StudioBorlenghi)

15 yachts including six previous Whitbread entrants and one Whitbread winner are confirmed for the start. Tracy Edwards and her Maiden team are the only UK entrant, but keen to recreate past success! There’s a couple of other famous names in there too.

2023 Ocean Globe Race Entrants
SN Class Name Nationality Boat (Type & Name)
01 Adventure Class 1 Skeleton Crew Sailing USA Swan 51
02 Adventure Class 2 Tapio Lehtinen Finnish Swan 55 Galiana
03 Adventure Class 3 Allspice Yachting/ Gerrit Louw South African Swan 53 Sterna
04 Adventure Class 4 Jean d’Arthuis French Swan 53 Triana
05 Adventure Class 5 Campbell Mackie + John Worby Australian Baltic 55 Outlaw
06 Sayula Class 1 Dominique Dubois French Swan 65 Futuro
07 Sayula Class 2 Jussi Paavoseppä Finnish Spirit of Helsinki, Swan 651 (Fazer Finland)
08 Sayula Class 3 Guido, Aurelia and Alizée Del Gizzo Italian KANENAS, Swan 65-032 S&S (ex Betja Flor – ex Cygnus)
09 Sayula Class 4 Jean-Christophe Petit Spanish Swan 57 White Shadow
10 Sayula Class 5 Don McIntyre Australian Swan 57 Explorer
11 Flyer 1 Lionel Regnier + Pierre Yves Cavan French L’esprit d’équipe (also 33 Export, Esprit de Liberté)
12 Flyer 2 Marco Trombetti /TRANSLATED Italian Swan 65 S&S Translated 9. ex Adc Accutrac
13 Flyer 3 Marie Tabarly French Pen-Duick VI
14 Flyer 4 Tracy Edwards MBE British Farr 60 MAIDEN
15 Flyer 5 Team Neptune/ Tanneguy Raffray French Neptune 60ft


In 1990, Tracy Edwards triumphantly brought home the first ever all-female Whitbread crew onboard Maiden to Ocean Village Marina. At the time, it was estimated that almost 50,000 people came to witness this momentous event, which helped to turn the tide on women’s participation in sailing.

Marie Tabarly is the daughter of the legendary French ocean racer, Eric Tabarly, who among his other achievements also raced in the Whitbread.

Tapio Lehtinen was competing in the current GGR when, in mid-November, his boat had a sudden and catastrophic failure in the Southern Ocean and sank from under him in just a few minutes. He was rescued by another GGR racer, Kirsten Neuschäfer.

And, what is Don McIntyre doing there? How is he going to run the OGR and compete in it at the same time? I’ll find out!

There’s one other question I’d like to find the answer to: Hooray for the anonymous supporter, but what’s in it for them if they are anonymous?

UPDATE (06/04/2023): Don has replied to the question. It’s Don’s boat but Mark Sinclair aka ‘Capt Coconut’ will be skippering it. Don says “Capt Coconut is skipper and Jane and I plan to sail on leg three only…as long a my small organising team are managing!”

* OGR banned items include: GPS; Electric Autopilots; Satphone-Private Use (only to Race Control); Ham Radio transmissions; Carbonfibre or other high tech materials used in sails, rigging, spars etc; Spinnaker socks, Code 0 furling; No more than 11 sails (sloop) or 13 sails ketch (time penalty for extra replacement sails); iPhone, iPad and computers (but all sealed on board for crew use in ports only); Digital music (cassette tapes only)


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