The Ocean Globe Race - which is being held to mark the 50th anniversary of the first Whitbread Round the World Race - will start from Southampton in September

The Ocean Globe Race 2023 will begin from Southampton – the start port of the 1989-1990 Whitbread Round the World Race.

Starting on 10 September 2023, the Ocean Globe Race is being held to mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic race, and will see 160 sailors competing onboard 15 yachts, including Tracy Edwards’s Maiden.

Teams can race on ocean-going GRP production yachts designed before 1988. Modern equipment, like GPS, electric autopilots, carbon fibre and other high-tech materials and all computers are banned.

Maiden arriving in the Ocean Village in Southampton after finishing the 1989-90 Whitbread

Maiden arriving in the Ocean Village in Southampton after finishing the 1989-90 Whitbread

Instead, crews will have to navigate using only a sextant, and use non-interfaced basic electronic sailing instruments, stand-alone paper print HF Radio weather fax and basic non-GPS radar Marine HF SSB radio.

The founder of the Ocean Globe Race, Don McIntyre, said: “When I conceived this event as a 50th anniversary celebration of the original 1973 Whitbread Race, I desperately wanted a start in the UK as this is where it all began.

“Now, in September, the UK public and sailors everywhere will be able to celebrate an important part of their maritime culture as 15 yachts set sail to re-create that first ever fully crewed race around the world.”

Continues below…

There are three classes on the Ocean Globe Race. The Adventure Class (47ft-56ft) is limited to 12 places, with a minimum crew of seven.

Yachts are limited to the Swan 46, 47, 48, 51, 53 and 55.

There are eight places in the Sayula Class (56.1ft-66ft), with a minimum of eight crew. Approved yachts are the Swan 57, 59, 61, 65, and 651.

The Swan 65 Ketch, Evrika, which was previously owned by Pink Floyd’s Rick Wright, is one of the entries.

Mexican yacht Sayula II, a brand new Swan 65 owned and skippered by Mexican Captain Ramón Carlin, won the overall 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race. Credit: Ajax News & Feature Service/Alamy Stock Photo

The Flyer Class is limited to eight places for yachts previously entered in the 1973, 1977 or 1981 Whitbread, or ‘relevant’ historic significance and ‘approved’ production-built, ocean-certified, sail-training yachts generally 55ft to 68ft LOA.

Entries include Marie Tabarly aboard Pen Duick VI, and Tracy Edwards’s Maiden.

The Nicholson 55, Baltic 51, Baltic 55, Baltic 64, Oyster 48 and Grand Soleil 52 have also been approved to compete in the Ocean Globe Race.

The 27,000-mile Ocean Globe Race will have four legs, The route will take in the Southern Ocean and the three Great Capes, with stopovers in Cape Town, Auckland and Punta Del Este in Uruguay, before finishing in Southampton in April 2024.

Each team must have a Yachtmaster Ocean, a Yachtmaster, one woman and one crew under 24 years of age on each leg.

The Race Village at MDL Ocean Village Marina will open on the 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.

*This article has been amended. The first four editions – including the 1973 Whitbread Race – began and finished in Portsmouth

Enjoyed reading Ocean Globe Race to start from Southampton?

A subscription to Practical Boat Owner magazine costs around 40% less than the cover price.

Print and digital editions are available through Magazines Direct – where you can also find the latest deals.

PBO is packed with information to help you get the most from boat ownership – whether sail or power.

        • Take your DIY skills to the next level with trusted advice on boat maintenance and repairs
        • Impartial in-depth gear reviews
        • Practical cruising tips for making the most of your time afloat

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter