Iconic sailing race returns to Southampton

Maiden finish in Southampton 1990 Credit Andrew Sassoli Walkjer[3]

After almost a quarter of a century, the iconic Ocean Globe Race is returning to Southampton.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Whitbread Round the World Race, the fully crewed retro Ocean Globe Race 2023 will be run in the spirit of the original 1973 race, starting and finishing at MDL’s Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, as so many editions of this epic sailing challenge did before.

On 10 September 2023, over 160 sailors will depart Ocean Village onboard the 15 yachts to complete the four-leg, 30,000-mile race around the world via the three great capes; Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, Australia’s Cape Leeuwin, and South America’s notorious Cape Horn.

“I am absolutely thrilled to have MDL onboard for the 2023 Ocean Globe Race, and starting from Ocean Village in Southampton is a personal dream for me,” says Don McIntyre, Ocean Globe Race founder and owner of McIntyre Events.

“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 recreate that first ever fully crewed race around the world.”

Ocean Village Marina
Ocean Village Marina

Onboard the privately owned, pre-1988 sailing boats, the international crews will have no GPS, no high-tech equipment and no computers and will navigate using only a sextant, charts and the stars.

Six of the boats competing have taken part in one or more of the Whitbread races to which they are now paying homage. One of the most notable is Tracy Edwards’ Farr 58 Maiden. In 1990, Edwards triumphantly brought home the first 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.

Maiden Ocean Village 28.5.1990
Ocean Village in 1990

“What better way to celebrate MDL Marina’s 50th anniversary than to join forces with Don McIntyre to bring the Ocean Globe Race to life to celebrate the iconic Whitbread Round the World race as it also turns 50?” says Tim Mayer, sales and marketing director at MDL Marinas.

“By hosting the start and finish of this retro edition of the historic race at our Ocean Village Marina, we’re hoping to recreate the jubilant atmosphere of the early races, welcoming crowds of supporters, capturing the imagination of visitors and inspiring the next generation of round the world sailors.

“Working closely with Southampton City Council and McIntyre Adventure, it’s an honour and privilege to be part of this event, building on Southampton’s already proud maritime heritage. And there’s plenty of opportunities for businesses, both marine and non-marine, to be front and centre of all the action at the Race Village.”

Silk Cut

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.

Comments are closed.