Ocean Globe Race reveals Southampton race village details

Retro round the world yacht race, the Ocean Globe Race (OGR) has revealed details of the Race Village, which will be hosted by MDL Marinas at its Ocean Village Marina in the heart of the Southampton.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the Southampton community to Ocean Village to be part of the OGR,” says Tim Mayer, sales and marketing director at MDL. “It’s exciting and an absolute privilege to be part of the team bringing this race back home to the city of Southampton, the home of ocean racing.”

The OGR is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Whitbread Round the World Race which MDL Marinas previously hosted in 1989, 1993, 1997 and 2001.

In keeping with the spirit of the original Whitbread races, ‘ordinary’ sailors will compete in the 27,000-mile sprint around the globe with sextants and paper charts, without phenomenal budgets, foils or computers.

Don McIntyre, OGR founder and race director, comments: “It’s 30 years since anyone has seen anything like this event where amateur sailors are sailing their classic yachts all the way around the world. I know the sailors competing are happy to be starting this epic adventure from the UK, the birthplace of the 1973 Whitbread.

“Thanks to MDL’s vision and support in hosting the race, the UK public will be able to soak up the incredible atmosphere in the race village and celebrate an important part of their maritime culture as they bid farewell to the crews taking part.

“It’s about inspiring people to adventure. It’s about the human stories. We hope the whole of the UK community will support the race and get involved.”

Ocean Village Marina
Ocean Village Marina

Entrants in the OGR from eight countries will start arriving at Ocean Village Marina from 26 August 2023, with the Race Village being officially opened at 11.00 on 29 August by the Lord Mayor of Southampton. The organisers say Daily Live WebTV sessions, opportunities to meet the teams, celestial navigation demonstrations and the chance to mingle with Whitbread veterans are just some of the attractions in the Race Village in the build-up to the race.

On the evening of 1 September 2023, MDL Marinas is hosting a black tie Captains’ Dinner at the Harbour Hotel, with ticket holders dining with the skippers and crews taking part in the OGR. The evening will include a charity auction to raise money for the Ocean Youth Trust (South), Blue Marine Foundation and The Maiden Factor Foundation.

Fourteen yachts will take part in the race, including seven previous Whitbread entrants – one of which is Tracy Edwards’ Maiden – the only UK entrant. Onboard Maiden in the 1989/1990 Whitbread Tracy Edwards MBE sailed the first ever all-female Whitbread crew home to Ocean Village Marina. 

Maiden finishing 1990. Credit: Andrew Sassoli Walkjer

At a press conference in Ocean Village on Tuesday (18 July 2023), current Maiden crew member Junella King (22), who was selected to sail onboard Maiden while at the Antigua Sailing Academy, spoke about The Maiden Factor’s mission to support communities to enable girls into education to reach their full potential and create better futures as well as her team’s desire to be the first female crew to win the race this time round. 

“Our main goal, as well as preparing for the race, is still empowering little girls and raising funds for female education,” she says. “And now entering the OGR is exciting and challenging and allows me to experience some amazing ocean racing. We’ve been practicing and have a pretty solid team right now.”

The Ocean Globe Race will be started by Sir Chay Blyth on 10 September 2023 at 11.00 from the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes, Isle of Wight.

Tickets to the Race Village are free. To register for tickets and for a full schedule of events visit the event website.

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