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Which ports will you be visiting?

The actual ports are yet to be announced but hopefully we will hear very soon.  Our current knowledge is limited to Europe to South Africa to Australasia to South America, finish in Europe. We are of course really hoping that the Australasia port will be in ADELAIDE, our home port.  We also have some Brits on board so they’d love the UK to be the start/finish point.

Your boat previously took part in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race in 1985/86 under the name Equity & Law – tell us about that race.

1985/86 was the 4th edition of the race and the legendary Peter Blake, skipper of Lion New Zealand, was back for the fourth time – he came 2nd overall and returned in the following race and finally won overall on Steinlager II.

Tracy Edwards made her debut as part of the paying crew onboard Bob Salmon’s Norsk Data GB and famously went on to skipper the first all female crew on board Maiden for the 1989/90 race, surprising many cynics by winning two of the three Southern Ocean legs in Division D.  Maiden, thanks to Tracy Edwards reviving her, have gone on to sail for thousands of miles as the Maiden Factor raising awareness for girls’ education and when she heard about the #OGR23, she signed up immediately.

1985 was also the year that Rock star Simon Le Bon’s Drum lost her keel and capsized during the qualifying Fastnet Race. The damage was immense but they were able to make the start line. They finished 8th overall, 24 hours ahead of Equity & Law and 8m longer.

As for Equity & Law (our chosen vessel for the OGR), they had a great race, most notably coming 2nd place in the third leg between Auckland and Punta del Este.  Finishing 9th overall after 123 days at sea, Equity & Law finished without a single failure to the yacht while other boats broke masts, lost rudders, damaged hulls etc.

L’Esprit d’Equipe won that race overall, the first time France had won and is again taking part in the Ocean Globe Race 2023 within the Flyer Class.

What do the different classes mean and why are you in the Adventure Class?

  1. The ADVENTURE Class is for yachts in length between 47 to 56ft (14.32-17.06m).  SAYULA class is 56-66ft (17.07-20.11m). And then original entries from the first three Whitbread Races (1973/4, 1977/8 and 1981/2) together with ‘Class surveyed’ production sail training yachts up to 68ft (20.73m) make up the FLYER Class.

Why is the race going “retro” and how will you navigate without GPS?

In the words of race founder Don McIntyre: “For the first time in 3 decades, ordinary sailors and yacht owners have an opportunity to experience racing around the world in an affordable, safe and fun way. You don’t need to be an elite sportsman nor require a huge support team. And as far as budgets go, the cost of a campaign need not cost any more than just one of the carbonfibre foils on an IMOCA 60.

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary, we are going back to how it was in 1973 so that navigation will be limited to sextant plots on paper charts, communications via SSB and VHF radios, and music will be played on cassette tapes. As a team, we are incredibly excited to test ourselves to go back to the old days.  We are (so far) probably an old enough team to appreciate the old days but also embrace modern technology (after a fashion) and have been sharing photos of each other back in 1973 – lets see if we are brave enough to share them on this website ……

How can you not use GPS when it is part of all AIS units and GPS chart plotters are integral for MOB situations?

Best practice safety and security arrangements recognised by maritime agencies around the world have been adopted for the Race and GPS and AIS will be onboard all OGR entrant yachts with a simple cover to stop normal use.  We will have two crew nominated as MOB compliance. We will have full function AIS , Radar and GPS chart plotters onboard and a MOB button at the helm. Both AIS and chart plotter have an OGR specially manufactured simple lift up “alarmed cover” hiding them from the skipper and navigator (who will use a sextant and paper charts) and crew. If at any time this cover is lifted, an onboard alarm goes off alerting all crew someone is cheating.  Only the MOB compliance guys have the three digit code to deactivate the alarm and lift the cover to check things are all working OK every day. They are sworn by declaration not to allow crew to observe the screens when opening and NOT to give any information to the skipper or any other crew member. They can be used at any time of high risk or emergency and then we must log the times and reasons and MUST declare their use at the end of the leg and the OGR race committee will decide if a time penalty is required, if it was used for performance or gain rather than genuine safety.  So essentially, the key issue is that in a man overboard situation, there is a MOB button at the helm and chart table, so it can be hit and activated the GPS chart plotter MOB function…and an AIS beacon on an overboard crew immediately activates the AIS alarm……all aspects of safety are covered.  In summary, the AIS and GPS Chart plotter are available to all onboard to effect a crew recovery or avoid collisions in an EMERGENCY without any restriction. Crew are also covered with mandatory crew PLB and AIS auto fire personal beacons.

What are the rules about making contact with the outside world?

Our skipper Campbell is the only person who can contact the OGR Control by OGR satellite telephone or YB3 texting during the voyage and cannot use them to contact any other party except in an emergency to seek immediate life saving assistance and then the organiser must be notified as soon as possible if we do. An entrant who makes an unauthorised sat phone call will, after all the facts have been considered, suffer a 24hr time penalty.  All crew mobile phones will be sealed before each leg start and can only be used when in port.

How many entries are there?

The number of Participant entries are restricted to 34 yachts. 8 Adventure Class , 8 Sayula Class, 8 Flyer Class , 8 CLASSIC Challenge, 2 Special invitations any class. Class limits will be removed for all classes from January 1st 2022 until the 34 Max entries are reached.  This could well become the largest ever, crewed, round-the-world race!

Do you need more crew?

We do however we have a lot of criteria we need to fulfil to reach the optimum crew such as previous experience, abilities, qualifications, diversity, nationality etc.  We will add to this website soon with more information on what/who we are looking for so watch this space.

Do you anchor every night?

In short, no.  We race continuously through the night and even if we could anchor, we’d need so much chain it could sink us!

How many miles is it?

We’ll find out the exact amount once we’ve finished but approximately 27,000 miles

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