Please select your home edition
CoastWaterSports 2014

The changing face of offshore racing - Europe newsletter


The changing face of offshore racing

J Composites 2022 - J45 v4 LEADERBOARD

Leaderboard Q1 2023

The late Sir Peter Blake's 1989-90 Whitbread winning Steinlager II fully restored and now operated by the New Zealand Sailing Trust for youth sailing and adventure programs. Preserving the past, in order to help shape the future - photo © New Zealand Sailing Trust

Dear Recipient Name

Sunday saw the opening battles of The Ocean Race, with both the IMOCA and VO65 fleets taking part in the Alicante In-Port Race. It was a testing day on the water with the wind dropping to almost nothing towards the finish. If you want to catch up on the race, then I highly recommend watching the highlights videos rather than the full race replays...

Losing title sponsor Volvo was a huge blow for the event, but the organisers have soldiered on with a much-reduced budget, and of course the delay due to Covid-19, just like nearly all events scheduled during the pandemic, both big and small. In many ways it's remarkable that they've got to this point.

IMOCA fleet during the In-Port race in Alicante - The Ocean Race - photo © Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race
IMOCA fleet during the In-Port race in Alicante - The Ocean Race - photo © Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race

Henri-Lloyd 2022 December - SW MPU   MPU brokerage

It's 50 years since the Whitbread Round the World Race first set sail. The 1973-74 edition attracted 17 entries, with a peak of 29 for the 1981-82 edition. Arguably the peak for this event in terms of global recognition, and coverage in non-sailing media, was in the 1989-90 edition, with the two New Zealand ketches - Steinlager 2 skippered by Peter Blake and Fisher & Paykel skippered by Grant Dalton - battling it out around the world. In the end Steinlager 2 won all six legs, but both Fisher & Paykel and the Swiss sloop Merit, skippered by Pierre Fehlmann, pushed them hard at times.

1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race: Peter Blake, Pippa Blake & Family. Arrival at Southampton, Leg 6, Steinlager 2 - photo © Roger Lean-Vercoe / PPL
1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race: Peter Blake, Pippa Blake & Family. Arrival at Southampton, Leg 6, Steinlager 2 - photo © Roger Lean-Vercoe / PPL

Since then, we've seen box rules and a One Designs introduced to try to limit costs and tighten up the racing. The Whitbread 60 was the first of these, with ten racing in the 1993-94 edition alongside five maxis, and then ten in the 1997-98 edition and finally eight in the 2001-02 edition. Then came the Volvo Open 70 design rule for three editions, and the Volvo Ocean 65 for next three, including the current edition. The last time the race managed to get entries into double figures was 1997-98.

On that basis, attracting a fleet of eleven teams to Alicante is a huge achievement, especially in the current climate but, make no mistake, this race is a shadow of its former self. The six VO65s are only competing in three legs: Alicante, Spain to Cabo Verde; Aarhus, Denmark to The Hague, the Netherlands; and The Hague to Genova, Italy (legs 1, 6 & 7 of the full course) and competing for 'The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint Cup'. It is only the newly-introduced IMOCA fleet, the class which is strong due to the Vendée Globe and other major Atlantic events, which is completing the full lap of the planet.

Maiden crossing the Whitbread Round the World Race finish line, surrounded by supporters - photo © Andrew Sassoli-Walker
Maiden crossing the Whitbread Round the World Race finish line, surrounded by supporters - photo © Andrew Sassoli-Walker

Selden 2020 - E40i electric winch - MPU   Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - MPU

So why has The Whitbread Round the World Race / Volvo Ocean Race / The Ocean Race been on a downward trajectory for 20 years when the Vendée Globe has been on the rise in terms of competitors, finishers, and coverage? Offshore racing itself is more popular than ever, with events like the RORC Transatlantic Race attracting bumper entries, and the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race filling its entry quota in minutes, so surely the interest is there?

Is it the size of boat which is off-putting? A look at the maxis and super maxis taking part in the glitzy Mediterranean and Caribbean inshore events, with their fully professional crews decked out immaculately in matching uniforms, shows that big boat sailing is flourishing, so I don't believe this is the reason. Yes, these events generally last a week rather than the six months of The Ocean Race, but these yachts end up doing a full circuit of events.

My Song at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2022 - photo © Ingrid Abery /
My Song at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2022 - photo © Ingrid Abery /

September 2022 MPU   Zhik 2022 Choice of Champions MPU

So much of offshore racing is about adventure and triumph through adversity. The original Whitbread Round the World Races were amateur affairs and the boat names were just that, not a corporation. In my opinion, the transition to professional offshore sailing worked better for the singlehanded events than the fully-crewed events as you could still identify with a single adventurer, rather than a group of sailors representing a brand.

Of course, all the IMOCA yachts in the Vendée Globe are sponsored to the hilt, with brands which are household names, particularly in France, but there is still the lone adventurer aboard; the likes of Michel Desjoyeaux, Vincent Riou, François Gabart and Armel Le Cléac'h are the faces which represent their sponsors and are so well-known that they adorn billboards and command pictures on both the front and back pages of the major French newspapers.

François Gabart. the sixth winner in the history of the Vendée Globe leaves his handprints on his 'Walk of Fame' plate - photo © Olivier Blanchet / DPPI / Vendée Globe
François Gabart. the sixth winner in the history of the Vendée Globe leaves his handprints on his 'Walk of Fame' plate - photo © Olivier Blanchet / DPPI / Vendée Globe

MPU Q1 2023   North Sails 2021 Innovation - MPU

The Vendée Globe has managed to jump the hurdle of fully professional campaigns while retaining its original identity, whereas The Ocean Race doesn't evoke the same sense of adventure as the original Whitbread Round the World Race.

So, is fully-crewed round the world racing a thing of the past? Maybe not, as the man behind the Golden Globe Race revival, Don McIntyre, has started the Ocean Globe Race, which has attracted several Whitbread veterans and is billed as an 'eight-month adventure around the world for ordinary sailors on normal yachts' and is set to start on Sunday 10th September 2023. So far, the race has attracted over twenty entries as Don explains:

"The Ocean Globe Race has a vast array of yachts from 46 to 73 feet. The boats compete in three distinct classes, Adventure, Sayula, and Flyer, both for line honours and in corrected time under the IRC rating. The original 1973 Whitbread ran under the old IOR handicapping system and while overall line honours and class winners are of note, for sailors following the adventure, most will be watching the IRC overall handicap leader board on the tracker."

Whitbread Race legend Sayula II, winner of the 1973 edition sailing alongside Translated9 former ADC Accutrac of the 1977 edition and entrant in the 2023 Ocean Globe race - photo © Carlo Borlenghi
Whitbread Race legend Sayula II, winner of the 1973 edition sailing alongside Translated9 former ADC Accutrac of the 1977 edition and entrant in the 2023 Ocean Globe race - photo © Carlo Borlenghi

This is unashamedly going back to the roots of the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973. Adventurous sailors putting together fun campaigns to go on the voyage of a lifetime.

So maybe the face of offshore racing hasn't changed much at all? Maybe it just got a little side-tracked along the way, and just like the race itself, is going full circle. The face of offshore racing often has a fair few lines from the harsh weather, but a big smile as the spirit and enjoyment of the adventure comes back to the fore.

Mark Jardine and Managing Editor

MPU E6 question mark static   GJW Direct 2020 MPU

Sea Sure 2020 - MPU   Sailingfast 2018 Zhik 600x500

Speed dials rising in RORC Transatlantic Race
At 1000 UTC on the second day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, three 70ft trimarans are now powered up on a tight reach, blasting through the Atlantic Ocean.

The last race around Cape Horn steered by humans?
The world of extreme ocean yacht racing is a mix of speed, costly technology and talented sailors/pilots fingering touchscreens with satellite interfaced routing programs.

eSailing World Champion crowned at live final in Alicante
Alexandre Kowalski (AlexK - RS) of France swept to victory in the 2022 eSailing World Championship Final in front of a live crowd at the Ocean Live Park in Alicante, Spain, to take home the title and a cash prize courtesy of Virtual Regatta.

Hyde Sails 2022 One Design MPU   RS Sailing 2021 - MPU
Ancasta International Boat Sales appoints new Multihull Brand Manager
Ancasta International Boat Sales is welcoming Hannah Le Prevost to its sales team as Multihull Brand Manager to look after both the Lagoon and McConaghy brands within the Ancasta Group.

Preparations in full swing ahead of inaugural Singapore Sail Grand Prix on January 14-15
The countdown to the most exciting racing on water has kicked into high gear, with the SailGP team technical bases set up in anticipation of the first ever Singapore Sail Grand Prix this weekend.

Nautic Boat Show 2022: Spotlight on remarkable sustainable innovations at Beneteau
BENETEAU has decided to follow the path of innovation to reduce the environmental impact of sailing. Practical yet ground-breaking innovations that were visible on the First 44e and the Oceanis 30.1e sailing yachts world premiered at the Nautic Boat Show

Marskeel 2019 600x500   Barton Marine 2019 600x500
ILCA Laser Australian Championships Overall
After a week of very mixed weather conditions in Sydney the 2023 Oceania & Australian Laser Open & Youth Championships were completed on Sunday 8th January with three races sailed on day 6 in moderate 15 knot winds.

Boris Herrmann's Team Malizia wins The Ocean Race's first In-Port Race
The international sailing team skippered by Boris Herrmann crossed the finish line of the Alicante In-Port race first, kicking off The Ocean Race on a high note.

Champagne start for the RORC Transatlantic Race
A flotilla of spectator boats and a huge crowd in Marina Lanzarote witnessed the start of the 2023 RORC Transatlantic Race, which is supported by Calero Marinas, the International Maxi Association and the Yacht Club de France.

Allen 2022 - TiiTAN MPU   J Composites 2022 - J45 v4 MPU
Malizia and WindWhisper score top points in The Ocean Race Alicante In-Port Race
A light wind day in Alicante proved testing for both fleets on first day of competition in The Ocean Race.

The Ocean Race: First points on the scoreboard
The first points are on the scoreboard: Fourth place in the opening race of The Ocean Race is just a small step on the scoreboard, but for the entire campaign of the French-German cooperation GUYOT environnement - Team Europe it is a giant leap.

Globe40 Leg 6 Start in Ushuaia
Leg 6 of the GLOBE40 departed Ushuaia today at 10:00 hours local time. With the first competitor making landfall at the heart of the Argentinean region of TIERRA DEL FUEGO on 16 December, participants in the GLOBE40 have relished this stopover.

Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW MPU   Vaikobi 2021 Boots - MPU
Another even closer contest in the Cape to St Helena Yacht Race
Early on Saturday afternoon interest peaked once more when Rocket a Simonis 55 and Compromise a Du Toit closed in on St Helena almost alongside each other.

The Ocean Race: 11th Hour skipper steps aside after positive COVID test
Eight days after first testing positive for COVID-19 on arrival in Alicante, 11th Hour Racing's skipper Charlie Enright (USA) has stepped aside from the crew for the In-Port Race, and has been replaced as skipper for the race.

Where are Rooster going in 2023?
Welcome back, Rooster have a jam packed year of exciting things happening - stay tuned. In the meantime, checkout the shows we will be exhibiting at, including two new exciting shows for Rooster this year. We hope to see you soon!

Musto 2017 300x250 Superhuman   Doyle Sails 2020 - By Sailors For Sailors 300x250
How to follow The Ocean Race 2022-23
No other sporting event gets its fans as close to the action as The Ocean Race and there are multiple ways you can follow the competition throughout the six month event.

Laguardia and Moreira win J/70 Villalia Winter Series Act III
The Laguardia and Moreira team skippered by Gonzalo Araújo, was the winner of the third series of the Villalia J/70 Winter Series held last weekend in Vigo.

Change at the Helm of Irish Sailing
The Board of Irish Sailing, the national governing body for sailing, powerboating and windsurfing, are delighted to commence the New Year with the appointment of their new CEO, Tim Bourke.

Mackay 250   Festival of Sails 2023 - MPU
Cape to St Helena Yacht Race
The biennial Cape to St Helena Yacht Race ended with Banjo, a Farrier trimaran owned and skippered by Keith Webb making a dash to the finish line; cutting 7 hours off a previously estimated arrival time.

Cup Spy Jan 06 : INEOS Britannia has first flight in 2023
INEOS Britannia became the second America's Cup team to sail in 2023. The British LEQ12 was soon up and foiling much more steadily than we have observed previously.

Violette Dorange: The Vendée Globe is now a concrete goal
Now 21 years old, Violette Dorange could be the youngest woman to line up at the start of a Vendée Globe.

Armstrong-FG-3 300x250   KZRaceFurlers
Cup Spy Jan 05 : American Magic shifts focus towards Barcelona
There seems to have been a shift in focus in the American Magic game plan starting in 2023, and expect to see the New York Yacht Club team do most of its sailing on the open ocean. Today they sailed in a modest 2-3ft sea-state without issues.

An historic moment in offshore racing as the IMOCA Class prepares for the start of The Ocean Race
It has been a long wait, but 14th edition of The Ocean Race is finally upon us and this time - for the first time - the IMOCA Class is the pre-eminent feature of what has always been known as the world championship of fully-crewed offshore ocean racing.

The Ocean Race to collect more data about the environment than any sporting event in the world
The round-the-world sailing race will measure microplastic pollution, gather information about the impact of climate change on the ocean and collect data to improve global weather forecasting.

SOUTHERNSPARS_MAST-&-BOOMS_SW_300X250-MISSY   Lloyd Stevenson - SYA3 300x250px
Cup Spy Jan 04 : American Magic first to sail in 2023
Patriot are the first of now six teams to start sailing in 2023. A break down in the Foil Cant System took about an hour to fix. Riley Gibbs elaborates on the issues of foiling on the open ocean. A twist in the Towing Post saga may help the Brits.

Kirsten Neuschäfer selected 2022 winner of CCA Rod Stephens Seamanship Trophy
Kirsten Neuschäfer, of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, is this year's recipient of the Rod Stephens Seamanship Trophy for playing a pivotal role in the successful rescue of a fellow 2022 Golden Globe Race competitor, Tapio Lehtinen.

50th Rolex Fastnet Race Notice of Race published
With one week to go until the all-important registration date for the 50th Rolex Fastnet Race, its organiser, the Royal Ocean Racing Club, has published the event Notice of Race.

Predictwind - Iridium 250   C-Tech 2021 (Spars-QFX Racer) 300x250
18ft Skiffs: High achiever in an era of champions
Hugh Stodart is one of those champion 18 footer skippers whose statistical record doesn't truly reflect his talent and successes, and therefore doesn't get the recognition that his performances in the 18s really deserves.

Gama launches its Gama Alpha solar sail mission
Gama, a French aerospace company, announces the launch of its first solar sail to space, with the support of the CNES and private companies including CMA CGM, a global player in sea, land, air, and logistics solutions.

2022: A Big Musto Year, 2023 You're Up!
Wait, is that another year down?! We hope the last 12 months have been filled with adventures, both on and off the water, and you're looking forward to an action-packed 2023.

Pantaenius 2022 - SAIL MPU - ROW   ABS23-SW-300x250-Banners_R2_02
Boris Herrmann relaunches Malizia - Seaexplorer with new foils, overcoming a big hurdle
New year, new foils, new round-the-world challenge: Team Malizia has relaunched its Malizia - Seaexplorer IMOCA yacht after an intense three-week refit.

Marine Resources latest jobs: Find a New Year's Resolution you can stick to
While a lot of us set big goals at the start of a new year, when February rolls around most of them have already been forgotten. Find a change you can keep with a fantastic new role in the marine industry!

16 boats set sail for Rio de Janeiro in the 50th Anniversary Cape2Rio Race
A sunny Cape Town provided the perfect backdrop for the Cape2Rio start on Monday 2 January. 16 teams left Royal Cape Yacht Club in a light westerly wind of 10 knots for a 14h00 start just off Granger Bay.

French entry to the 37th America's Cup confirmed
The organisers of the 37th America's Cup welcome the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez and their representative team K-Challenge Racing as a challenger for the 37th America's Cup in Barcelona in 2024 and led by Stephane Kandler and Bruno Dubois.

British Cadet Team at the Cadet Worlds in Melbourne - Overall
So, whilst we awoke on the final day to the knowledge that Team GBR had the World Champions in Toby and Kemmel, there was work still to be done for the rest.

Multihull design pioneer Derek Kelsall passes away
Derek Kelsall, the man who during his life created the modern day trimaran, who famously introduced Eric Tabarly to multihulls and who was one of the first to champion foam sandwich construction, died in hospital in Thames, New Zealand, aged 89.

Steve Cole appointed new RORC Racing Manager
The Royal Ocean Racing Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Steve Cole as the new Racing Manager from 1st January 2023, succeeding Chris Stone who will continue as a consultant to the Race Management team for the new Nelson's Cup series.

2023 - Join Henri-Lloyd to celebrate 60th Anniversary
Henri-Lloyd's 60th year sees the re-introduction of their heritage logo along with a number of exciting launches inspired by their archive. Look out for a year of celebrations ahead.

Golden Globe Race and Sydney to Hobart Fleet meet in Storm Bay. Kirsten Neuschäfer in the lead?
Boxing Day is always a special day in Australia as the Sydney to Hobart race fleet rushes south towards Tasmania. This long-standing sailing event is famous for its Maxi Yachts competing for line honours, and notorious bad weather in the Bass Strait.

Rolex Sydney Hobart: North Sails-powered TP52 Celestial declared the Overall Winner
The waiting game is over for North Sails-powered TP52 Celestial, who has been declared the Overall Winner of the 2022 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Selden 2020 - FOOTER

Hyde Sails 2023 Wuzzos - FOOTER

This email was sent to the.recipients@email.address by YY Online Services Ltd.
Towngate House, 2-8 Parkstone Road, Poole, BH15 2PW
Registered in England No. 7895890

Our records show that you signed up to receive news from us on 1 January 2000

Please do not reply to this message as this address cannot receive replies.

You can unsubscribe at any time or email us here if you encounter any difficulties
SOUTHERN-SPARS-MISSY-FURLING-BOOMS-728-X-90 BottomUpffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERZhik 2022 Choice of Champions FOOTER