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Ocean Globe Race: Auckland in viewfinder for stopover in 50th Whitbread RTW

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World 10 Mar 14:14 PST 11 March 2022
The Ocean Globe Race is scheduled to start in September 2023 from Europe © Ocean Globe Race

The Founder and Race Chairman of the Ocean Globe Race has confirmed to Sail-World that Auckland is one of the three venues under consideration to host a stopover of the fully crewed around the world race, which starts in Europe in September 2023, in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race.

Auckland is competing with two Australian ports to host the Southern Ocean stopover. The 1973 race stopped in Sydney, and Auckland became a stopover port in the next race held in 1977.

"Our updated OGR proposal was assessed on Friday 25th February by Auckland Unlimited and we were asked for further information and clarifications which were provided," race founder Don McIntyre told Sail-World.

"We are now waiting for a further response. We have made it clear that we need an indication of the level of interest from Auckland by the end of March at the latest.

"It was suggested that this time line would be achievable. Indications are that the OGR is of interest to Auckland."

"For the OGR we have substantial interest from two ports in Australia."

The Ocean Globe Race organisers are working closely with a second round the world race event - a fully crewed race in the popular Class40's, and an option is for the two events is to share stopovers

"In regard to the Class 40 guys we are in close contact with them and have said we do not want to start on the same day so would need at least one week of separation," McIntyre said.

The Ocean Globe Race starts in Europe in September 2023, is a 27,000-mile sprint around the Globe, divided into four legs, taking in the Southern Ocean and the three great Capes.

The fleet is divided in four classes making the OGR possibly the biggest fully crewed round the world race of the last 29 years. Stop-overs will include South Africa, Australia or New Zealand, and South America, before finishing back in Europe in April 2024.

The Ocean Globe race is described by organisers as an eight-month adventure around the world for ordinary sailors on normal yachts. Racing ocean-going GRP production yachts designed before 1988, there will be no computers, no satellites, no GPS, and no high-tech materials. Sextants, team spirit and raw determination alone in the great traditions of ocean racing are allowed on this truly human endeavor.

If Auckland is chosen for the stopover the 30 boat fleet would be housed in the America's Cup harbour adjacent to Wynyard Point.

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