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50th anniversary of the Whitbread Race today

by Ocean Globe Race 9 Sep 02:07 PDT 10 September 2023
McIntyre Ocean Globe - The Skeleton crew, sailing on Godspeed USA (01) talk a lot of sense - well their t-shirts do at least © Tim Bishop / PPL

Thoughts of winches, safety inspections and bilges put aside, the crews of the OGR pulled on their flares, donned their wigs, pasted on their glitter and bopped the night away.

  • 70's party for the crews who danced late into the night on board Steamship Shieldhall.
  • Coveted Green Cards being issued across fleet.....
  • Southampton to Cape Town provisioning in full swing.
  • 144 crew on Leg one. All attend the final crew briefing.
  • Royal Yacht Squadron start line, Cowes, UK on September 10th. Follow the start LIVE on OGR Facebook/YouTube at 12.30 local

The tunes of Donna Summer, Abba, and the Bee Gees proved popular with OGR entrants showing they not only know how to sail but also groove like it's 1973!

The Steamship Shieldhall, the official committee boat for the OGR race start 13:00hr Sunday 10th, rock and rolled as the beers flowed. A fantastic evening, with crews mingling, relaxing and congratulating each other on making it up and down the steep Shieldhall steps in six-inch platforms.

Today, Sept. 8th marks the 50th Anniversary of the original 1973 Whitbread Race and the first ever McIntyre Ocean Globe celebrates that amazing adventure. After four years of planning and through the passion and commitment of the entrants, the McIntyre OGR is now recognised as a popular recreation of that original Adventure. It promises to deliver an amazing story over the next eight months.

L'Esprit d'équipe FR (85) White Shadow ES (17) Outlaw AU (08) and Neptune FR (56) are the latest entrants to receive the coveted Green Card.

Lutz Kohne, Assistant Race Director, has been busy ticking off the last of many, many checklists.

"Handing over Green Cards to the entrants is the last step in finally focusing on what we're all passionate about and that's setting sail around the world on a fleet of boats that got a second life." said Lutz Kohne, Assistant Race Director.

Provisioning is now in full swing across the fleet. But for some, the challenge of keeping food fresh is more difficult than others. Emma Walker, of Godspeed USA (01) explains the 51 ft Swan has no fridge!

"The biggest challenge for provisioning is making sure we get a well balanced diet, we're getting enough calories, especially when the weather is bad. And our own challenge is we haven't actually got a fridge or freezer. We've got a weekly menu plan so hopefully we've got enough to see us through to Cape Town." explained Emma.

Leo Cavan, provisioner on former Whitbread race winner L'Esprit d'Équipe FR (85) explains the biggest challenge is quantities and ensuring you have enough food for eight people for 40 days.

"For the first week we have fresh food and after that it's freeze dried food. We are lucky, we all cook and everyone will eat everything. We also plan on making fresh bread twice or three times a week. I'm still a little nervous. On a French boat, food is very important, so yes, there is a little stress." said Leo.

With registration now closed the final OGR participation figures are in!! 219 crew representing 23 nationalities over the four legs, 157 men, 62 women. 144 sailors sail in the first leg.

Final registration was held with crews being briefed by Race Founder and Sponsor Don McIntyre on race start and how to actually enjoy what they've all spent years preparing for, the adventure of a lifetime!

September 10th, 13:00 hrs SUNDAY - RACE START - Royal Yacht Squadron start line, Cowes, UK. Viewing of the start line can be seen off the beaches in Gurnard, Isle of Wight or Lepe Beach in the New Forest.

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