Image: OGR at the Harbour Hotel, Southampton Sept 1st 2023. Photo by Tim Bishop/PPL
Safety Inspections, crew briefings, crisis management meetings, communications briefings complete. Phew.
Whitbread Veterans en route for 50th Anniversary Whitbread Reunion.
OK, let’s be honest here. Sailing around the world is incredibly tough – if it were easy, everyone would do it. But what most people don’t realise is just how incredibly difficult getting to the start line of the McIntyre Ocean Globe is.
I’m not talking about the thousands of hours on boat refits, the many, many thousands of pounds spent, or the frayed nerves caused by the previous two. I’m referring to the sheer volume of paperwork and technical requirements demanded from each yacht. It is, well, mind blowing. At times it makes tackling Cape Horn seem like a pleasure cruise.
But finally, the skippers and crew of the 14 iconic yachts docked in MDL Race Village, Ocean Village, Southampton are about the reap the fruits of their labour. They’re within touching distance of receiving the coveted ‘Green Card’, which will allow them to line up on Royal Yacht Squadron start line, Cowes, UK on September 10th.
Georgie Vintner, Race Manager, just completed the crisis management meeting for all 14 managers in the fleet.
“Crisis management is a daunting concept. The manager's meeting today was to clearly define their responsibilities within the OGR Crisis Management plan. Some very interesting questions came up, which is the idea of these meetings. It’s fantastic to see all the managers are fully committed,” said Georgie.
Meanwhile, assistant Race Director Lutz Kohne has been busy, along with an army of volunteers ensuring the required paperwork is filed, safety equipment onboard and crew registrations are perfect.
“The race to the race is almost finished and it looks like all boats will make the start line,” said Assistant Race Director Lutz Kohne.
Whitbead Veterans On Their Way!!
There’s an air of excitement around the race village with Whitbread veterans arriving for the 50th anniversary of the Whitbread reunion this evening. Over 100 veterans, many flying in from overseas, are en route to spend an evening of reminiscing with friends and old rivals.
The veterans will also mingle with the 218 crew taking part in the OGR starting in just four days. And they are embarking on something special – a fully crewed retro race in the spirit of the 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race marking the 50th anniversary of the original event.
It’s an eight-month adventure around the world for ordinary sailors on normal yachts. Racing ocean-going production yachts designed before 1988, there will be no computers, 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. These will be real heroes pushing each other to the limit and beyond – in a real race!
Schedule of Events
Saturday 9th September, 14:00 hrs –Come and meet OGR Teams’ Public Farewell onstage presentation!
Sunday 10th September, 09:00 hrs – Full Teams parade of honour from MDL Race Village to their yachts
13:00 hrs – 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.