Three races around the world are imminent: the Ocean Globe Race, the Clipper Round The World Race and the Global Solo Challenge – open to amateurs, solo sailors or with a crew, all start around now and into September. To fully understand these different round the world challenges and how they work, Tip and Shaft spoke to the organizers of these three events as well as a few participants.
The first edition of the Global Solo Challenge, a solo, non-stop round-the-world race, started on August 26 in La Coruña. 19 sailors are involved in this race, but only one boat, the slowest – a Sparkman & Stephens 34, skippered by Welshman Daffyd Hughes – actually left on that day. “This is one of the specific differences about this round the world race,” notes Marco Nannini, founder and director of the race. “The time correction under IRC rating is applied in the opposite direction, creating a pursuit race in which the slowest boats go first and the fastest last.” The Turk Volkan Kaan Yemlihaoğlu on the Open 70 Black Betty – former ABN Amro 1, winner of the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006 – will close the start line on January 6, 2024.
“These staggered starts reduce the pressure on the organization and give us more time to carry out all the safety inspections”, continues Marco Nannini. The Italian former skipper turned race organiser does not wish to communicate on the budget of the race he has created, but specifies that it is sufficient to cover the most important expenses related to an organizational team of five people, media coverage, website management and satellite monitoring.
Frenchman Philippe Delamare, 60, who will cross the line alone on September 30 aboard the Actual 46 Mowgli, appreciates this concept of delayed starts: “It’s innovative! And even if we don’t have the same weather systems nor the same boats, all this will be smoothed out over the 26,000 miles that we are going to cover.” With entry fees at 7,500 euros, the event aims to be accessible to as many people as possible, with each sailor being able to choose their boat according to their budget, provided that it meets safety standards and have completed a solo passage of 2,000 miles on the same boat on a course approved by the organizer.
This price includes the berth in La Coruña at the start and finish, media and satellite tracking, but also “all the support before the race”, specifies the skipper who is currently taking care of the final preparations from his own boat in Lorient. “Marco Nannini is very involved, he is extremely helpful and gives us a lot of advice,” Delamare adds. The French skipper had originally embarked on a Vendée Globe project, “but the budget and personal involvement, which had become too important, made me give it up. The Global Solo Challenge is therefore a very good opportunity to race around the world as an amateur. My total budget, around 250,000 euros, remains reasonable.”
The Clipper Race puts
a big emphasison safety
The Clipper Round The World Race is a crewed round-the-world race created by Sir Robin Knox Johnston which will start on September 3 in Portsmouth. It is aimed at amateurs who pay to participate, the budget and the reasons for participating determine selection to a team. “They race on Clipper 70s (23 meter monohulls), under the responsibility of a professional, paid skipper and a first mate second professional. The sailors have the option to do the full circumnavigation or only one or more of the eight stages, all participants must follow and successfully complete four levels of rigorous and mandatory training,” explains Chris Rushton the managing director of Clipper Ventures PLC, the organizing company.
Several editions of the Clipper Race and in particular the 2017 edition have been marked by losses of crew members overboard, which the organization were not very forthcoming about. “Safety will always be the first concern of the Clipper Race”, highlights the organizing team when questioned on the subject. “We continually evaluate training, operational procedures and essential safety equipment.” Among the 700 sailors entered for this 13th edition, Alexandre Marque, a 30-year-old amateur sailor who will set sail on Sunday aboard Yacht Club Punta del Este, says: “The training, was a great experience and really starts from zero, from learning the bowline knot to sailing under spinnaker in 30 knots of wind, in order to get everyone to sail safely.”
He will sail only the first leg, “because of the relatively high cost and my lack of availability”, explains the electronics engineer. Participation in the entire race costs 46,500 pounds (54,330 euros at current prices) and for the stages, prices vary from 6,500 pounds (7,560€) to 7,800 pounds (9,088€) depending on the leg length. In addition, for all participants the compulsory training package is £6,300 (€7,328), which includes a month of professional training, a branded clothing kit, food and accommodation on board the boat.
The Ocean Globe Race
revisits the Whitbread
A week after the departure of the Clipper Race it is from Southampton that the Ocean Globe Race (OGR), another crewed world race, will take place. The race has been created by Don McIntyre in the same old school spirit as the Golden Globe Race which he has already organized two editions of namely with old-fashioned navigation. The aim is to revive the spirit of the Whitbread some 50 years after the first crewed round-the-world race which is The Ocean Race today.
Fourteen crews, or 218 sailors, will set off on September 10 for an eight-month adventure on offshore sailing boats designed before 1988, racing without technology, computers or satellites. “The rules of the race require 70% amateur sailors”, specifies Marie Tabarly who is entered in the race aboard Pen Duick VI (for a total budget of 1.4 million euros over four years), the famous 22 metre long ketch designed for her father Eric for the original Whitbread, from 1973, a race which he abandoned following two dismastings.
“Of the twelve sailors on board, we will therefore only be four professionals. Even if, in terms of responsibility, it is much more stressful, it is great to be able to take amateurs on board as Pen Duick VI has always done.” Her goals ? “Finish the race, beat the stage times of Pen Duick VI in 1981 on his third participation (under the name Euromarché) and win in real time,” replies Marie Tabarly.
Registration fees for the OGR vary from 25,000 to 50,000 euros depending on the class – there are three, Adventure, Sayula and Flyer – and double if the participants are sponsored (four boats are concerned). The race budget? “We were counting on a budget of 9 million euros for the organization of the event, but due to a lack of sufficient partners, we must work on 2.3 million euros spread over five years to cover all aspects of logistics , marketing, media production and distribution,” replies Don McIntyre.
From September to next summer, 43 boats will therefore circumnavigate the globe, some of which may well see the five Ultims that will set off on 7 January 2024 for the Arkea Ultim Challenge-Brest, which promises to be quite a contrast.
Photo: Carlo Borlenghi / ROLEX