The Ocean Globe Race: the new Whitbread
The legendary world-circling regatta Whitbread is back, under the name of Ocean Globe Race (OGR). To mark the 50th anniversary of the first Whitbread, the OGR is expected to start in Europe on September 10th 2023. It will have four legs, with stopovers in South Africa, Australia or New Zealand and South America, following the route of the original 1973 Whitbread through the three great capes, Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn.
The OGR is a so-called “retro” race, designed for ordinary sailors, like the original 1973 race, with a passion for traditional sailing. Only approved fiberglass yachts designed before 1988 and equipped with traditional navigation systems (e.g. sextants) will be allowed to take part in it: no GPS, computers, satellites or high-tech materials are permitted. Not even digital music! Only cassette tapes, just like in 1973.
OCEAN GLOBE RACE 2023
Why the Ocean Globe Race?
This race meets the values common to the team’s missions: (re) connecting to the environment through the marine elements of winds and stars.
"Retro navigation" forces team members to think about reorganizing their daily life on board a sailboat. Sailing by the most perilous seas in the world will not only require rigorous preparation for the team, but a total questioning of their daily lives.
We will have to show autonomy and redouble our ingenuity in order to face the trials that await us, and this, with limited means of communication.
This race allows the upgrading and reuse of boats built in the 1980s and advocates eco-responsible actions and values.
During the various stops planned during the race, we will encourage local businesses by prioritizing local supplies and highlighting local expertise.
With old-fashioned navigation, where you can no longer depend on technology, it is the crew who, through observation, will find themselves and find their way to the objective.
Travel and adventure are the watchwords of this event. There is a voluntary slowdown: it is the return of endurance versus sprinting.
Putting our lifestyles into perspective
To participate in this race is to rethink the current hectic lifestyle, and return to the basics, to what is on board.
This is a race whose budget brings financial accessibility that pushes amateurs to undertake this challenge. It is the creation and development of opportunities that are limited today.
<< September 10, 2023
It's a date that's been in my life since 2019, when I signed up as Captain for the Ocean Globe Race.
Back then I had no team, no boat and finances to match, but I had a dream, a project, and so ArcticStern was born.
For the past four years, every ounce of my energy has been dedicated to achieving this goal, every decision, in both my personal and professional life, has been taken with the vision of getting closer to that famous starting line, facing major and gruelling challenges.
And yet, even as I write these lines, the 14 yachts taking part in this race are crossing the starting line in Southampton.
Even as I write these lines, the yacht we sailed against the prevailing winds and currents from Tahiti to Quebec is currently on its berth in Canada, more than 2,500 nautical miles from the starting line, undergoing renovation and maintenance work.
Do I really consider this OGR 2023 project to be a failure? You've probably already guessed the answer, but no, I don't consider it a failure. While it's true that I'd sincerely have liked to have succeeded in getting our yacht Venus on the starting line with ArcticStern, this project has been a success in so many ways, both on a personal level, and on the personal level of the many people who have been involved from the outset!
So I'd like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone involved in this ambitious and challenging project!
Many thanks! >>
AXEL GALPY-MASSÉ, FOUNDER & CAPTAIN