Fourteen yachts and their intrepid international crews set sail from MDL’s Ocean Village Marina Sunday.
They are taking part in the Ocean Globe Race, a 27,000-mile circumnavigation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Whitbread Round the World Race.
At 13:00 hrs, veteran sailor and fellow circumnavigator Sir Chay Blyth started the competing boats from the Royal Yacht Squadron line in the Solent, just in front of the historic yacht club on the Isle of Wight.
The competitors have no GPS, no high-tech equipment, and no computers onboard.
The crews will navigate using only a sextant, charts and the stars, as the competitors did in the early Whitbread races.
Six of the boats competing have taken part in one or more of the past Whitbread races, the most notable being Tracy Edwards’ Farr 58 Maiden. In 1990, Tracy triumphantly brought home the first ever all-female Whitbread crew onboard Maiden to Ocean Village Marina.
In this edition, Maiden again set sail with an all-female crew, but with new purpose – to highlight the work of The Maiden Factor Foundation, a charity started by Tracy to support communities to enable girls into education, helping them to reach their full potential and create better futures for all.
The finish of the Ocean Globe Race will be at Ocean Village Marina, with the prize giving held during MDL’s South Coast and Green Tech Boat Show, 19 -21 April 2024.
The crews are expected to finish between the 1st and 10th April 2024.