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Golden Globe Race organizers set up another vintage circumnavigation

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The cost of participation in a modern replica of the legendary Whitbread Round the World race will not exceed «cost per foil for IMOCA 60», the organizers promise.

The organisers of the Golden Globe Race have announced that the Ocean Globe Race will be held in 2023 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Whitbread Round the World Race.

The Whitbread Round the World Race, later renamed the Volvo Ocean Race and most recently the Ocean Race, is still running today, but has taken on a modern format with racers on the technologically advanced VO 65 monohull (and in 2021-22, the IMOCA 60). The context of the Ocean Globe Race is to return to the format of the race which it was in its early years, with competitors racing retro boats whichare not built using modern materials, and without modern machinery on board.

Like the Golden Globe Race, the Ocean Globe Race bans the use of computers, satellite systems (including GPS) and mobile phones.

Competitors must navigate using sextant on paper charts, communicate using SSB and VHF radio and even listen to music from a cassette player.

Participants' boats must be designed no later than 1988 and may range in length from 47 to 66 feet. They can be production sailboats, which have proven to be reliable cruisers such as those produced by Nautor's Swan. It was a sailboat from this Finnish shipyard that won the first Whitbread Round the World Race - it was RamonCarlin' s Swan 65 Sayula II.

The maximum number of participating crews is limited to thirty. The entry will be divided into three classes - Adventure (47-56 feet), Sayula (56-66 feet) and Flyer, comprising the original boats from the first three Whitbread races (1973, 1977 and 1981) and the jury-approved production training boats up to 68 feet.

The route will also be classic, with the race divided into four phases - fromEurope to Africa,from Africa to Australia andthen back againvia South American port. The specific route has not yet been announced, talks are underway with cities ready to host the race.

«For the first time in three decades ordinary sailors and yacht owners have the chance to sail around the world. You don't need to be a top athlete, have a huge support team and a bloated budget to participate. As for the latter, a campaign need not cost more than a single IMOCA 60 carbon foil», according to Don McIntyre, founder of the Ocean Globe Race.

For example, a competitive Swan 55 for a team of 8 or 9 competitors on the second hand market would cost €180k. To have it re-fitted by a professional crew would cost another €100k. Participation cost €25k. Insurance and other expenses could be budgeted at €20k.

The total budget will be €325k.

At the end of the race, you can sell your Swan for €200k, so a round-the-world adventure would cost €125k. By comparison, a set of foils for IMOCA 60 costs €500-600K.

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