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March 20, 2024

A Directory of Planet-Lapping Ocean Races

There are so many ocean races going around the world it can make your head spin. While following Cole Brauer in the Global Solo Challenge, we were also following the Arkea Ultim Challenge-Brest, the Clipper Race, and the Ocean Globe Race. With all this ocean traffic we thought it was a good time to write it all down to help you, and us, try to keep track of them all. Though we’re sure there must be others.

Round-the-world racing has largely been dominated by the French. However, it all started with Great Britain’s Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s win in the original Golden Globe Race in 1968. Now there’s a full menu of races for almost any type of boat, from the extreme 100-ft singlehanded Ultim trimarans to the much more modest Cape George 36 raced by Kirsten Neuschäfer last year. Generally, all of these races track around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, Australia’s Cape Leeuwin, and South America’s Cape Horn. The Clipper Race uses the Panama Canal.

Vendée Globe — Next Start Nov. 10.

The Vendée Globe Race is a singlehanded, nonstop, and unassisted round-the-world yacht race that follows a Clipper Route circumnavigation. The race is sailed in the now-extreme, foiling IMOCA 60 monohulls. The race starts and finishes in Les Sables-d’Olonne, France, covering approximately 24,000 nautical miles. It has been run since 1989 and now takes place every four years. The 2024 edition will be the 10th annual, and all nine previous races have been won by French skippers. The most recent event was won by Yannick Bestaven aboard his IMOCA 60 Maître Coq IV. This is the big one, with 44 boats entered this year!

Pip Hare, sponsored by San Francisco-based Medallia, is returning with a new boat for the 2024/25 edition of the Vendée Globe.
© 2024 Richard Langdon / Oceanimages

The Ocean Race — Next Start 2025.

The Ocean Race is the technologically evolved, fully-crewed race around the world descended from the Whitbread and Volvo Ocean Race. It was won in June 2023 by Charlie Enright and his crew from 11th Hour Racing aboard their IMOCA 60 Mālama. Enright became the 2023 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year for his winning performance.

The next edition of The Ocean Race Europe is scheduled to start on August 10, 2025, from Kiel, Germany.

Ocean Globe Race — Currently Underway.

Like The Ocean Race, the Ocean Globe Race is another round-the-world race descended from the original 1973 Whitbread Race. Unlike The Ocean Race, this is a fully-crewed retro race sailed in the spirit of the 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race. The 2023/24 edition marks the 50th anniversary of the original event. The original race was won by the Mexican yacht Sayula II, a brand-new Swan 65 owned and skippered by Mexican captain Ramón Carlin. This year the Swan 65 Translated 9 is sailing with a crew trained by Paul Cayard. Tracy Edwards’ original boat Maiden is also in the race, again with an all-female crew.

The eight-month adventure is aimed at ordinary sailors on normal yachts. The race is in fiberglass production boats designed before 1988 and raced without computers, satellites, GPS or high-tech materials. They’re navigating with sextants for a truly traditional experience. The food was probably better in 1973.

Ocean Globe Race
The Ocean Globe fleet is also racing north in the Atlantic, headed toward the finish in Southampton, England.
© 2024 Ocean Globe Race

Arkea Ultim Challenge-Brest — Last Finisher March 13.

The Arkea Ultim Challenge-Brest is a solo, nonstop round-the-world race for Ultim Class trimarans, which have a maximum length of 100 feet and a maximum beam of 75 feet. These boats are giants and are regularly sailing between 30 and 40 knots for 50+ straight days. This year was the inaugural race and had six starters and five finishers. It was won by Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, sailed by Charles Caudrelier, who finished on February 27 with a total elapsed time of 50 days, 19 hours, 07 minutes, and 47 seconds. That’s fast! The fastest-ever solo circumnavigation outside of a race was by François Gabart, who lapped the planet in 42 days and 16 hours aboard the 100-ft trimaran Macif.

Charles Caudrelier aboard the 100′ Ultime Edmond de Rothschild approaches the finish line.
© 2024 Vincent Olivaud

Golden Globe Race — Next Start 2026.

Not to be confused with the Ocean Globe Race, the Golden Globe Race is a singlehanded (not fully-crewed) race around the world that limits competitors to sailboats and technology available when the first race was held, in 1968. That was the year Sir Robin Knox-Johnston won this inaugural race aboard Suhaili. In the 2023 edition, in addition to winning the race, South African sailor Kirsten Neuschäfer was awarded the Cruising Club of America’s Blue Water Medal in recognition of her 235-day solo circumnavigation aboard her Port Townsend, WA-built Cape George 36, Minnehaha. Neuschäfer was the first of only three finishers of the Golden Globe Race, which began with 17 competitors.

The next race will depart from Les Sables-d’Olonne, France, on September 6, 2026, and sail solo, nonstop around the world, via the five Great Capes, and return to Les Sables-d’Olonne.

Global Solo Challenge — Currently Underway.

The Global Solo Challenge is a solo, nonstop reverse-handicap sailing race where competitors depart from A Coruña, Spain, and sail nearly 30,000 miles around the world, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere. This race does not have the technology restrictions of the Golden Globe Race. Cole Brauer made history by becoming the first American woman to sail solo, nonstop around the world, taking second in the event while setting the record for a solo circumnavigation in a 40-ft sailboat.

Seattle sailor David Linger is racing his Class 40 Koloa Maoli. He stopped to repair his boom in Ushuaia, Argentina, and is now back underway with 4500 miles to go until the finish. Ronnie Simpson, aboard his Open 50 Shipyard Brewing, was rescued in the South Atlantic after being dismasted.

The Global Solo Challenge is still underway with four boats remaining at sea.

Clipper Round the World Race — Currently Underway.

This is the race we can all sign up for. The Clipper Round the World Race attracts a lot of Brits, but has competitors from all over the globe. The event is raced in identical 70-ft ocean-racing yachts. The 2023/24 race started in the UK in August 2023 and finishes in July. It covers approximately 40,000 miles, with many city stopovers making it the longest circumnavigation race. Richmond Yacht Club sailor John Arnold recently completed the leg from Fremantle around the south coast of Australia. The fleet is now headed up to Qingdao, China, for its next stopover before it resumes and heads to Seattle. The following leg will go from Seattle to the Panama Canal. If you don’t have a boat and are looking to race around the world, this is the one for you.

The Clipper Race fleet is currently offshore and headed toward Qingdao, China.
© 2024 Clipper Race

The Jules Verne Trophy

The Jules Verne Trophy is raced whenever someone wants to enter to break the record for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by any type of yacht with no restrictions on the size of the crew. You win by breaking the previous Jules Verne record of the round-the-world voyage under sail. The start is defined by an imaginary line between the Créac’h lighthouse on Ouessant (Ushant) Island, France, and the Lizard Lighthouse, UK. The record is now held by Francis Joyon aboard the trimaran IDEC Sport, which completed the course in 2017 in 40 days 23 hours 30 minutes 30 seconds! The record has had nine different title holders, with four of those records set in catamarans and five in trimarans. The last three have been trimarans.

We hope we have this straight, as we’ve been going around in circles trying to keep track of it all. It’s also good to remember that some people leisurely sail around the world for the fun of it. We have a fairly comprehensive list of almost 400 West Coast Circumnavigators who have mostly cruised around the world at their own pace.

What have we missed?

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Good Jibes #134: Nigel Silva-Dallenbach on Data-Driven Sailing

This week’s host Ryan Foland is joined by Nigel Silva-Dallenbach to chat about the intersection of sailing and tech. Nigel is a sailing enthusiast, instructor, and software developer working on a new device that will gather various data points while sailing. Nigel hopes to use the data to develop new insights to help his training for the Tempest World Championship later this year in Switzerland.

What is Nigel’s sailing-data software, and can it help sailors win races?
© 2024 Ryan Foland

Hear about the ABYC (Alamitos Bay Yacht Club) Tempest Fleet, why the Tempest is Nigel’s favorite boat, and how he got into teaching sailing at ABYC. The show finishes with a thoughtful discussion on how we can improve youth sailing programs.

This episode covers everything from Tempests to racing. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear:

  • Where did Nigel go to start sailing in California?
  • What is his Tempest’s name?
  • How does the Tempest World Championship work?
  • The Internet of Sailing
  • What software is Nigel working on for sailing data?
  • How is he prepping for the Tempest World Championship?
  • Can he use his software in the race?
  • Could you track emotion while sailing?

Learn more about Nigel on LinkedIn, Ryan at Ryan.Online, and ABYC’s adult sailing programs at

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and your other favorite podcast spots — follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re feeling the Good Jibes!

Short Tacks Upwind Against the Ebb

We’re taking you on some short tacks as we pass on some of the news that blew across our decks.

The Spring Equinox was Yesterday, Summer is Coming!

Freda and all the classic boats will be strutting their stuff across the Bay in the months ahead.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

The spring equinox occurred on Tuesday, March 19, as the sun crossed the equator into the Northern Hemisphere. This means longer days, the arrival of beer can racing, spring series and endless more hours to sail in the California sunshine. While we’re on solar events, the next solar eclipse can be seen on April 8, with Mazatlán, Mexico, being one of the best places to view it on the West Coast. Now is also a good time to commit to sailing on the the solstice weekend of June 22 for the Summer Sailstice Celebration.

More Flip-Floppers — The R2AK and the WA360 Now in Alternating Years

News from the windless and engineless Northwest. The steady, annual drumbeat of the R2AK is becoming an on-again off-again affair, as the race organizer (the Northwest Maritime Center) has revised the scheduling to run the R2AK in even years and the WA360 in odd years. To bring you up to date, 2024 is an even year, so this is an R2AK year. Next, it flip-flops to the WA360 in 2025, with the next R2AK happening in 2026. The pattern will get clearer over time.

R2AK is not a one-design race and there are no known PHRF or Portsmouth handicap numbers. You’ve just got to race what you bring. This is team SKOFTIG.
© 2024 R2AK

Is it really windless in the Northwest? Not really. There are lots of entertaining R2AK videos showcasing plenty of drama and lively sailing. Plus some pedaling and paddling.

Why are they changing the schedule? They explain, “Inspired by legends of scarcity like the McRib and Disney’s Vault, we’re embracing the power of deprivation, desire, and suspense. Here’s why it’s better:

“Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: Like storied quests of old, time between races will make for more excitement and anticipation as the jitters of race-detox set in. And with this brilliant and insightful adjustment to R2AK supply and demand, racer futures are trading high.”

Free Money … Also Known as Grants

We bet you could really clean things up with $4.25 million! That’s what’s currently available for government agencies with financial needs for patrol boats and related marine resources, plus SAVE grants to clean up derelict vessels. Grant applications must be in by April 30.

BSEE (Boating Safety and Enforcement Equipment) Grant Program

Up to $1.5 million is available to local government agencies statewide that demonstrate a need for patrol boats, replacement engines, personal watercraft, search-and-rescue equipment, and patrol equipment for conducting recreational boating safety and enforcement activities. These competitive grants are to augment existing local resources and not to fully fund boating safety and enforcement patrol units. The US Coast Guard’s Recreational Boating Safety Program provides funding for this BSEE grant program. Contact: [email protected] or (916) 902-8795.

The SAVE grants are available to clean up derelict boats.
© 2024 Brock de Lappe

SAVE (Surrendered and Abandoned Vessel Exchange) Grant Program

Up to $2.75 million is available to local public agencies statewide to receive surrendered recreational vessels and to remove and dispose of derelict recreational vessels on coastal and inland public, navigable waterways. Grant funding comes from the Abandoned Watercraft Abatement Fund. For more information contact: [email protected] or (916) 902-8820.

You can also help the Bay by becoming a trained Dockwalker. Learn more here.

Mark Your Calendar —Yacht Clubs in Alameda Hosting an Open House May 4

The Island-Wide Open House at all Alameda clubs will be 11 a.m.–7 p.m. on May 4. Explore the vibrant boating community of Alameda through this free event, and discover the perfect club for you. Club events and hours vary — visit each club to learn more and enjoy activities, food and drinks at each venue. Secure your FREE tickets at Eventbrite.

The entrance to Encinal YC
Encinal YC is one of the many clubs that will be open for your visit on May 4.
© 2024 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Act Fast! SailGP Tickets Are Now on Sale.

SAilGP boat crashing
SailGP action will be returning to San Francisco Bay in July.
© 2024 Louis Kruk

The champions of Season 4 will be crowned when SailGP returns to the iconic city of San Francisco for the winner-takes-all Grand Final on July 13-14. Tickets are on sale here.

Club Náutico Baja Opens “Grandes Navegantes” Regatta to US Racers

When we think of Ensenada, certain races come to mind. Newport Ocean Sailing Association’s Newport to Ensenada race, Southwestern Yacht Club’s Little Ensenada race, and the Todos Santos regatta sponsored by Club Náutico Baja draw the largest participation of American racers in the region. This summer, Club Náutico Baja (CNB) opens the Grandes Navegantes regatta to US racers for the first time in its 22-year history. The 23rd annual regatta will be held on Sunday, June 16, and racing sailors seeking a new challenge should save the date now, and make their plans to head south.

The Grandes Navegantes (Great Navigators) is similar to the better-known, and newer, Todos Santos Regatta held each October. But past winners say there are big differences between the two races.

“Both races go around the Todos Santos Islands,” notes three-time winner Eduardo Morales of the Catalina 27 Yatemg. Morales has sailed those waters for decades and says, “The Todos Santos course is counterclockwise around the islands, and the Grandes Navegantes course clockwise. But beyond that, Grandes Navegantes is significantly more challenging due to the uncertainty and unpredictability of the conditions that you’ll find. One year, you can sail directly from the start near the Coral Marina to the southern tip of the islands; another, you might have to tack all the way. Behind the islands are the ever-changing problems of the wind, rocks, current and kelp. The return is generally downwind via spinnaker to the finish.”

Carlos Hussong won the 2023 edition of Grandes Navegantes in his Catalina 38 Foggy N. Valentina. Hussong sums up the difference. “Local sailors consider it much more difficult … a more technical regatta than Todos Santos. And the perpetual trophy is by far more significant than any other here in Mexico.”

The Grandes Navegantes trophy is a tribute to Mexican sailor Ramón Carlín, who led his crew to victory in the innaugural Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973/74. Carlin was an amateur sailor, and his crew consisted of family (including his wife and son) and friends. Carlin was a 50-year-old weekend sailor with two years’ experience. When he saw an ad for the round-the-world race, he saw it as “an opportunity to teach his son some discipline and a real life experience.”

Carlin passed away in 2016, at age 92.
© 2024 Club Nautico Baja
Carlin (holding trophy) and his crew celebrate their Whitbread Race win in 1974. (We don’t know why Carlin’s wife Francisca is not in the photo.)
© 2024 Club Nautico Baja

The regatta organizers at Club Náutico Baja explain the significance of the regatta’s perpetual award. “That trophy is important not only because of who donated it, but because of what it represents for Mexican sailing. At that time, 17 yachts from seven countries participated in the 27,000-nautical-mile regatta. His [Carlin’s] boat, the Swan 65 Sayula II, was dismasted during the 133 days of racing, and he donated a part of that mast to CNB to use in its most prized perpetual trophy. His struggles and his improbable triumph were memorialized in the award-winning film The Weekend Sailor, which will be screened by CNB the night before the race at the Hotel Coral.”

Grandes Navegantes Trophy
The Grandes Navegantes Trophy is sculpted from Sayula II’s broken mast.
© 2024 Club Nautico Baja

CNB Commodore Jorge Hurtado adds, “The Grandes Navegantes Trophy reminds us, as Mexicans, that against all odds we can compete at the highest level. It reinforces the ideals of training, perseverance, preparation and Corinthianism that lead to winning regattas. And this year, we invite our American friends to come and compete with us for this prize of historical importance.”

The above map gives an approximation of the race course.
© 2024 Navionics

US racers are encouraged to sign up, spend a long weekend, and discover this tradition. A welcome reception, film screening, and traditional on-the-docks post-race party are being planned. For more information or to register for Grandes Navegantes, contact CNB at ClubNá[email protected].

Sayula II circa 1974.
© 2024 Club Nautico Baja

The Weekend Sailor is a film about Carlin, Sayula II and her crew. It was released in 2016 and features many of the original sailors. The film is narrated by Duran Duran singer Simon Le Bon, who is an experienced ocean racer of numerous international competitions, including the Whitbread Round the World Race (1985/86).

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