Main Photo: The Maiden crew are crowned winners of the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race| Photo: Rob Havill / OGR2023 | 

Heather Thomas and her all-women Maiden crew have been crowned the 2023 McIntyre Ocean Globe champions during a lavish mid-summer day poolside prize-giving party, hosted by and at Marco Trombetti’s Translated villa headquarters in Rome.

The party, attended by VIPs from around the world and some 200 OGR crew members flying in from 13 of the yachts to have completed the gruelling 27,000 mile round the world yacht race around Cape Horn, celebrated long into the night. Thomas and her crew, the first all women team to win a crewed global race, were among the first to jump into the pool to celebrate.

Marco Trombetti, who raced aboard his company-sponsored Swan 65 yacht Translated 9 (previously ADC Accutrac in the 1977 Whitbread race skippered by the first female skipper Clare Francis) said of this amateur inspired race marking the 50th anniversary of the first Whitbread Round Race back in 1973:

“This race has had a marked effect on all of us. It has certainly changed me.  We won two legs … and also broke our boat … twice! But we persevered to complete the course. It has all been an extraordinary life-changing experience!”


Heather Thomas was full of praise, not only for her Maiden crew who came from all walks of life and 12 nationalities, but for Tracy Edwards whose drive and vision masterminded a repeat of her own all women adventure in the same yacht during the 1989/90 Whitbread.

“I’m so proud of this crew and what we have achieved. There is such a strong bond between us. We’ve achieved our goal of showing what women can do, raising several £100,000s for Tracy’s  ‘Maiden Factor’ charity campaign to raise awareness about the millions of girls worldwide who are unable to access an education.”


Jussi Paavoseppä skipper of the Swan 651 Spirit of Helsinki who was first to dive into the pool fully clothed enroute to picking up his prize for finishing 1st overall within  Sayula Class on the final leg from Punta del Este Uruguay back to Cowes. He commented on the huge camaraderie that developed between crews in a retro race where navigation was performed with a sextant and weather information could only be gained via HF radio.

“I’ve never known a race where rival crews were so helpful to each other, passing on weather and other information to each other.”


Other awards included the Sir Peter Blake Sailor of the OGR trophy which went to French sailor Bertrand Delhom aboard Neptune, a Parkinson’s sufferer who endured considerable personal-sacrifice to complete the circumnavigation and highlight the disease and determination needed to minimising its life changing effects. The 81 crewmembers who completed the full circumnavigation were each awarded a Gold plaque and membership to one of the most exclusive clubs –  the International Association of Cape Horners.

Marie Tabarly and her crew, who gained line honours in the 73ft maxi yacht Pen Duick VI built for her father Eric Tabarly to compete in the first Whitbread race was awarded a Cape Horners flag for leading the race around Cape Horn, along  with Jussi Paavoseppä and the crew of Spirit of Helsinki who were first in the Sayula Class, and Jean d’Arthuys and his crew on Triana who led the Adventure class around the Cape.

Don McIntyre, the OGR Race Director, congratulated all crews for completing the race safely and successfully. He also announced that plans are well advanced for a second Ocean Globe Race in 2027 and a third in 2031. Having commissioned a series of magnificent replicas of the first 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race trophy, He said:

“These are so special, I’ve ordered enough to cover the next four events!  Interest in the 2027 race is very high.  Many people have a strong desire to race around the world and this McIntyre OGR has proved that you don’t need multi-million dollar budgets to do so. It looks like we will have more boats in the next race than the 14 starters for the 2023/4 event – including some who enjoyed themselves so much this time round, that they want to do it all again.”


The Nautor Swan 57 EXPLORER which was first yacht across the Royal Yacht Squadron Cowes start line on September 10th 2023 and last across the same finish line on May 13 2024 is the first confirmed entry for the 2027 OGR. With two paying crew already signed on for this next grand adventure, there are still seven crew places available for adventurous sailors. Details at