Pen Duick VI to race in the 2023 Ocean Globe Race

Pen Duick VI will compete in the 2023 Ocean Globe Race, which is being held to mark the 50th anniversary of the first Whitbread Race

Pen Duick VI competed in the first Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973-74. Credit: Ocean Frontiers OGR/ GGR/CG580/Pic suppliers

Pen Duick VI, the yacht which legendary French sailor Éric Tabarly skippered in the very first Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973 will be competing in the 2023 Ocean Globe Race, the crewed multi-stage race which pays homage to the original Whitbread.

The announcement was made by Tabarly’s daughter, Marie.

Pen Duick VI will be 50 this year, I had a round the world programme with my Elemen’Terre project which was cancelled by COVID-19, and was looking for something big to mark the boat’s anniversary,’ she explained.

Pen Duick cannot miss a big round the world race like the Ocean Globe Race, we have a team of 12, the boat is in good shape for her age, and after a rig refit will be ready to go!’

Marie Tabarly, daughter of Eric, announces that Pen Duick VI will be competing in the Ocean Globe Race

Marie Tabarly, daughter of Éric, announces that Pen Duick VI will be competing in the Ocean Globe Race. Credit: Cathy Millien

Designed by André Mauric, Pen Duick VI was built in record time in Brest specifically for the 1973 Whitbread Race.

But Tabarly’s chances of winning were scuppered early when the main mast collapsed during the first leg of the race from Portsmouth to Cape Town, forcing the crew to sail to Rio under jury rig.

A new spar was flown out from France and incredibly, Pen Duick VI was able to recross the Atlantic to Cape Town, arriving two days before the start of Leg 2.

Tabarly went on to win Leg 2 from Cape Town to Sydney, Australia, but his victory was shortlived with a second dismasting – the main mast again – just after setting out on Leg 3 from Sydney to Rio.

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