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LEGENDS RACE 2018

On 21 June 2018, and for the first time ever, a fleet of Legends boats will cross the official start line, just 45 minutes ahead of the racing fleet of Volvo Ocean 65s, to race from Gothenburg to The Hague. It’s history in the making and the Legens Race 2018 underscores that in the Volvo Ocean Race the past is, and will always be, part of the event’s future.

The stage for this historic race from Sweden to The Netherlands is steeped in ocean racing history. Both countries have each fielded winners of the world’s premier ocean race: Flyer in 1977-78 and 1981-82 plus ABN AMRO One in 2005-06 for The Netherlands, and EF Language 1997-98 and Ericsson 4 in 2008-09 for Sweden. Both nations are expecting to field entries to contest the race again.

”Racing round the world has been an enormous part of my life and I am very excited that a fleet of Legends boats will be here in Sweden, my home country. It’s going to be an event not to be missed and I will be there to cheer them on” – Swedish Volvo Ocean Race legend Roger Nilson

Following a departure ceremony in Gothenburg , the fleet will race approximately 460 nautical miles directly to the finish line in The Hague, where there will be a spectacular celebration upon arrival.

The boats will be open to the public both in Gothenburg and The Hague as well as being available for charter sailing before and after the race itself. There will be a parade of sail in both host cities, and the event will conclude with an official prizegiving in The Hague.

We will be updating this site when we have more news about the Legend’s Race and updates on the legendary yachts and crews that are going to participate. Below you can see which yachts that hav entered the Legends Race so far…

Also, please follow the Legends Race on Facebook for more exciting news and info!

Entries in the Legends Race 2018

Green Dragon powered by UBOX 2008-09

Green Dragon, the first Chinese-backed entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, will join Volvo Open 70s Telefónica Blue and race winner Ericsson 4, plus a host of other historic boats from previous races on the start line of the Legends Race in June this year. 

Skippered by Ian Walker, who went on to win ‘The Volvo’ two editions later, Green Dragon not only shared a Chinese sponsor’s hopes, she also carried the first Chinese crew member in Guo Chuan, who sailed as the team’s media crewmember. Guo went on to become a true legend in Chinese offshore sailing competing in the Mini-Transat and setting the record for a single handed circumnavigation in a 40-footer.  On his last record attempt, to set a new Trans-Pacific record on the trimaran Qingdao, the former IDEC, Guo Chuan was lost at sea and all that was found on his boat was a severed harness tether.

It is to honour Guo’s memory that Wang Bin, CEO of UBOX and a keen sailor himself, decided to charter Green Dragon to take part in the Legends Race. Wang Bin was Guo Chuan’s main supporter on his Mini-Transat and solo circumnavigation, part of a long association between the two men.

Green Dragon powered by Ubox will be sailed in the Legends Race by a combination of sailors from the east and the west, with Wang Bin and a number of his fellow members of the China Association for the Promotion of Sailing joining the western owner Johannes Schwarz, his skipper Benedikt Clauberg and a number of European sailors.

Back in 2008-09, it was the second time the notorious Volvo Open 70 was used for the Volvo Ocean Race.  Green Dragon was a modestly budgeted campaign, led by first-time skipper, Britain’s Ian Walker.  At the start, it all looked promising for Walker and his team, when on Leg 1 they led the fleet through the scoring gate of Fernando de Noronha and eventually finished just off the podium in 4th place. On Leg 2, from Cape Town to Cochin, India, Green Dragon broke her steering gear, resulting in a crash gybe, which broke her boom as well.  Despite this setback, she still managed to cross the scoring gate in third place, but eventually finished down the order in 7th place.

Throughout the race, Green Dragon struggled for speed and it wasn’t until transatlantic Leg 7, that she managed a podium finish, in third place, a feat that was also repeated on Leg 8.

Thereafter she was used to promote Dubai’s bid for the World Expo 2020, after which she was dismantled and stored in a shed in Ireland. Several years later she was acquired by Austrian Johannes Schwarz, who had previously owned Heineken (WRTWR1993-94). Liberated from her shed in 2015, and with the help of many people including some Irish Sea Scouts, she was eventually put back together and later that year she sailed to her new homeport of the Adriatic port of Trieste, Italy.

Nowadays she takes amateur sailors offshore racing in both the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, with the exception of a charter from former race winner, Frenchman Lionel Péan  (winner 1985-86 L’Esprit d’Equipe), who competed with her in Les Voiles de Saint Barths in the Caribbean.

In 2017, while racing in the Caribbean, she was dismasted.  Incredibly, Johannes Schwarz made a jury rig and sailed her back Ireland to collect her original spare mast, which was still lying in Green Dragon’s shed.

About Green Dragon
Class: Volvo Open 70
Designer: Reichel Pugh
Rig: Fractional sloop
LOA: 64’ (19.4m)
Crew: 12

Results 
5th Volvo Ocean Race
Best result: 3rd Leg 7,8
Skipper: Ian Walker/GBR

Ericsson 4 2008-09

 L4, formerly known as Ericsson 4, the winner of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 will enter the Legends Race, which will start from Gothenburg on June 21 this year.  

Ericsson 4, now named L4 and owned by software company Trifork, was part of a two-boat campaign for the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09, put together by Swedish outfit Atlant Ocean Racing.  Her skipper was Brazilian multi-Olympic medallist, Torben Grael, who had twice taken-part in the race before, once as crew onboard Knut Frostad’s Innovation Kvaerner in 1997-98 and again as skipper of Brazil 1 in 2005-06.

Each winter, L4 has been refitted in Spain, under the management of skipper, Jens Dolmer. This year, in immaculate racing trim, Trifork’s L4, will be aiming for yet another win during the Legends Race, ending in The Hague, Netherlands, to add to her list of achievements.

Ericsson 4, a second-generation Volvo Open 70, from the board of Juan Kouyoumdjian, the winning designer from 2005, laid her down her intentions early on, breaking the 24-hour record in the first leg from Alicante to Cape Town in 2008, sailing 596.6 nautical miles – an improvement of 50nm on ABN AMRO One and skipper Mike Sanderson’s record in the previous Volvo Ocean Race. It’s 24-hour distance that has yet to be broken in the Volvo Ocean Race.

Ericsson 4 eventually won five out of 10 legs, covering the racecourse in a total time of 127 days, 7 hours, 46 minutes, 17 seconds. After the race, she was bought by Groupama Racing Team as a training boat ahead of the next Volvo Ocean Race in 2011-12, which was won by Groupama 4. In 2014, software company Trifork acquired Ericsson 4.

Jørn Larsen, founder of Trifork says,  “Ericsson 4, now L4, represents perfection and we have taken good care of the old lady. This year, we received a gift from Juan Kouyoumdjian in the form of a refit.   It has been a pleasure to work with Juan and the original boatbuilders, to make L4 even better. At Trifork, we seek to improve the world with the latest technology and the L4 refit is a visual way of showing our mission. I hope a lot of our Trifork software pilots will have a chance to sail her during our rare north European visit this year.”

In 2014, L4 took part in the Copa Del Rey.  In the following year, she completed Giraglia and finished second over the line in the Middle Sea Race and the ARC.  In 2017, she completed the Caribbean 600 and Les Voiles de St Barth. Trifork will show off the new and improved L4 at her relaunch in April.

About Ericsson 4
Rig: Fractional sloop
Designer: Juan Yacht Design
LOA: 70’5’ (21.4m)
Crew: 11

Results Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09
Ist overall
First Leg 1,2,6,7,8
Elapsed time: 127:07:46:17
Skipper: Torben Grael/BRA

Legends Race 2018 Entries
Flyer 1977-78
Tokio II 1993-94
Rothmans 1989-90
Silk Cut 1997-98
Amer Sports One 2001-02
Assa Abloy 2001-02

Telefónica Blue 2008-09

Telefónica Blue will join former race winner Ericsson 4 on the startline of the Legends Race this summer.  She is the second Volvo Open 70 to confirm her entry in a fleet which will consist of around 12 boats from many of the past Whitbread and Volvo Races. 

In a big budget effort, Telefónica Blue , skippered by Legends ambassador Dutchman Bouwe Bekking, was part of a Spanish two-boat campaign, along with sister ship Telefónica Black who had Legends ambassador Roger Nilson as navigator. Although both men had unfinished business, having completed the race on multiple occasions and never won, it was Bouwe Bekking, whose previous Spanish entry Movistar had been abandoned in the previous race, who had the most to prove with Telefónica Blue.

Only the cruel would have felt no sympathy for Bekking and Telefónica Blue as night fell on the first night of Leg 1. Telefónica Blue had won the opening in-port race a week earlier, but one of the yacht’s tiller arms had broken, forcing Bekking to put into port for a 12-hour repair job. It was already apparent thatTelefónica Blue, which had excelled in lighter breeze, was struggling in the heavier, downwind conditions. They finished the leg in a disappointing fifth.

A second place finish on Leg 3 rejuvenated the crew and they set off in a determined mood for China. After five days of sailing, the fleet reached the Luzon Strait and a storm was waiting for them. Only four boats remained on the racetrack and those left faced a decision: stay and wait for better weather, or head out and make huge gains but take a huge risk. Telefónica Blue  took the plunge, kept control and used their hefty lead to win what most agreed at the time was the hardest leg they had ever sailed.

After changing rudders and taking a three point hit for doing so, Telefónica Blue  collided with an uncharted rock moments before the start of Leg 5 and returned to the dock for repairs, restarting the 12,300 nm leg 19 hours later.

The team made an excellent start on Leg 9.  Just one point split Puma and Telefónica Blue  as they set off on the 525-nm sprint, which went calamitously wrong for Telefónica Blue. Leading the fleet out of Marstrand, Sweden, and instead of narrowly passing a rock, Telefonica Blue hit it hard and her race was lost.  The boat was repaired and sailed to Stockholm, for the final leg to St Petersburg in Russia, in which she finished third, enough to retain third place overall and winner of the in-port race series.

For the 2011-12 race, previous race winning skipper Mike Sanderson was tempted back to take charge of the boat, renamed Team Sanya Lan, but despite a world-class crew line-up, the boat suffered damage on numerous occasions, leading to retirement on legs 1 and 5 and missing Leg 6 completely.

Now, in Dutch hands, her home port is Scheveningen/The Hague, and she is renamed Ocean Breeze.  She is in tip top condition, having benefitted from a recent full refit.  From July on, she will be used for participation in some of the best regattas and offshore matches in both the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

illbruck 2001-02

Former race winner, illbruck will join other V.O.60s SEB, Assa Abloy and Amer Sports One on the startline of the Legends Race this summer. All four boats raced together in Volvo Ocean Race 2001-02. Illbruck is now named ‘Glashäger’ and owned by SAILUTION company in Germany.

Illbruck was the first German yacht to secure victory in a leg and in the overall race. She finished in first place on four legs, was second twice and 4th on three occasions. Spectator boats on the Kieler Foerde were so tightly packed for the finish, that it would have been possible to cross the water with dry feet.

Nowadays, illbruck is very well maintained and ready to race. She regularly takes part in major German offshore races and nearly always finishes on the podium. She is still one of the most famous German racing yachts. She will race the Legends with a mixed team of German and Polish sailors. “We are proud to bring the boat to the starting line of the 2018 Legends Race and look forward to joining the rest of the legendary fleet”, says Oliver Schmidt-Rybandt, technical director of the SAILUTION company, the new owner of the boat.

Today she is the flagship of a fleet of the three Speedsailing Volvo Ocean 60s, together with SEB from the Volvo Ocean Race 2001-02, and also a Legends entry, and Toshiba, from the Whitbread Round the World Race 1997-98.

As the German entry of Michael Illbruck in the Volvo Ocean Race 2001-02, illbruck and her crew had an intense and prolonged preparation. US sailing star, John Kostecki was hired as skipper and he filled the boat with sailing ‘rockstars’. They started the race as clear favourites and lived up to the highest expectations right from the start, finishing Leg 1 two hours ahead of Amer Sports One, also a Legends entry, and winning the leg.

Leg two did not go quite so smoothly when, just hours after the start in Cape Town, the bow section of the boat began to fill with water and for a while it looked as if illbruck was in danger of sinking. Now in last place, the crew traced the leak to the forward hatch and repaired it. It only took them a few days to sail straight through the fleet to finishing one hour ahead of SEB, another Legends entry. From this point on, illbruck never returned the lead on the overall table.

On the transatlantic leg from Baltimore/Annapolis to La Rochelle, France, illbruck, with the help of the Gulf Stream current, established a new monohull 24-hour world record of 484 nm.

The German yacht finished in Kiel, Germany, to a huge reception from thousands of German sailing fans, who had been following the team since the race had started on September 23 2001.

SEB 2001-02

Volvo Ocean 60, former SEB has confirmed her entry into the Legends Race, which starts from Gothenburg on 21 June this year, and finishes in The Hague. After a disappointing showing for her super-professional team in the Volvo Ocean Race 2001-02, no stone will be left unturned in the preparation for the Legends Race this summer. SEB is now named ‘OSPA’ and owned by SAILUTION company in Germany.

After a lack-lustre performance on Leg 1, it was on Leg 2, through the Southern Ocean from Cape Town to Sydney, that became the highpoint of the race for the team, when they snatched the 24-hour world record from News Corp, covering 460.4 nm at an average speed 19.1 knots.

The leg was also notable for the absence of Dutch navigator Marcel van Trieste, who on hearing news of his mother’s death, had jumped overboard to be picked up by a RIB as the boat rounded Eclipse Island, near to the coast of Australia.  Having safely dispatched their navigator, the team was still in the lead when a fresh breeze filled in and the fleet took off.  The boat broached wildly, costing the crew a masthead spinnaker and the lead.  They were eventually beaten by German yacht illbruck into Sydney by just a few hours.

It was on Leg 3 when disaster struck for the first time.  The rudder ripped out of the boat, leaving a gaping hole.  It was unclear at the time why the rudder broke away, but it was most likely the result of hitting a submerged object.  The damage forced Krantz and his crew to retire from the leg and return to Australia for repairs.

Taking full responsibility for the construction of its own boat, SEB had rented space in a boatyard in Stockholm and hired New Zealanders Richard Gillies and Tim Smythe to take charge.  Like the majority of the fleet, SEB was from the board of Farr Yacht Design, but she was not, however, quite like the majority of the fleet. While the underwater profile was similar, the deck layout was unlike every Volvo Ocean 60 that had gone before. In place of the single, centrally located main hatch, SEB had two smaller hatches set on either side, which was significant when, on Leg 3, day 12, deep in the Southern Ocean, SEBbroached and the boat rounded violently into the wind.

The standard practise onboard was to keep the windward hatch open for ventilation and the leeward hatch closed.  As the boat spun to windward, the open hatch, now on the leeward side, allowed a massive amount of seawater to rush below.  The boat stayed on her side for what seemed like minutes before the mast finally broke eight feet above the deck and, for the second leg in a row, SEB was forced to retire.  Krantz and his team were crushed.  SEB made her way to South America under jury rig.

It didn’t end there.  On Leg 5, the team was protested by the Race Committee relating to the damage SEBhad inflicted on herself when colliding with illbruck at the beginning of the leg.  Although she performed the customary 720-degree turn, admitting the fault, a hearing by the international jury was scheduled. To the relief of the team, the protest was thrown out.

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Mark Reynolds joined the team for Leg 6, and on Leg 7, illbruck finally deposed SEB of her world-record run, when she set a new record 24-hour run of 484-nm. SEB eventually finished in 7th place overall.

Today she is used for team training and offshore sailing education with two other Volvo Ocean 60s,illbruck and Toshiba.  The fleet is based in the Baltic port of Rostock-Warnemunde.
Each winter she has been refitted in Germany and in 2017, she broke the 16-year-old record of the Round Bornholm Race, Germany.   She will be seriously competitive.

About SEB
Class: Volvo Ocean 60
Designer: Farr Yacht Design
Rig: Fractional sloop
LOA: 64’ (19.4m)
Crew: 12

Results 
7th Volvo Ocean Race
Best result: 2nd Leg 2
Skipper: Gunnar Krantz SWE

Assa Abloy 2001-02

Assa Abloy, who finished in second place in the Volvo Ocean Race 2001-02, will be represented by her sistership, Ambersail, in the Legends Race starting from Gothenburg on 21 June 2018 and finishing in The Hague.

Two Volvo Ocean 60s were built for the Volvo Ocean Race 2001-02 Assa Abloy campaign, but only one boat would ultimately be on the start line.  Both boats were built by Green Marine in Lymington, on Britain’s south coast, on a single female mould as this was thought to be the best way to produce to identical boats.

Raceboat, Assa Abloy, was skippered by Dutchman Roy Heiner for Leg 1, but British sailor, Neal McDonald took over in Cape Town and skippered her to Volvo Ocean Race second place overall, including winning line honours in the 2001 Sydney-Hobart Race, which was part of the Volvo Ocean Race that year, where she beat the favourite, Nicorette. The crew included the late, and much loved, Swedish sailor, Magnus Olsson, who had sailed in four previous races and had been a helmsman aboard Paul Cayard’s winning entry EF Language in the previous Volvo Ocean Race.

The second, unraced boat, built at the same time as Assa Abloy, later became known as Ambersail. Bearing the same distinctive graphics as her sistership, the life of Ambersail LTU 1000 began in 2008 when Lithuanian sailors acquired her for ‘The Millennium Odyssey’ – a national project for 2008-09. During the project, Ambersail sailed around the world visiting 26 Lithuanian communities in different countries and continents in a successful attempt to commemorate the millennium of the name of Lithuania.

After The Millennium Odyssey, Ambersail launched a sports programme, which allowed many Lithuanian sailors to take part in international regattas such as the Rolex Fastnet Race, the Rolex Middle Sea Race, the Transatlantic Race, the RORC Caribbean 600, Antigua Sailing Week, St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, Les Voiles de Saint Barth and other Caribbean regattas. In 2012 Ambersail once again sailed across the Pacific to take part in the famous Rolex Sydney Hobart race.  Participation in regattas, as well as cruising between them, gave Lithuanian sailors an opportunity to explore the most distant oceans and gain experience in blue water sailing.
In the middle of 2013, shortly after returning to her home port of Klaipėda, the third largest city in Lithuania, Ambersail was dismasted and wasn’t relaunched until the mast was rebuilt 2014.

In 2017 Ambersail took on ‘The Other Side of the World’, which was a new sailing project. During almost 10 months, more than 100 Lithuanian sailors drew experience while sailing in the Pacific Ocean and visiting distant places such as the Galapagos, the Marquesas Islands, Tahiti and other French Polynesia islands, Hawaii, Samoa, New Caledonia, Fiji, Vanuatu, Kiribati and New Zealand.  During this projectAmbersail rounded Cape Horn for the fourth time – and 37 Lithuanians have rounded Cape Horn onboard her since 2008.

Lithuanian sailor, Rokas Milevičius, who competed with Team Brunel in 2014-15 alongside Legends Ambassador and skipper, Bouwe Bekking, will co-skipper Ambersail in the Legends Race.

“Ambersail has already become a legend and a symbol for Lithuanian sailors. It opened us to the possibilities of blue water sailing and international regattas. As the first Lithuanian to take part in Volvo Ocean Race, it as a great honour to race with a Lithuanian crew onboard Ambersail in The Legends Race,” he said.  “It is also a big challenge, as we will meet equal rivals who are willing to demonstrate their experience and the potential of the Volvo Ocean 60s. We expect an exciting race and a great reunion with other Whitbread and Volvo sailors from around the world,” he added.

About Assa Abloy
Rig: Fractional sloop
Designer: Farr Yacht Design
LOA: 64’ (19.5m)
Crew: 12

Results Whitbread Round the World Race 2001-02
2nd overall
First Leg 3, 5, 8
Elapsed time: 124:10:44:35
Skipper: Roy Heiner/Ned (Leg 1 only)/Neal McDonald/GBR

Silk Cut 1997-98

Record-holder Silk Cut is the fourth boat entered in the Legends Race next year. She was originally skippered by Britain’s Lawrie Smith. 

Silk Cut started the 1997-98 Whitbread Round the World Race as the pre-race favourite, with odds of 7:2.  The combination of Lawrie Smith as skipper and strong funding held good promise. A fast boat, with the skipper willing to take some chances, Silk Cut, claimed a new 24-hour multihull world record of 449.1 nm, averaging 18.71 knots on Leg 2 from Cape Town, South Africa to Fremantle, Western Australia.

However, Smith’s luck ran out, when on Leg 5, from Auckland to Saõ Sebastião in Brazil, the wind gusted to 68 knots and, 2,000 nm from land, Silk Cut’s mast snapped at the second spreader and Smith headed for Ushuaia, the southernmost port in the world and retired from the leg.

With a new mast, Silk Cut’s form improved with a win on Leg 6 from Saõ Sebastião to Ft Lauderdale, USA, beating Paul Cayard and EF Language, the eventual race winner, by 78 minutes.  But, in a fleet made up of 10 Whitbread 60s, Silk Cut was only able to finish midway through the field, in fifth place overall.

Now called BoudragonSilk Cut has been completely renovated and is skippered by Hans Bousholte, the former skipper of BrunelSunergy, also an entry in the 1997-98 race.  Hans nowadays is a motivational speaker and gives lectures about the Volvo Ocean Race (www.hansbouscholte.com).

In 2014 Hans started the Oceanraces Academy, a programme for young talent with the ambition to sail big boats. The ultimate aim is to train and prepare them for ocean races like the Volvo Ocean Race. To make this all possible, Oceanraces Academy organises corporate sailing events and multi-day trips.

Boudragon/Silk Cut will not only be taking part in the Legends Race 2018 from Gothenburg to The Hague, she will also be present in the stopovers of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 in the start port of Alicante, Lisbon and Cardiff.

Anyone who wants to sail onboard Boudragon/Silk Cut can sign in on www.oceanracesacdemy.com.

About Silk Cut
Designer: Farr Yacht Design
Launched 17 February 1997
LOA: 18m

Results Whitbread Round the World Race 1997-98
24-hour monohull world record Leg 2 449.1 nm
Winner Leg 6
5th place overall

Tokio 1993-94

Tokio II will represent her sistership Tokio in the Legends Race, which starts from Gothenburg, Sweden on 21 June next year and finishes in The Hague, The Netherlands. Tokio will join Dutch yacht Flyer on the start line and is the second boat to announce participation in the Legends Race.  

Two boats were built for the Tokio team entered in the 1993-94 Whitbread Round the World Race, but only one would take part.  It seems a luxury nowadays, but building two boats was quite common practice in the Whitbread 60/Volvo Ocean 60 fleet until new rules prevented two-boat testing unless both boats were entered in the race.

America’s Cup legend, New Zealand’s Chris Dickson, would skipper the boat and he had to choose between a Farr-designed boat, or a boat from the board of Australian naval architect John Swarbrick.  He chose the Farr boat and the Swarbrick boat was left behind.  But now she will return to the racetrack to make her mark.

Tokio II is a Whitbread 60.  The box-rule class made its first appearance in the 1993-94 race and later became the Volvo Ocean 60, when the Whitbread was sold to Volvo in 1998.

Ten W60s were on the start line on 25 September 1993, racing for the first and last time against the giant maxis.  It was Dickson’s first appearance as skipper, and he set off in a determined style.

Tokio had already won Legs 1 and 3 and was in the lead on Leg 5, from Punta del Este in Uruguay to Ft Lauderdale, USA, when, on 7 April, she came upright as the mast went over the side, leaving her race in tatters.  All hopes of winning overall were dashed as, for the last time, the scoring for the race was on still calculated on elapsed time.

Dickson called the crew to collect the pieces of the mast and jury-rig a sail.  Then they headed for the nearby port of Santos in Brazil, where they constructed a new mast from the wreckage in 36 hours and returned to the racetrack.   But their hopes of winning the race were gone.

Dickson drove the boat across the Atlantic on the sixth and final leg in blistering style.  With nothing to lose, the crew set the spinnaker in a howling gale and covered 120 nm in the last six hours to cross the line in first place, beating the entire fleet including the four maxis.   But nothing could make up for earlier dismasting and it was one of the cruelest outcomes in the history of the race.

Tokio II, who will represent her sistership in Gothenburg next year, has been based in Helsinki since 2012.  Every year she has been upgraded and now has new sails, new electronics, a new deck and new running rigging among other niceties like an electric toilet, which Dickson would never have permitted in her racing years.

“We are so pleased to be able to bring Tokio II to race in the Legends Race next year,” says owner Risto Saarni.  “We hope that our team will include some of the original members of Tokio’s crew as well as others who will be gaining offshore racing experience,” he added.

Tokio II regularly competes in famous offshore events such as the Gotland Runt  (ÅF Offshore race) and the Rolex Fastnet.

Wouldn’t it be great if she could win this race and give her sistership the win she lost out on, all those years ago!

https://www.facebook.com/OceanRaceExperience/

About Tokio II
Designer John Swarbrick
LOA 19.5m
Beam: 5.25m
Construction: Kevlar/Foam Sandwich
Rig: Fractional sloop

Results Whitbread Round the World Race 1993-94
Fifth overall
Three leg wins (Legs 1/3/6)
Elapsed time: 128:16:19:48
Skipper: Chris Dickson NZL

Rothmans 1989-90

Rothmans, the British maxi, skippered by Lawrie Smith in the Whitbread Round the World Race 1989-90, becomes the third boat to enter next year’s Legends Race.

Rothmans originally sailed with a crew of up to 16 and finished the 1989-90 race in fourth place overall, taking 131 days to complete the 33,000-nautical-mile course.  It was Smith’s second race, having completed part of the course onboard Simon Le Bon’s maxi, Drum in 1985-86.

Rothmans’ best performance was in Leg 2, from Punta del Este, Uruguay, to Fremantle, Western Australia.  It was a leg across the notorious Southern Ocean that claimed the life of Tony Phillips fromCreighton’s Naturally.  Although the now-famous Steinlager 2 won every leg of the 1989-90 race, the battle on this leg for second, just an hour and a half after Steinlager 2 had claimed line honours, was an intense one and the duel between Rothmans  and Merit  was fierce.  Covering each other, with Smith using his full range of match racing skills, the two giant maxis gybed 18 times in 20 minutes.  Smith’s America’s Cup experience showed, and Rothmans overtook Pierre Felhmann’s Merit, to come in 28 seconds ahead.

On the second night of Leg 6, from Ft Lauderdale, USA to Southampton, a diagonal shroud on Rothmans’mast failed.  The crew acted quickly to prevent a dismasting and put into Georgetown, South Carolina, for repairs.  When they set out again, they had lost 280 nm on the leaders and it was the end of the possibility of the high budget Rothmans winning any leg.

Nowadays, life for Rothmans is a little less dramatic. Built by Paragon Composites, this 1989 Rob Humphrey’s 81’ Kevlar/Carbon/Epoxy fractional sloop had a full refit in 2011.  Her hull and topsides have been fully faired and painted and she has a new suit of sails. The boat is in original and fantastic condition and has been continuously maintained.  She is in her original racing trim and is sure to be competitive in the Legends Race 2018, which starts in Gothenburg on 21 June next year and finishes in The Hague. Her home port is Stockholm and she will sail under the flag of both Sweden and the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSSS).

To sail one of the great maxi-raters is a dream come true.  A bit like driving James Bond’s famous Aston Martin.  There might be more modern and even faster ones, but there is absolutely nothing like it.  And the Legends Race 2018 is once again a true and dignifying pinnacle for Rothmans and generations of Whitbread and Volvo Ocean Race fans,” says owner Ludwig Uhlmann (47) from Nuremberg in Germany.

About Rothmans
Rothmans
Designer: Rob Humphreys
LOA 24.5 m (80’)
Rig: Fractional sloop
Crew: 13 – 16

Results Whitbread Round the World Race 1989-90
Fourth overall (best result 2nd Leg 2)
Elapsed time 131.04.54.23
Skipper: Lawrie Smith

Neptune 1977-78

Neptune, a 59’ sloop who first raced in the WRTWR 1977-78, will compete in the Legends Race this summer, along other historic boats such as Flyer from 1981-82 and Copernicus from the first race in 1973-74. 

Neptune was a private entry in the WRTWR 1977-78 although she had some support from the French yachting magazine of the same name.  She was constructed in 1976 in Pouvreau, Vix en Vendée, France, under supervision from her designer naval architect André Mauric.  She was launched July 1977.  It was the second running of the Whitbread Round the World Race and Neptune finished in eighth place on corrected time, out of a fleet of 15.
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She originally sailed with a crew of 10, some of whom will join her original skipper, Bernard Deguy, on the boat for the Legends Race.  After the race, Neptune was sold and left for Guadeloupe, Caribbean, French West Indies. Under the name of Jupiter, she is was refitted into a charter boat, but fell victim to hurricane Hugo in 1989 when she broke free from her mooring and was damaged on the entire port side. The replacement of the damaged parts caused electrolysis because the aluminium replaced was not compatible with aluminium used during construction.

In 1995 a group of people passionate about this exceptional boat, decided to put her back afloat, refitting her as much as possible as she was originally.  Now Neptune has been able to race again in the Caribbean regattas such as the Heineken Regatta, Les Voiles de Saint Barth and the Triskell Cup in Guadeloupe.

She was reunited with Bernard Deguy, her original skipper, in a 40-year celebration on the Florence Arthaud dock at the Marina of Pointe à Pitre, on December 16, 2017. As plans were being made for the anniversary celebration, the idea of taking Neptune back to her original home port of Saint Malo, France, came to life with the intention of celebrating the 40-year anniversary of the Route de Rhum race, which starts from St Malo in November 2018 and finishes in Pointe-à-PitreGuadeloupe.  Neptune will be the historical link between Saint Malo and Guadeloupe and Bernard Deguy will once again be her skipper the race, along with some of her original crew as well as members of the Friends of Neptune and some guests.

But, before her voyage to St Malo, Neptune and her crew will sail to Gothenburg to take part in the Legends Race to The Hague, where she will be welcomed in style.

About Neptune
Rig: sloop
Designer: Andrė Mauric
LOA: 59’(17.9m)
Crew: 10

Results Whitbread Round the World Race 1977-78
8th overall
Elapsed time: 152.05.33.36 Corrected time 130:11:52:48
Skipper: Bernard Deguy/FRA

Legends Race 2018 Entries
Flyer 1977-78 (winner)
Tokio II 1993-94
Rothmans 1989-90
Silk Cut 1997-98
Amer Sports One 2001-02
Ericsson 4 2008-09 (winner)
Copernicus 1973-74
Neptune 1977-78

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[box rubrik="Flyer 1977-78"]

The late Cornelis van Rietschoten still holds the record for winning two Whitbread races in a row and the first of his two Flyer yachts, now beautifully restored, will compete in the Legends Race from Gothenburg to The Hague in June next year.

Flyer, a Sparkman & Stephens design was a successor to the Swan 65 Sayula II, winner of the first Whitbread in 1973-74.  She was 2’9 longer on the waterline and a ton lighter, and although she carried more sail area, she rated exactly the same as Kings Legend, her sloop-rigged Swan 65 rival in the 1977-78 race.  After winning the Whitbread 1977-78 race, and also winning the Spice Race, a race of 12,500 nm following the route of the old Dutch vessels sailing from Jakarta to Holland, Flyer was sold to the US, when she was seriously prepared for the third running of The Whitbread in 1981-82, under the nameAlaska Eagle.  

However, the conversion from ketch to sloop, remodeling her stern and removing the doghouse did not increase the boat’s speed and instead she finished in ninth position.  She was later donated to the Orange Coast College in California where, before being bought by the Dutch initiative ‘Revival of the Flyer’, she was used as a sail training boat for 30 years.

Restored in 2014 by her original builder, the Royal Huisman Shipyard, in Vollenhove, The Netherlands, she was fitted with two new Sparcraft masts and a sail wardrobe from North and her original doghouse was rebuilt. The only item retained from her days as Alaska Eagle is the fold-down canvas sprayhood.

At the beginning of September 2014, she was used to scatter the ashes of her former owner and skipper, Conny van Rietschoten, as he had asked, over the waters of the North Sea that he so loved.

Since her refit, she has logged 10,000 nm and made some epic journeys. She has followed the Volvo Ocean Race and cruised extensively in Scotland.  She will be in Alicante for the start of the next Volvo and will also be present in some of its stopovers around the world.    Flyer is an icon for the Whitbread /Volvo Ocean Race and to the world of sailing as a whole and she will give spectators a historic yacht racing experience at the start of the Volvo Ocean Race legs.  It is thrilling that she has entered the Legends Race 2018 and it will be quite a spectacle to see her cross the start line once again.

Specification Flyer 
LOA: 20.85m/68ft 4in
Displacement: 26.6 tons
Designed by: Sparkman & Stephens
Built by: Royal Huisman Shipyard
Home Port: Rotterdam

Copernicus 1973-74

 Polish yacht Copernicus, the smallest yacht to complete the very first Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973-74, will compete in the Legends Race starting on 21 June from Gothenburg and finishing in The Hague. 

Copernicus was built especially for the first Whitbread by the Gdanska Stocznia Jachtowa ‘Stogi’ boatyard in Poland, with a lot of help from the members of the Yacht Klub ‘Stal’ Gdynia on the Baltic Sea coast, who has owned her ever since.  She is their pride and joy and the club keeps her in good condition, doing their best not to interfere with the history of her construction or to alter her lines. The participation of Copernicus in the Legends Race will bring the club back to the world of ocean racing.

Copernicus raced the whole way around the world without drama or incident, except perhaps on the final leg. Nothing had been heard of the yacht since the start in Rio de Janeiro some weeks earlier and the Race Committee, who suspected her radio was out of action, put out a request to all shipping to report any sighting.

One month after the start from Rio, the little yacht and her crew of five were reported to be in excellent condition and still racing. Fourteen boats completed the course and Copernicus finished the grueling 27,000 nautical miles in 11th place. Her skipper was Olympic yachtsman, Zygfryd ‘Zyga’ Perlicki.

She is constructed on an oak frame with mahogany planking and a plywood deck with teak overlay and was the smallest boat to take part and then to finish the round the world race. The Polish were people with dreams, which came true although at the time, they lived in a country behind the Iron Curtain, with modest maritime traditions.

After finishing the race in 1974, Copernicus was used for training, cruising and expeditions and still regularly sails across the Baltic and North Sea. In 2006 she was awarded The Cruise of the Year trophy in Poland for a circumnavigation of Iceland. Lots of people who had worked on her over the years were able to sail her and feel that their hard work was worthwhile.

Times have changed since Copernicus raced around the world, and the people of Poland have changed too, but, even though there are now proper budgets, space-age materials, lots of electronics and mass global media coverage, the Volvo Ocean Race still remains the most difficult and toughest fully-crewed race around the world there is today.

About Copernicus
Rig: ketch
Designer: Liskiewicz & Rejewski
LOA: 46.5’(14.20)
Crew: 5

Results Whitbread Round the World Race 1973-74
11th overall
Elapsed time: 202.20.00 Corrected time 166.19.00
Skipper: Olympic yachtsman, Zygfryd ‘Zyga’ Perlicki

Legends Race 2018 Entries
Flyer 1977-78 (winner)
Tokio II 1993-94
Rothmans 1989-90
Silk Cut 1997-98
Amer Sports One 2001-02
Ericsson 4 2008-09 (winner)