History 1973-74



Portsmouth - Cape Town - Sydney - Rio de Janeiro - Portsmouth

Ramón Carlin/MEX
Elapsed time
Corrected time
Sparkman & Stephens Swan 65


  • The first Whitbread Round the World Race started on 8 September 1973 on a fine, mild Saturday morning in Portmsouth.
  • A total of 324 sailors took part, among 19 competing teams.
  • The start gun was fired by Sir Alec Rose, who five years earlier (1967-68) had sailed round the world singlehanded, stopping only twice.
  • The race was run on corrected time.
  • Leg 4 was a pursuit race to ensure the fleet crossed the finish together.
  • The winner’s trophy was presented by Admiral of the RNSA, HRH Prince Philip to Ramón Carlin.
  • Three lives were lost:
  • Bernie Hosking/Great Britain II/Chay Blyth on Leg 2
    Paul Waterhouse/Tauranga/Eric Pascoli on Leg 2
    Dominique Guillet/33 Export/co-skipper on Leg 2
  • Five boats did not complete the course.
  • Three yachts were dismasted (Pen Duick IV twice, Great Britain II, Otago)
Podium positions (on corrected time)
Sayula II (133:13:00)
Adventure (135:08:00)
Grand Louis (138:15:00)


Leg 1
Leg 2
Leg 3
Leg 4
Portsmouth - Cape Town
Cape Town - Sydney
Sydney - Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro - Portsmouth
27,000 nm
19 boats


Sayula II


Leg 1

Portsmouth to Cape Town

The reality of offshore sailing’s dangers became apparent early on when Great Britain II was hit at night by a ferocious squall just a few days out from Portsmouth. Bernie Hosking was thrown overboard, but after a frenzied search, his silhouette was picked out in beam of the searchlight. The seas were cold and rough, but he was pulled back on deck by the crew and given a ‘hot’, rather than a ‘stiff’ drink. There was no brandy to administer since skipper Chay Blyth was operating a dry boat, but that was to change in subsequent legs.

Eric Tabarly’s Pen Duick VI, became the first boat to suffer a dismasting in the Whitbread Race. There was no possibility of repairs so a jury rig was built and the crew headed to Rio de Janeiro, some 1,200 miles to the southeast. By the time they arrived, a new spar had arrived from France and after it was fitted Pen Duick VI set off across the Atlantic once more, arriving two days before the restart from Cape Town.

Despite the lack of accurate tracking software, it was clear that Burton Cutter was a class apart in the first leg. Williams’ crew was the first to cross the finish line in Cape Town, taking just over six weeks to complete the leg, but fell to sixth on corrected time.  It was the Royal Navy’s Adventure skippered by Patrick Bryans who finished just over 24 hours later who won overall.  In second place was Adventure’s main rival Sayula II, whom she beat by more than three days on corrected time. 

Leg 2

Cape Town to Sydney

If the first leg was seen as a bit of a blast, the second quickly turned into a reality check as the fleet was battered as soon as they reached the southern ocean.

Burton Cutter started to break up and was forced into Port Elizabeth for repairs.  The stringers and welding work were coming apart from the hull while the crew, which included Peter Blake, pumped to keep her afloat. The yacht ran off to Port Elizabeth where repairs were put in hand.  They cruised to Rio and re-joined the race for Leg 4.

Paul Waterhouse had gone below on Tauranga and as he came back up Tauranga broached violently. The spinnaker boom broke at the mast end causing it to thrash around on the clew of the sail. He rushed forward to control the sails and retrieve what was left of the boom, but as he went, the boat changed direction once more and the sail suddenly took off. The sheets went taut under Waterhouse and threw him in the air, dumping him back on deck and then overboard.

The crew searched for almost four hours without success. Since he made no effort to grab a lifeline when he came down, it is likely Waterhouse was unconscious when he went overboard and would have drowned immediately.

Three days later, as the fleet battled against gales and heavy seas 350 miles west of the Kerguelen Islands, 33 Export skippers Dominique Guillet and Jean-Pierre Millet decided to replace the foresail with a smaller one. During the manoeuvre, both were hit by a breaking wave, which slammed the boat over to starboard. Guillet was missing.

Thirty minutes were spent looking for him, but deteriorating conditions forced Millet to abandon the search to preserve the safety of boat and crew. They withdrew from the race, the crew traumatised by Guillet’s death.

Adventure suffered problems with her rudder, depriving her crew of a second leg victory, and Great Britain II lost her mizzenmast. Otago also lost the top section of her mizzenmast.

Sayula’s fifth place across the finish in Sydney resulted in a win for the leg and an aggregate first on the two legs so far.  Quite different boats were in the frame at this time, with Grand Louis in second beating Kriter by five hours on corrected time. 

Leg 3

Sydney to Rio de Janeiro

Within a few miles of leaving Sydney on Leg 3, Pen Duick VI was dismasted for the second time in the race.

Also for the second time, Bernie Hocking disappeared overboard Great Britain II. This time, with winds blowing force 5-6, the crew did not recover him despite a search that lasted more than two hours.

Blyth and his crew expressed their loss by sailing the boat hard and fast to Rio, taking line honours for the first time in the race.

The focal point of the leg was always going to be Cape Horn. The most famous landmark of all filled many crews with dread. In 1973, the number of sporting yachts that had survived this rounding numbered less than 10. That number would be more than doubled when the Whitbread fleet passed through.

At Cape Horn, HMS Endurance was standing by and a wad of a blank round fired as a salute to their colleagues pierced Adventure’s headsail.

The ride to Cape Horn was not the downwind slide many had expected – though there were sightings of 150-metre tall icebergs. With Cape Horn behind them, the fleet turned north towards the warmth of Rio de Janeiro. Great Britain II was the first to finish, followed by Second Life and Sayula II.

Leg 4

Rio de Janeiro to Portsmouth

The start on the last leg had been staggered so the larger boats started later than the smaller ones. In theory, this would ensure the fleet finished together. To win the overall race, the British navy entry Adventure had to beat its Mexican rival Sayula II by three and a half days.

With 1,600 miles to go to Portsmouth, Adventure was becalmed for six hours, but then began to make progress in the right direction. She made good use of local knowledge. Off the Isle of Wight, she was again nearly becalmed and this time in a foul tide, so the crew dropped anchor with only 37 miles to go to the finish. Then some wind south of the Island was found and, in the darkness, Adventure crossed the finish line in third place, giving her the overall runner-up prize. Sayula II arrived in fourth place to take the first Whitbread Trophy title.

Five days earlier Great Britain II had claimed line honours, completing the course in 144 days - a record for a round-the-world passage at that time. Realising that the handicap system did not favour Great Britain II for overall victory, Chay Blyth’s aim had been to win line honours for each leg. On three of the four legs, she was the fastest boat and on corrected time she finished sixth.




Crews 1973-74

Sailor by team

Sayula II

David Bowen, Enrique Carlín, Fransisco Carlín, Paquita Carlín, Ramón Carlín, Ray Conrady, Roberto Cubas, Butch Dalrymple-Smith, John Hutchinson, Keith Lorence, Bob Martin, Adolfo Orinday, Lawrence Wale Tjerk M. Romke de Vries


CEA C. Abrahams, CPO M. Bird, Lt D. Budge, Lt A. Bolingbroke, Lt Cdr C.P.E. Brown, Lt Cdr J.P.G. Bryans, Ch Tech. P.N. Chowns, Sub Lt R.A.G. Clare, CPO M. Forrest, Lt Cdr S. Gray, Lt A. Higham, CPO H.J. Hyland, Lt Cdr A.A.M. Johnstone, Sub Lt R.J. Kingsnorth, Lt Cdr T. Laycock, LS P.J. Long, Cdr M. K. Matthews, CPO R. Mullender, Lt A.W. Netherclift, Sgt G. Norman, Lt Cdr F.S. Owens, Surg Lt S. Ormerod, CPO W.E. Porter, CEA M. Rose, MEA T.J. Sales, Cdr C.F. Seal, Lt M.C. Shirley, Lt Cdr M. Skene, LA D. Thompson, Lt R.A.S. Turner, PO M.J. Trotter, Sub Lt H. Trotter, Capt G.M.F. Vallings, Lt S. Van der Byl, Lt C.F.F. Watkins, Capt J.H. Wiltshire, Lt P. Wykeham-Martin, Inst Lt K. Richardson  

Grand Louis

Gerard Beck, Gilles Berthelin, Bénédicte Lunven, Bruno Lunven, Löic Caradec, Jean-Michel Carpentier, Patrice Carpentier, Patrick Elies, Philippe Facque, Pieter Rens, Francois Thepaut, Franck van Beuningen, Michel Vanek, André Viant, Françoise Viant, Jean-Michel Viant, Sylvie Viant


Michael Austin, Philippe Bayle, Alain Benech, Pierre Bonnet, Armand Broyelles, Joel Charpentier, Georges Commarmond, Alain D'Auzac, Bernard Deguy, Jean-Louis Duboc, Michel Girard, Alain Gliksman, Ariane Grout, Jack Grout, Hughes Lallement, Bernard Lauvray, Pierre Lenormand, Michel Malinovsky, Jean-Claude Montesinos, F. A. de la Noe, Patrice Quesnel, Didier Roquet, Guy Schwartz, Gilles Vaton, Olivier Stern-Veyrin 


Luigi Arzenati, Piero Bianchessi, Conrad Burge, Pierre Dagreves, Michel Drouart, Giorgio Falck, Luciano Ladavas, Nino Pecorari, Franco Pecorari, Giorgio Pecorari, Toio Piegieggoli, Jerome Poncet, Gigi Vaicava, Giovanni Verbini

Great Britain II

Pete Bates, Eric Blunn, Chay Blyth, Brian Daniels, Alec Honey, Eddie Hope, Bernard Hosking, Len Price, John Rist, Len Robertson, Mike Thompson, Alan Toones,

Second Life

Roddy Ainslie, Geoffrey Bush, Charles I. Butterworth, Richard Carlyle, Wendy Hinds, Rob James, Timothy A. Kershaw, Capt. A. W. King-Harman, Dr. Robin Leach, Christopher A. J., Lord W. B. Moulsdale, Frank Sheehan, John Stapleton, Alan Taphouse, John R. Whitfield


Paolo Bertoldi, Maurizio Curci, Paolo Grazioli, Constance Imbert, Alessandro Lojacono, Fransesco Longanesi Cattani, Carla Malingri, Franco Malingri, Doi Malingri di Bagnolo, Paolo Mascheroni, Carlo Mauri, Michel Meda, Christina Monti, Alberto Passi, Riccardo Tosti

British Soldier

Lt. P.R.G. Ash, Cpl A. C. Badrick, Maj R.G. Barton, WO II J.A. Bullock, Capt. G.I. Bye, Maj A.N. Carlier, Cpl. M.E. Cox, Maj J.A. Cuthill, Maj C. Davies, Maj J.T. Day, S/Sgt. J. Doherty, Capt D.M. Gill, L Cpl C. Edge, Maj L.D. Edinger, Capt. A.W.D. Edsor, Maj S.A. Edwards, Capt. D.T.I. Glyn Owen, S/Sgt. P.J.C. Green, F.O. M.J. Hayman, Lt R.A. Hill, L Cpl A.M. Hogton, Maj R.J. Knox, L Cpl J.R. Le Maitre, S/Sgt D.A. Leslie, Capt M.C. Lewin Harris, Lt R.J. Little, Cpl G.S. Marshall, Lt Col J. Myatt, S/Sgt P.D. Phillips, Maj G.C. Philp, Maj J.J.J. Phipps Flight, Lt T.W. Rimmer, WO II J.B. Rosson, Maj R.S.P. Tamlyn, Capt A.E. Truluck, Cpl P. Waterhouse, Sq Ldr R.K. Webster, Capt A.G. Whitfield


LouisGeorge Baitier, Serge Bays, Paolo Chamaz, John Dean, Patrice Ducourtioux, Jean-Noel Durand, Pascal Emeriau, Marco Galimberti, Robert Girardin, Edoardo Guzzetti, Yves Olivaux, Erik Pascoli, Zara Pascoli, Guy Piazzini, Yvon Redier, Vittorio Reggazola, Michel Ribet, Thierry Vanier, Paul Waterhouse


Bogdan Bogdzinski, Zygfryd Perlicki, Zbigniew Puchalski, Mackiewicz Ryszard, Bronislaw Tarnacki 

33 Export

Peter Addeson, Tom Addeson, Paul Audoire, Patrick Fierre, Dominique Guillet, Richard Heberling, Bruno La Salle, Jose Le Deliou, Daniel Millet, Jean-Pierre Millet, Roch Pescadere, Jacques Redier, Yvon Redier, Olivier Stern-Veyrin, Philipe Viellescase


Bohdan Berggrun, Zygmunt Choren, Witold Ciecholewski, Stanislaw Jakubczyk, Kazimierz Kurzydlo, Adam Michel, Iwona Pienkawa, Zdzislaw Pienkawa, Edwin Trzos

Peter von Danzig

Hein Anhold, Uli Blank, Gert Findel, Frederick Heineman, Maximilian Heinemann, Jan Peter, Jamaer Wilfried, Kollex Reinhard, Laucht Volker, Mackeprang Achim, Meyer Jürgen, Meyer Aki Müller-Deile, Tomas H. Rüter, Rudiger Steinbeck, Thomas Weber

Pen Duick VI

Michel Barré, François Bessieres, Charles Bonnay, Jean-Philippe Chaboud, Antoine Croyere, Jean-Pierre Dagues, Arnaud Dalhenx, Bernard Deguy, Olivier de Kersauson, Mickaël le Berre, Pierre Leboutet, Patrice Madillac, Patrick Meulemeester, Pierre Monsaingeon, Marc Pajot, Patrick Phelipon, Bernard Rubenstein, Éric Tabarly, Patrick Tabarly, Thierry Vanier 

Burton Cutter

David Alan Williams, Sid Berkeley, Peter Blake, Barry Buchanan, Marco Chiara, Andrew Culley, Chris Edwards, Bill Elgie, Colin Forbes, Tom W. Moore, Jacques Redon, Paul Rosser, Nick Rowe, Alan Smith, John Tanner, Ricardo Vilarosa, Leslie Williams


M. Avery, W. J. Damerell, John Goodwin, Wilhelm Griitter, Peter Koehurst, Gerhard Last, Charles Smith, Yvonne van der Byl


Christian Aguesseau, Colin Berry, Pierre Chassin, Graeme Corlett, David Dean

Pen Duick III

Yves Allemant, M. C. Cruz, M. Cuiklinski, Nicola Egger, Jean-Claude Grigaux, J. Nebout, J. Pommaret, E. Riviere