History 1989-90



Southampton - Punta del Este - Fremantle - Auckland - Punta del Este - Fort Lauderdale - Southampton

Winner Division A:
Steinlager 2
Peter Blake / NZL
Elapsed time
Farr Maxi Ketch


Winner Division C:
Equity & Law II
Dirk Nauta / NED
Elapsed time
Judel/Vrolijk 63’ sloop
Winner Division D:
L’Esprit de Liberté
Patrick Tabarly / FRA
Elapsed time
Philippe Briand 58’ sloop
Winner Cruising Division:
Creighton’s Naturally
John Chittenden / GBR
Elapsed time
Peterson/Alan-Williams maxi sloop


  • The competition was divided into four level rating divisions and the handicap structure was scrapped.
  • A cruising division was run for the first and only time.
  • Steinlager 2 won every leg in the maxi division and was the winner overall.
  • It was the last race in which Peter Blake took part. He had raced in the first five races.
  • Tracy Edwards and her crew became the first all-female team to compete in the race onboard Maiden, the former Disque D’Or II.
  • The Duchess of York, who was then the wife of HRH Prince Andrew, christened Maiden.
  • Maiden won two of the three Southern Ocean legs in Division D.
  • The British military combined to enter the maxi yacht British Satquote Defender. It was the last time the British services had an entry in the race. HRH Prince Philip christened the yacht at London’s Tower Bridge.
  • Fazisi became the first entry from the USSR. Her co-skipper was American Skip Novak who had sailed in three previous races.
  • Fazisi was flown to the UK in an Antonov 124, at the time, the world’s biggest transport aircraft.
  • Alexei Grischenko, the co-skipper of Fazisi committed suicide during the first stopover in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
  • Yanne Gustafsson, a crewmember from The Card, was killed in Punta del Este in a motorbike accident.
  • Tony Philips was lost from Creighton’s Naturally during Leg 2.
  • Charles Jourdan collided with a whale on Leg 3.
  • The Card lost her mizzenmast when it became entangled with a spectator boat at the start of Leg 4. She continued the leg as a sloop.
  • The United States (Ft Lauderdale) hosted the race for the first time.
  •  Two boats did not complete the course.
  • Three were dismasted.
Leg 1
Leg 2
Leg 3
Leg 4
Leg 5
Leg 6
Southampton - Punta del Este
Punta del Este - Fremantle
Fremantle - Auckland
Auckland - Punta del Este
Punta del Este - Fort Lauderdale
Ft Lauderdale - Southampton
32,018 nm
23 boats


Steinlager 2
Steinlager 2
Steinlager 2
Steinlager 2
Steinlager 2
Steinlager 2

Leg 1

Southampton to Punta del Este

Twenty-three boats met on the start line for the fifth Whitbread, 17 of which were maxis. Although the race still applied time allowances, four divisions separated the entries and the Whitbread Trophies were now for the first boat to finish in each class, rather than the overall winner on corrected time.

Two yachts dominated the race. Both had extremely experienced skippers with a record of previous Whitbread races behind them. Steinlager 2, skippered by Peter Blake and Fisher & Paykel was skippered by Grant Dalton, Blake’s watch leader from the previous race.

Steinlager 2’s speeds were awesome and, assisted by helpful winds, Blake’s crew soon set a new record covering 343 miles in 24 hours. Fisher & Paykel arrived in Punta del Este without their mizzenmast after a backstay fitting failed. The crew had salvaged the wreckage and sailed on without telling anyone.

Steinlager 2 won Leg 1 in Division A, beating Merit by 12 hours and Fisher & Paykel by 30. The leg duration, anticipated to be 30 days, turned out to be a whole week less. Rothmans arrived fourth with a cracked deck. As the only competitor in Division C, Equity & Law II won her division, and L’Esprit de Liberté won Division D.

Alexei Grischenko, co-skipper Fazisi went missing during the stopover in Punta del Este. He had committed suicide. Another crew death was caused by a motorcycle accident: the victim was Janne Gustafsson from The Card.

Leg 2

Punta del Este to Fremantle

During the layover in Punta del Este, Rothmans skipper, Lawrie Smith two crew from NCB Ireland to bolster his team; the project manager of L’Esprit de Liberté ran off with £100,000 and the crew's passports; and the skipper of British Satquote Defender was sacked.

Within minutes of the start, the wind rose to 40 knots and the temperature dropped. As the fleet headed south on Great Circle route, Union Bank of Finland had two frightening broaches among ice, which caused her to sail more cautiously at night. The boats had radar, but not all icebergs were able to be located. The crews were nervous as they surfed at high speeds on the edge of control.

During a broach, one of the crew from The Card broke his arm in two places, while the bowman on Fortuna Extra Lights broke his collarbone when the spinnaker pole slammed him into the forestay.

On Creighton’s Naturally, during a violent broach Bart van den Dwey and Tony Phillips, were swept overboard. Both men were wearing lifejackets and equipped with flares and personal radio beacons, but the recovery still took more than 45 minutes. Van den Dwey was resuscitated, but Tony Phillips was buried at sea.

Spinnaker poles and booms, arms and legs, breakages were rife and it was only after the Kerguelen Islands that things began to quieten down, though not before Fortuna Extra Lights had created a new 24-hour record of 405 miles.

At the approach to the finish in Fremantle, only 22 nautical miles separated leading maxis, Steinlager 2, Rothmans, Merit and Fisher & Paykel. Steinlager 2 crossed the line first, 90 minutes in front. Rothmans and Merit staged a match-race for second place, Rothmans beating Merit by 28 seconds after 27 days of racing. A week later, Maiden crossed the line first in Division D, achieving the best result for a British boat in the Whitbread for 12 years.

Leg 3

Fremantle to Auckland

For the second time, Christmas was spent at sea and the fleet ploughed straight back into gale force conditions and heavy seas.

Beyond the Tasman Sea, the winds calmed and the leaderboard offered a new scenario with every position report. With 245 miles to the finish, nine miles separated the first three boats. Steinlager 2 led Fisher & Paykel by four miles, with Rothmans third and Merit just 11 miles behind. Charles Jourdan collided with a whale, leaving a three-metre gash in the hull. It was above the waterline so the French crew patched it up and carried on. Union Bank of Finland dismasted and reached Auckland under jury rig.

On the final approach to Auckland, Grant Dalton turned off the navigation lights of Fisher & Paykel after she rounded the North Cape. Meanwhile, onboard Steinlager 2, Blake tuned into the local radio channel to get some idea of the conditions around Auckland, a move that prompted a change of sail that gave Steinlager 2 a smooth passage through a ferocious 40-knot squall. Fisher & Paykel was still flying her spinnaker and lost time as the crew reconfigured, allowing their rivals to stretch their lead to a mile. Steinlager 2 enjoyed a rapturous welcome as she crossed the line less than six minutes ahead of Fisher & Paykel to win her third straight leg in Division A. Three days later Maiden crossed the line to win her second leg in Division D. Around 14,000 people gathered on the dockside to welcome Maiden, even though it was 0100.

Leg 4

Auckland to Punta del Este

Concerns over the congestion in Auckland at the start were realised when The Card’s mizzenmast became entangled with the rigging of one of the thousands of spectator boats and snapped. The team continued to sail the leg as a sloop.

Rucanor Sport retired from the leg and returned to Auckland after she collided with a whale and damaged her rudder. On Maiden Mikaela von Kuskull was knocked unconscious by the boom then Michelle Paret was hurled into the wheel by a massive wave. Claire Russell, the doctor, strapped Paret into a bunk and kept her there for four days.

Steinlager 2 and Fisher & Paykel rounded Cape Horn just five miles apart. A few days later, off the coast of Argentina Martela OF capsized when her keel fell off. The crew was rescued unscathed from the upturned hull by Merit and Charles Jourdan. The boat was later salvaged.

Once more, Steinlager 2 tipped over the line first in Division A, this time by 21 minutes. The incapacity of Paret on Maiden cost the all-female crew the overall lead in Division D and by the time she arrived in Punta in third place, L’Esprit de Libertéhad posted a 17-hour advantage.

Leg 5

Punta del Este to Fort Lauderdale

Leaving Punta del Este, Rothman’s took a more easterly course and led for much of the way to the Doldrums, but her lead evaporated when an unusual weather system gave boats to the west of Rothmans a surge of speed, Steinlager 2 and Fisher & Paykel included.

For the rest of the leg, it was a two-boat show with Steinlager 2 making it five Division A leg victories in five with a 34-minute win over Fisher & Paykel. A navigational error on Maiden saw her fall behind Rucanor Sport and L’Esprit de Liberté and she achieved a disappointing fourth place in Division D.

During the 30-day stopover a conference for competitors, designers, yachting officials, sponsors and journalists was held where discussions began on the feasibility and desire for a new class of racing yacht.

Leg 6

Fort Lauderdale to Southampton

The final leg was only 12 hours old when Gatorade reported a broken spreader, which forced her into Jacksonville to make repairs. A few hours later, Rothmans headed Georgetown, calling on two Lear jets to fly in parts to fix a broken shroud.

On day four, a chain plate holding the main mast and mizzen shroud failed onboard Steinlager 2, forcing helmsman Brad Butterworth to crash gybe to save the rig. But skipper Peter Blake was determined to continue even though the mast was in danger of coming down and his crew spent all night working on a new fitting that would keep them going at full speed to the finish.

Maiden also ran into difficulty, colliding with a whale and then being spun 360 degrees by a waterspout, while the top part of Satquote British Defender’s mast fell off. For good measure, NCB Ireland broke a running backstay and the headboard car onboard Merit failed.

Four days from the finish, the crews from Steinlager 2 and Fisher & Paykel could see each other and just before Land’s End, the match racing between them began. Off the Lizard, they were within three boat lengths of each other, the lead held by Steinlager 2.

Fisher & Paykel arrived in Southampton 36 minutes behind Steinlager 2. Six wins in six legs gave Steinlager 2 the Division A Whitbread Trophy, Blake’s first win in five attempts on the race.

As Maiden neared land, she was constantly overflown. The culmination was a massive welcome, virtually national, at Southampton.

Peter Blake was awarded an OBE for his sailing endeavours and bowed out of the Whitbread Race. Tracy Edwards too was recognised with an MBE for her remarkable achievements in finishing second in Division D. Only two boats, Martela OF and Rucanor Sport failed to complete the course.

Crews 1989-90

Sailor by team

Stainlager 2

Peter Blake, Brad Butterworth, Godfrey Cray, Ross Field, Graham Fleury, Barry McKay, Mark Orams, Dean Phipps, Mike Quilter, Tony Rae, Kevin Shoebridge, Cole Sheehan, Glen Sowry, Craig Watson, Donald Wright

Fisher & Paykel

Keith Chapman, Shaun Connolly, Grant Dalton, Ed Danby, Kenneth Davies, Eric Dewy, Ross Halcrow, Alain Havelange, Louis Jones, John Jourdane, Jaime Marina, Gary Paykel, Allan Prior, Alec Rhys Murray, Ross Jeffrey, Scott Matthew Smith, Grant Spanhake, Andrew Taylor, Steve Trevurza, James Wadson, Thomas Warren, Graeme Woodroffe


Maurice Adatto, Alwin Arnold, Yuan Berger, Nicholas Berthoud, Luca Bontempelli, Guy Craps, Raymond Dardel, André Darmon, Marc Decrey, Etienne Delacretaz, Pierre Fehlmann, Manuel Fischler, Vincent Gillioz, Jean-Francois Guillet, Richard Jakaus, André Loepfe, Philippe Maleszewski, Olivier Marthe, Pierre Michetti, Michel Piazzini, Gerald Rogivue, Phillippe Schiller, Dominique Wavre, Jean-Pierre Zeigert


John Banfield, Michael Bastenie, Neil Cheston, Vincent Geake, Neil Graham, John Harris, Henri Hiddes, Malcolm Lee, Gordon Maguire, Kym Morton, Charles Russell Pickthall, Dave Powys, Lawrie Smith, Paul Standbridge, Barrie Thomas, Mark Willett

The Card

Stefan Abrahamsson, David Allen, Bobo Almquist, Chris Barker, Leif Bergstrom, Jim Close, Etienne Giroire, Stellan Gross, Henrik Gummerus, Janne Gustafsson, John Harris, Carl Hennix, Peter Klock, Gunnar Krantz, Claus Landmark, Borje Larsson, Lage Larsson, Eero Lehtinen, Peter Metcalfe, Roger Nilson, Goran Olsson, Magnus Olsson, Pelle Petterson, Spencer Salem, Johan Salén, Lars Sjogren, Rick Tomlinson, Richard Van Vereen, Jacques Vincent, Stefan Winberg

Charles Jourdan

Paul Ayasse, Brice Berthier, Bill Biewanga, Thierry Brault, Michèle Buzzi, Sandro Buzzi, François Carpente, Pierre Collet, Max Couteau, Steven Crighton-Boulter, Jay Crum, Frederic Dahirel, Yvon Daniel, Gael Le Maignan de Kerangat, Jacques Delorme, Michel Desjoyeaux, Herve Dispa, Romuald Favraud, Alain Gabbay, Marc Guillemot, Gabriel Guilly, Luc Heymans, Yves Le Cornec, André Mechelynck, David Parish, Jacques Saada, Mario Zimmerman, Florence Arthaud

Fortuna Extra Lights

Guillermo Altadill, Alvaro Basterra, Jordi Blanch, Iñaki Castañer, Méndez Crusat, Javier de la Gándara, Jordi Domenech, José Doreste, Francisco Fernández, Juan Fernández, Gabriel López, Pelayo López de Merlo, Héctor López, Piqueras Miguel, López Piqueras, Fernando Muñoz, Strempel Portillo, Quino Quiroga, Jan Santana, Rafael Tibau, Joan Vila


Anabella Bini, Augusto Blasimme, Richard Brisius, Paolo Caputo, Franco Cattai, Maurizio Cocco, Laurent Cordelle, Daniele De Grassi, Beppe Dessi, Marco Diena, Corrado Di Majo, Giorgio Falck, Giovanni Falck, Massimo Fossati, Richard Jakaus, Herve Jan, Stefano Maida, Guido Maisto, Jacopo Marchi, Gian Milone, Giovanni Nustrini, Marco Profili, Andrea Proto, Luca Repetto, Paolo Rizzi, Pierre Sicouri, Hans Sluiman, Giovanni Verbini

Union Bank of Finland

Par Backstrom, John Blassar, Tom Borenius, Lars Fellman, Morris Fleege, Ludde Ingvall, Tom Jungell, Torsti Lammi, Henrik Langhoff, Henrik Lundberg, Markos Mannstrom, Sten-Erik Molander, Markus Mustelin, Ilpo Nikkari, Jussi Rantanen, Markku Salovaara, Henrik Tenstrom, Ville Valtonen, Kim Weber, Kari Wilen, Jan Winquist, Henrik Wolontis

Belmont Finland

Gian Ahluwalia, Edwin Askew, Dan Backlund, Tony Brookes, Henry Brummer, Karlo Brummer, Claes Dahlberg, Harry Harkimo, Roy Harkimo, Vesa Kaipanen, Jere Keurulainen, Anders Lilius, Carl Lindfors, Halvard Mabire, John Osborne, Franck Proffit, Harri Saksi, Tom Soderholm, Philippe Steinmann, Henrik Thelen, Kenneth Thelen, Alar Volmer, Joakim Wilenius, Hamish Willcox, John Winquist

NCB Ireland

Guy Baron, Phil Barrett, Killian Bushe, Gerry Byrne, Joe English, Richard Gibson, Terry Gould, Raymond Gumley, Graeme Handley, Larry Keating, Jonathan Le Bon, Tom Macsweeney, Robert McCarthy, Robbie Naismith, Patrick O'Brien, Arthur Radford, Toby Richardson, Paul Salmon, John Smullen, Torsten Worre-Sorenson, Kieran Tarbett, Peter Warren

British Satquote Defender

Stuart Alexander, Paul Andersen, John Bartlett, Nicholas Bate, Colin Berry, John Best, Andrew Bristow, Michael Broughton, Latimer Clark, Frank Esson, Amanda Gallow, John Giblett, Serge Guilhamou, Leslie Hardy, Kenneth Harper, Jan Hoe, Timothy Morris, Richard Nicolson, Justin Packshaw, William Pearson, Garfield Smith, Mark Stevens, Paul Taplin, Mark Turner, Dietrich von Boetticher, Colin Watkins

Liverpool Enterprise

Michael Blair, Michael Bradbury, Maarten Brakman, Ian Bullivant, Ivan Bunner, Brent Devenport, Andrew Dibsdall, James Fagan, Nicholas Farrimond, Paul Green, Ian Hartless, Mick Harvey, Mark Hollier, Edgar Holmes, Andrew Kidd, Edmundo López, Jim Lutz, David McLoughlin, David Murden, Sjerp Noorda (Jnr), Jeremy Parker, Nicholas Parker, Nicholas Payne, Andrew Pickett, Abel Ram, Philip Riley, Sam Roberts, Michael Rowe, Bob Salmon, James Sanford, David Sansom, James Schwerdt, David Steele, Christopher Tibbs, Nigel Ward, Richard Wooders, Steven Yates, Alan Young

Martela OF

Jan Blechineberg, Caj-Otso Bremer, Jari Bremer, Arttu Brummer, Didier Gainette, Fridolf Hanson, Timo Huttunen, Richard Jakaus, Berndt Johansson, Eero Kairamo, Erkki Kairamo, Paavo Korpikuusi, Marti Nukarki, Esko Rechardt, Kalle Saksela, Mika Saksela, Ari Toroi, David White, Markku Wiikeri, Benedict Wrede

Equity & Law II

Alexander Geelen, Olivier Kerkhofs, Rutger Lokin, Gideon Messink, Dirk Nauta, Paul Newall, Dick Pasker, Guy Schelkens, Peter Tans, Bart van Miert, Marcel van Triest, Edwin Visser

L'Esprit de Liberté

Laurent Bregeon, Robert Bregeon, João Cabeçadas, Patrice Foillard, Benoit Hebert, Enrique Irveta, Yves Le Bouvier, Jean Le Huerou-Kerisel, Frederic Pichonnat, Thierry Rodrigues, Patrick Tabarly, Pierre Tocny, Nigel Tuttle


Sally Creaser, Sarah Davies, Tracy Edwards, Angela Farrell, Joanna Gooding, Nancy Hill, Jeni Mundy, Michele Paret, Dawn Riley, Claire Russell, Amanda Swan, Tanja Visser, Mikaela von Kuskull

Schlüssel von Bremen

Wilhelm-Otto Beck, Peter Behncke, Andreas Beilken, Volkhard Berg, Jens Bergmann, Harald Bollen, Ralf Brauner, Arnt Bruhns, Carsten Burfeind, Jens Dammeyer, Karl Dehler, Berend Erling, Klaus Feldmann, Heinz Glahr, Christian Goecke, Martin Guldner, Fridtjof Gunkel, Christoph Hartogs, Martin Hehnn, Roger Heidmann, Harald Hennig, Andreas Hestermann, Martin Hoetzel, Kai-Uwe Hollweg, Dietrich Kirchner, Bernd Klatte, Nicolas Koetschau, Arno Kronenberg, Rolf Luecke, Fredy Mahlstedt, Kirk Mandt, Michael Matthiesen, Torsten Messer Karl-Eckart, Michael Reiner, Moritz Jorg Müller, Stefan Müller, Claus Müller-Röhlck, Harm Müller-Röhlck, Jens Nickel, Jorg-Peter Ohmstedt, Jochen Orgellmann, Christian Paschen Helmut, Paul Rainer Persch, Karl Puetz, Herbert Putz, Sven Rauschning, Rolf Renken, Roland Rupp, Wolf-Dietfried Schiel, Klaus Schneider, Rasmus Schwandt, Joachim Seeling, Hendrick Stahl, Wolfgang Streit, Ulf Vagt, Peter Weidner, Frank Wulfken

La Poste

Daniel Cadene, Jean-Michel Foxonet, Michel Guillot, Jacques Kermoal, Pascal Lassus, Daniel Mallé, Jean Perraud, Serge Ricard

Rucanor Sport

Olivier Bardo, Luc Bartissol, Kees de Nijs, Bruno Dubois, Jean Gosswiller, Michel Marie, Herve Perrin, Albert Pierrard, David Saeys, Andrew Smith, Lionel Van Der Houwen

Creighton's Naturally

David Alan Williams, Grahame Aldous, Anthony Allen, Elizabeth Allen, Robert Andrews, Alick Armstrong, Colin Bethell, John Casey, Joanne Chittenden, John Chittenden, Sally Clark, Alan Coad, David Collard, Richard Collard, Ian Collison, Valerie Cunningham, Maurice Demspey, Susan Devine, Michael Eckstein, Philip Eckstein, John Farmer, Eric Ferguson, Neville Flint, Kenneth Gale, Sarah-Jane Hall, Kristin Harris, Robin Henderson, Michael Hope, Andrew Irons, Kester Keighley, Simon King, James Lavery, Corin Mackenzie, Marjorie Mann, Malcolm McEwen, Barry Mercer, Julian Miles, Simon Miles, Graham Moody, Martin Moody, Julian Morris, Vernon Morris, Christopher Murdoch, Anthony Phillips, Tony Pink, Graham Robinson, Dennis Skillicorn, David Sowry, David Townsend, Bart van Den Dwey, Roger Vanstone, David Vernon, Kate Whowell

With Integrity

Julian Clegg, Andrew Coghill, Pauline Duart, Paul Farr, Jonathan Fisher, Mark Fisher, Jason Freeborn, Paul Hailstone, Paul Hindmarch, Matt Humphries, Dieter Janssens, Elizabeth Jones, Hardley Lewin, Fiona McCorkindale, Robert Morris, Anthony Moss, Christine Murphy, Christopher Nichol, Deidre O'Callaghan, Enda O'Coineen, Sebastian Piesse, Craig Rook, Euan Ross, Dominic Ryan-Kidd, Kim Sanders-Fisher, Gillian Upchurch, Marina Valcke, Robrecht Van Dyke, Marie Walsh, Paul West, William Bridel