Marie Tabarly rewrote history last night, surpassing her famous father’s record by taking line honours in the Ocean Globe Race, and in the days ahead could potentially win the OGR overall.

‘We did it…We have won in real time… No one can beat us…This was always our aim,” said Marie Tabarly, rejoicing with her crew aboard her father Eric Tabarly’s yacht Pen Duick VI as they took line honours in the Ocean Globe Race.

The black-hulled, 73-foot Bermudan ketch, crossed the Royal Yacht Squadron finish line in Cowes, UK, late evening on 11 April, with almost a two-day lead and 250 miles ahead of nearest rival and former Whitbread winner L’Esprit d’équipe.

Tabarly (helming the 52-year-old yacht sailed by her father Éric in the 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race) finished in 12 knots of wind and strong tidal currents, enduring a ‘difficult docking’ at Trinity Landing.

Victory in the epic round-the-world race eluded iconic sailor Eric Tabarly, despite three attempts.

The French legend Pen Duick VI FR (14), skippered by the indomitable Marie Tabarly, has taken provisional line honours in the final leg of the inaugural McIntyre Ocean Globe Rac

The French legend Pen Duick VI FR (14), skippered by the indomitable Marie Tabarly, has taken provisional line honours in the final leg of the inaugural McIntyre Ocean Globe Race. Photo: Aïda Valceanu/ OGR2023

Coveted prize in sight

Don McIntyre, the race organiser, drew more cheers, by telling her: ‘There may be more. Pen Duick could also win the race on handicap. Your nearest rival, the French Swan 53 Triana, is some 1,400 miles behind and stuck in no wind. If she doesn’t finish within four days you will have won both elapsed and handicap honours.’

Pen Duick VI currently sits in second place on the Overall Race IRC leaderboard just 19 hours behind Triana FR (66). But Triana still has 1,320 miles until crossing the finish line she is now racing the clock. The forecast suggests light winds ahead which will slow her average speed. She must maintain an average speed of 4.9kt all the way to the finish to hold her IRC lead over Pen Duick VI. Any slower and it could allow Pen Duick VI to gain the coveted OGR Overall IRC Prize.

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Fourth on Leg 1 from Southampton to Cape Town, and 2nd into Auckland, Marie Tabarly and her 10 mixed crew, enjoyed a close race to Cape Horn against the then race leader, Translated 9, the Italian Swan 65 skippered by Marco Trombetti, rounding the Cape just a few hours apart. But then Translated 9 suffered a serious leak forcing her crew to pull into the Falklands to make repairs and ending their campaign to win the race.


Pen Duick dominated the final leg from Punta del Este back to Cowes, her crew recovering from a man-overboard incident at the start, to forge through the fleet. Marie and her crew escaped the worst of the Doldrums, slipped around the Azores High and rode a south westerly gale, surfing at 23 knots at times, to knock off a secession of 200-mile plus days across the Bay of Biscay and the western approaches. This stretched out a two-day advantage over their nearest rival, L’Esprit d’Equipe, skippered by Lionel Regnier.

Passing across the celebratory champagne, Don McIntyre was equally ecstatic: ‘Marie and her crew have achieved a dream and re-written history. Every entrant has a back story, but this one is simply Wow! Bravo Marie! You have been so inspirational in so many ways.’

Skipper Marie Tabarly

For the final leg Marie Tabarly’s strategy was “to go fast, fast, fast and we accelerate at the end”. Clearly a winning strategy! Photo: Tim Bishop/PPL

Tabarly spoke with equal passion. ‘There have been so many stand-out moments. I remember we were going fast in 55 knots of wind and there were dolphins jumping out of the waves around us. In 55 knots! Crazy. I remember racing very closely with Translated 9 and Maiden and being able to see them. Then all the buddy chats, four times a day over the radio. I’m going to miss that. There have been way too many amazing moments.”

Follow the race live on at the Ocean Globe Tracker.

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