1989–1990 Whitbread Round the World Race

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Whitbread Round the World Race
Event Title
WinnerSteinlager 2

The 1989–90 Whitbread Round the World Race was run from Southampton to Southampton in 1989–90. It was run with several classes of yacht.

Steinlager 2 skippered by Peter Blake won the race easily. For the first time since 1981–82 (when the race comprised just four legs), the victor won every leg in their division (albeit closely chased by both Grant Dalton's Fisher & Paykel NZ and Pierre Fehlmann's Merit entries). The vast difference in speed and capability of the many different boats involved in the 1989 to 1990 race lead to the creation of a committee to examine the commission of a Whitbread class boat for use in future races. Many of the Maxi yachts in this year's race were nearly twice the size (LOA) of the smallest, and carried well over twice the sail area. The net result of this was that many of the smaller boats finished the longer legs more than ten days after the leg winner. In the overall results, the last finisher was some 52 days behind Blake's Steinlager 2 128-day aggregate time. In addition, the cost of the big yachts was becoming too expensive to fund - even for the well sponsored teams like Steinlager, Rothmans and Merit. Eventually, the new class would be called the Whitbread 60.

The race featured the first all-woman crew on Tracy Edwards' Maiden. Although in a much smaller boat than many of their male counterparts the women fared well—claiming two leg victories in Division D.[1] Edwards was named yachtsman of the year and appointed MBE. In 2018 a documentary has been made about the team's participation in the race.[2]


Race route
Event Start date Start Finish Distance (nmi) Winner
Leg 1 2 September 1989 United Kingdom Southampton Uruguay Punta del Este 5,938 Steinlager 2
Leg 2 28 October 1989 Uruguay Punta del Este Australia Fremantle 7,260 Steinlager 2
Leg 3 23 December 1989 Australia Fremantle New Zealand Auckland 3,272 Steinlager 2
Leg 4 4 February 1990 New Zealand Auckland Uruguay Punta del Este 6,255 Steinlager 2
Leg 5 17 March 1990 Uruguay Punta del Este United States Fort Lauderdale 5,475 Steinlager 2
Leg 6 5 May 1990 United States Fort Lauderdale United Kingdom Southampton 3,818 Steinlager 2


Pos Boat name Skipper Country Corrected time
1 Steinlager 2 Peter Blake  New Zealand 128d 9h
2 Fisher & Paykel NZ Grant Dalton  New Zealand 129d 21h
3 Merit Pierre Fehlmann   Switzerland 130d 10h
4 Rothmans Lawrie Smith  Great Britain 131d 4h
5 The Card Roger Nilson & Ann Lippens  Sweden 135d 7h
6 Charles Jourdan Alain Gabbay  France 136d 15h
7 Fortuna Extra Lights Javier de la Gaudera, Jan Santana & José Luis Doreste  Spain 137d 8h
8 Gatorade Giorgio Falck & Hervé Jan Preire Sicouin  Italy 138d 14h
9 Union Bank of Finland Ludde Ingvall  Finland 138d 16h
10 Belmont Finland II Harry Harkimo  Finland 139d 4h
11 Fazisi [ru] Alexi Grischenko, Skip Novak & Valeri Alekseyev  Soviet Union 139d
12 NCB Ireland Joe English  Ireland 139d 19h
13 Satquote British Defender Frank Esson & Colin Watkins  Great Britain 143d 12h
14 Equity & Law II Dirk Nauta  Netherlands 148d 23h
15 Liverpool Enterprise Bob Salmon  Great Britain 151d 4h
16 Creighton's Naturally John Chittenden  Great Britain 162d 6h
17 Esprit de Liberté Patrick Tabarly  France 164d 21h
18 Maiden Tracy Edwards  Great Britain 167d 3h
19 Schlüssel von Bremen Rolf Renken, Ham Müeller-Röhlok, Jochen Orgelmann, Wilhelm-Otto Beck & Peter Weidner  Germany 167d 19h
20 With Integrity Andy Coghill  Great Britain 170d 16h
21 La Poste Daniel Mallé  France 181d 22h
Rucanor Sport Bruno Dubois  Belgium DNF
Martela OF Markku Wiikeri  Finland DNF

Legend: DNF – Did not finish;

The boat Creighton's Naturally suffered a serious broach on leg 2, at about 3  am. Crew members Anthony (Tony) Philips and Bart van den Dwey were swept over board. They were both pulled back on deck. Van den Dwey successfully resuscitated, but, after three hours of trying, crewmembers were unable to revive Philips. A few days later, by radio agreement with relatives ashore, Philips was buried at sea.[3]

Martela OF lost its keel and capsized 350 nautical miles from the finish of leg 4. The unharmed crew was picked up from the overturned hull by Charles Jourdan and Merit. Union Bank of Finland also broke off the race to participate in the rescue.[4]


  1. ^ "Volvo Ocean Race 1989-90". Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  2. ^ Kylie Klein-Nixon (4 August 2019). "When Maiden bowled them over: Why we can never let up about women in sport". Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  3. ^ Volvo Ocean Race: History - Leg 2
  4. ^ Volvo Ocean Race: Legends Race 2018