1989–90 Whitbread Round the World Race
The 1989–90 Whitbread Round the World Race was run from Southampton to Southampton in 1989–90. It was run with several classes (for size of boat). This 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 three leg victories in class.
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 (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 expense 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 W60 - but its gestation would not be quick or lack controversy.
|Event||Start date||Start||Finish||Distance (nmi)||Winner|
|Leg 1||2 September 1989||Southampton||Punta del Este||5,938||Steinlager 2|
|Leg 2||28 October 1989||Punta del Este||Fremantle||7,260||Steinlager 2|
|Leg 3||23 December 1989||Fremantle||Auckland||3,272||Steinlager 2|
|Leg 4||4 February 1990||Auckland||Punta del Este||6,255||Steinlager 2|
|Leg 5||17 March 1990||Punta del Este||Fort Lauderdale||5,475||Steinlager 2|
|Leg 6||5 May 1990||Fort Lauderdale||Southampton||3,818||Steinlager 2|
Legend: DNF – Did not finish;
The boat Creighton's Naturally suffered a serious broach on leg 2, at about 3 in the morning. 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.