1997–1998 Whitbread Round the World Race
The 1997–98 Whitbread Round the World Race was the seventh edition of the around-the-world sailing event Whitbread Round the World Race. The Whitbread Round the World Race ran for the first time with all W60 boats and to a "points vs time" (instead of aggregate leg time) scoring system to enhance the value of the shorter race legs.
Also, in an effort to attract additional media coverage, the Whitbread race committee divided the race into no less than 9 legs for the 1997 to 1998 race, therefore increasing the number of ports visited.
Volvo had its first major association with the race in 1997 to 1998 by sponsoring the trophy (thus the race was officially known as the Whitbread 'round the world race for the Volvo Trophy) and some of the media coverage. For the first time running to W60-only specification, this year's Whitbread attracted just 10 entries—the fewest to date.
|America's Challenge||United States||Alan Andrews||Ross Field|
|Brunel Sunergy||Netherlands||Judel/Vrolijk||Roy Heiner|
|Chessie Racing||United States||Farr Yacht Design||George Collins|
|EF Education||Sweden||Farr Yacht Design||Christine Guillou|
|EF Language||Sweden||Farr Yacht Design||Paul Cayard|
|Innovation Kvaerner||Norway||Farr Yacht Design||Knut Frostad|
|Merit Cup||Monaco||Farr Yacht Design||Grant Dalton|
|Silk Cut||United Kingdom||Farr Yacht Design||Lawrie Smith|
|Swedish Match||Sweden||Farr Yacht Design||Gunnar Krantz|
|Toshiba||United States||Farr Yacht Design|| Dennis Conner|
Led by Neil Barth and skippered by Ross Field, the team bought Yamaha before building America’s Challenge. The team struggled for funding and withdrew from the race in Cape Town. The crew included a group of New Zealanders, including Jared Henderson, and the UK's Matthew Humphries.
EF Education and EF Language
EF Language was skippered by Paul Cayard and included a core crew from his AmericaOne challenge for the 2000 America's Cup. Lawrie Smith was originally intended to lead the boat, until transferring to Silk Cut. The crew included Steven Erickson and Magnus Olsson
Merit Cup was a Monaco flagged boat skippered by Grant Dalton. One of only two team's that built two boats, the crew included watch captain Kevin Shoebridge, Ian Stewart, Mike Sanderson, Jeremy Lomas, Dirk de Ridder, Ray Davies and Mike Quilter.
Led by Dennis Conner and Paul Standbridge, Toshiba was originally skippered by Chris Dickson but Dickson was fired after Leg 1. Other crew members included Ross MacDonald, Murray Ross, Chris Ward, Alan Smith and Kelvin Harrap.
The crew had 13 Whitbread and 28 America's Cup campaigns between them.
|Event||Start date||Start||Finish||Distance (nmi)|
|Leg 1||21 September 1997||Southampton||Cape Town||7,340|
|Leg 2||11 November 1997||Cape Town||Fremantle||4,600|
|Leg 3||13 December 1997||Fremantle||Sydney||2,250|
|Leg 4||4 January 1998||Sydney||Auckland||1,270|
|Leg 5||1 February 1998||Auckland||São Sebastião||6,670|
|Leg 6||14 March 1998||São Sebastião||Fort Lauderdale||4,750|
|Leg 7||19 April 1998||Fort Lauderdale||Baltimore||870|
|Leg 8||3 May 1998||Baltimore||La Rochelle||3,390|
|Leg 9||22 May 1998||La Rochelle||Southampton||450|
- "Whitbread 60 "Challenger" Whitbread Round the World Race | Miramar Sailing".
- Volvo Ocean Race: History 1997–1998 – Leg 2
- "16609 Text Pages_il.qxd" (PDF). Retrieved 10 July 2016.
- "A Whitbread wake-up call". Yachting. 1 October 1997 – via Google Books.
- Volvo Ocean Race: History 1997–1998