1997–98 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||Field, RossRoss Field|
|Brunel Sunergy||Netherlands||Judel/Vrolijk||Heiner, RoyRoy Heiner|
|Chessie Racing||United States||Farr Yacht Design||Collins, GeorgeGeorge Collins|
|EF Education||Sweden||Farr Yacht Design||Guillou, ChristineChristine Guillou|
|EF Language||Sweden||Farr Yacht Design||Cayard, PaulPaul Cayard|
|Innovation Kvaerner||Norway||Farr Yacht Design||Frostad, KnutKnut Frostad|
|Merit Cup||Monaco||Farr Yacht Design||Dalton, GrantGrant Dalton|
|Silk Cut||United Kingdom||Farr Yacht Design||Smith, LawrieLawrie Smith|
|Swedish Match||Sweden||Farr Yacht Design||Krantz, GunnarGunnar Krantz|
|Toshiba||United States||Farr Yacht Design|| Conner, DennisDennis Conner
Standbridge, PaulPaul Standbridge
- Toshiba was originally skippered by Chris Dickson. Dickson was fired after Leg 1. Hans Bouscholte was also replaced by Roy Heiner after leg 1. America's Challenge syndicate withdrew prior to the start of leg two for financial reasons.
|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|