Mark Sinclair – Skipper

Mark Sinclair – GGR’s ‘Captain Coconut’

Mark Sinclair has always been passionate about sailing and the sea. In 1968, at the age of 10, he started sailing, at the time when Sir Robin Knox-Johnston departed to become the first to complete a non-stop solo circumnavigation. In 1984, Mark completed two solo crossings of the Tasman Sea and gained his Yacht Master Ocean Certificate. His professional background includes hydrographic surveying of remote areas in ships, small boats and aircraft. He served 20-years in the Royal Australian Navy, commanding three ships and navigating four, at the time when celestial navigation by sextant was still the primary means of offshore navigation. He retired from the RAN as a Commander in 1996. 

In 2018, Mark sold his S&S 41 and purchased Coconut, a Lello 34 class yacht, for the Golden Globe Race. He took part in both the 2018 and 2022 editions of the GGR. He has a huge following of global fans as ‘Captain Coconut’ and is a real people person!

“Participating in the 2018 Golden Globe Race was a fantastic experience which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968 / 1969.

Now I am excited to join with Don McIntyre to lead a team onboard EXPLORER in the 2023 Ocean Globe Race celebrating the 50th anniversary of the inaugural fully crewed 1973 Whitbread around the world race!

Skippering a Swan 57 in the Southern Ocean is a dream come true and the OGR  will provide another incredible opportunity to relive history, and maybe even create some more.

We will follow the same route as the original Clipper ships and navigate in the same way as those great mariners, using sextant, chronometer, astronomical tables, a pencil and paper charts. We will be back to basics, using the sun, moon, planets and stars, without GPS and modern electronics and only radios for communication. We use satellites for safety only as we revive the golden age of sailing, when small teams of highly motivated sailors from the average sailing fraternity competed in global world racing under sail.

This is such a great adventure and being immersed in the 2023 Ocean Globe Race will be a true test of navigational and seamanship skills for all onboard. We will be tested, and I look forward to developing the camaraderie of a tightly knit crew, sharing this unique life-defining experience on the high seas with like-minded individuals. Lets go!!”

Aïda Valceanu – Team Manager

Aida towing two Class Mini 6.50s out to the start of the Mini Transat

After having followed the first and second edition of the Golden Globe Race, it is quite natural that I became passionate about the Ocean Globe Race, which not only revives the mythical Whitbread in the conditions of the time, but above all, allows maritime adventure enthusiasts who are not professional crews to sail around the world!

The budgets are reasonable, the dream is there, so with my experience as manager of One and All (the boat of the Estonian racer Uku Randmaa who finished on the podium during the GGR 2018), I’m moving up a gear – bigger boat, bigger team and beware, I could bring EXPLORER on the podium too!

Marco Ausderau – Boat Manager

Working with Don on his Mini TREKKA Globe 580 solo Transat last year and then during the GGR Village in Les Sables before the start was quite special.

Now managing logistics and boat prep for EXPLORER in the Ocean Globe Race will be challenging, but we have a great boat in top condition from day one.

All key elements like keel, rudder, engineering, tanks, electrical, even teak decks have already been renewed. We are off to a good start. I am happy! 

Crew Positions Available


If you have at least 12,000 ocean miles and ‘Yacht Master’ qualifications, a people person able to lead from the front and maintain team spirit, interested to learn celestial nav and lead the watch captains during the OGR, and final prep, this could be your chance and the next step in your career. (Sign on two months before the start). Selected from crew with concessions offered on the fee.


Four places are available for full circumnavigation crew termed ‘Rounders’ including all four legs of the OGR, not including port accommodation and meals. 38,000 total


Three crew places are available on each leg 1 , 2 and 4, not including port accommodation and meals. 9,000 per leg

Two places are available for leg 3 (Auckland to Punta del Este, via Cape Horn) not including port accommodation and meals. 11,000


Under 24, one place in each of four legs. These spots may be sponsored by an organisation. But if interested and under 24, please contact us with your interest and economic situation. €2000 to 3000

If you are sailing on the first leg of the OGR you MUST sail in either the OGR Qualifying Voyage or the Prologue SITraN Challenge

  • OGR Qualifying voyage. Min 1500 mile non-stop ocean voyage open to all and reserves. Details and date TBA. 2000
  • PROLOGUE SITraN Challenge Race from the Prologue Port to the OGR Start Port yet to be announced, but a 10 day activity and about 3-4 days sailing. €1500
  • Training days are approx €220 per day. Individual training schedule developed for you based on your sailing experience.
  • Draft Program. 2023 January-April Refit and delivery to Les Sables d’Olonne.
  • May June July Training.


If a chosen crew member drops out, reserve places *may* be offered at the last minute for qualified crew for 33% of the usual fees. You will need to be ready to go at short notice, have completed the survival training, medical training and do the medical test. You will also need at least 1500 miles of ocean sailing experience and have sailed on Explorer for at least one week. Contact us for details.


If you would like to join the program as a volunteer to gain experience helping with preparing EXPLORER during refit, or sail onboard for deliveries, you will be welcomed. Happy to hear from you.