1977–1978 Whitbread Round the World Race

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The 1977–78 Whitbread Round the World Race was the second edition of the around-the-world sailing event Whitbread Round the World Race. On 27 August 1977, 15 boats started out from Southampton for the Whitbread Round the World Race under gale-force winds and driving rain.[1] Most of the second Whitbread Race was dominated by a tight race between Swan 65 King's Legend and Flyer which eventually won the race. The 65 ft aluminium ketch Flyer was designed by Sparkman & Stephens and built at the W. Huisman shipyard in 1977 for skipper Cornelius van Rietschoten. All 15 boats finished the 26,780-nautical-mile (49,600 km) race. Great Britain II was winner on elapsed time for the second race in succession. This race was notable for the fact that Clare Francis became the first woman to skipper a Whitbread entry, the Swan 65 ADC Accutrac.[2]


Leg Start Finish Leg winner elapsed time Leg winner corrected time
1 Southampton, England Cape Town, South Africa Flyer Flyer[3]
2 Cape Town, South Africa Auckland, New Zealand Heath's Condor 33 Export
3 Auckland, New Zealand Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Great Britain II Gauloise II
4 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Southampton, England Heath's Condor Gauloise II

Final standings[edit]

Pos Boat name Skipper Country Time
1 Flyer Conny van Rietschoten  Netherlands 119 d 1 h
2 King's Legend Nick Ratcliffe & Mike Clancy  Great Britain 121 d 11 h
3 Traité de Rome Philippe Hanin  EU 121 d 18 h
4 Disque d’Or Pierre Fehlmann   Switzerland 122 d 10 h
5 Adc Accutrac Clare Francis  Great Britain 126 d 20 h
6 Gauloises II Eric Loizeau  France 127 d 7 h
7 Adventure James Watts, David Leslie, Ian Bailey-Willmot & Robin Duchesne  Great Britain 128 d 2 h
8 Neptune Bernard Deguy  France 130 d 11 h
9 B&B Italia Corrado Di Majo  Italy 132 d 2 h
10 33 Export Alain Gabbay  France 133 d 0 h 31 m
11 Tielsa Dirk Nauta  Netherlands 133 d 0 h 36 m
12 Great Britain II Rob James  Great Britain 134 d 10 h
13 Debenhams John Ridgway  Great Britain 135 d 19 h
14 Japy-Hermes Jean Michel Viant  France 143 d 6 h
15 Heath's Condor Leslie Williams & Robin Knox-Johnston  Great Britain 144 d 0 h