Sailing regattas 2023

Nautical Channel
14 Feb 2023
NEWS | Sailing, Sport

After a couple of years marked by COVID-19, where sailing regattas had been cancelled or had been held behind closed doors, 2022 came back very strong.

Some iconic races were held, such as the Route du Rhum or the Golden Globe Race, ocean races that are not annual, but are held every x years, for example, the "Route du Rhum" is every 4 years.

We are now entering 2023 and we will show you which are the most important in this year.

Table of contents:

What are sailing regattas?

Regatta calendar 2023

What are the most important regattas in the world?

How many types of regattas are there?

How long does a sailing regatta last?

Where to watch sailing competitions?

What are sailing regattas?

Sailboat racing is a sport based on sailing, in which these athletes or sailors use their sailing boats, called sailboats, to make speed runs.

Nowadays, this sport has become very popular internationally, with multiple competitions. It should be noted that nowadays regattas are not only for sailing boats, but also for all those contested by all types of boats designed for speed together with a fast, light and skilful handling of the vessel.

Sailing regatta calendar 2023

There are many races around the world every year, hundreds of them, in all styles! Below, we will show you some of them, including the best known ones.

Month Name Regatta type
January RORC Transatlantic Race
Offshore team race
Sail GP
Tactical team race
Ocean Race
Offshore team race
Lanzarote Internacional Regatta
Inshore team race
Trofeo Gran Numa 2023
Coastal single-handed and team race(snipe)
Heineken regatta St. Maarten
Tactical team race
China Sea Race
Offshore team race
Spi Ouest-France Banque Populaire Grand Ouest
Inshore team race
Plastimo Lorient Mini
Offshore team race
Settimana Velica Internazionale 2023
Inshore team race
May Las damas de Saint-Tropez (52 Super Series 2023)
Inshore team race
May Solo Med
Single-handed inshore race
May Guyader Bermuda 1000 race
Offshore team race
June Scarlino Sailing Week 2023 (52 Super Series 2023)
Inshore team race
June Bol d'Or Mirabaud
Inshore team race
June Rolex Giraglia
Inshore team race
June Sail GP
Tactical team race
June Superyacht Cup Palma
Tactical team race
July Tall Ship Race
Offshore and inshore (one leg) team race
July Royal Cup & tbc TP52 Invitational (52 Super Series 2023)
Inshore team race
July Rolex Fastnet
Inshore and offshore team race
August Rolex TP52 World Championship Barcelona (52 Super Series 2023)
Inshore team race
September Vela clásica Menorca (XIX Copa del Rey de barcos de época)
Inshore team race
Puerto Portals Sailing Week (52 Super Series 2023)
Inshore team race
Single-handed offshore
Barcelona Team Racing
Tactical team race
October Ibiza JoySail
Inshore team race
October Rolex Middle Sea Race
Offshore team race
October Transat Jacques Vabre
Offshore team race
December Rolex Sydney Hobart
Inshore team race

RORC Transatlantic Race (January)

The 9th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race started on the 8th of January from Lanzarote, Canary Islands. RORC stands for Royal Ocean Racing Club, an institution created to promote international long distance racing.

It is one of the longest sailing races of the RORC 2023, from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, a course of 3,000 miles. More than 20 boats of different nationalities took part, including maxis and multihulls. A new record was set as more than half of the boats reached their destination (Grenada, Caribbean) in a maximum of 15 days.

This Transatlantic Race belongs to the RORC Caribbean Series, where the boats with the best score, made up of this transatlantic race plus the RORC Caribbean 600 (a 600 mile race that takes place in February with a crossing between the wonderful islands of the Caribbean) will win the "Caribbean Series" trophy.

Sail GP (January)

In May last year, 2022, SailGP season 3 started. SailGP is an international sailing competition, specifically catamaran sailing, and is held every year. Practically all the dates of this third season, were disputed throughout the year 2022.

The Singapore Sail Grand Prix was held in Asia on 14 and 15 January. The remaining two races of the season would be held in March in New Zealand and in May in the United States.

Ocean Race (January)

One of the world's most recognised and eagerly awaited sailing regattas, after 3 years of delay, is the Ocean Race. Formerly known as the Volvo Ocean Race which was held for the first time in 1973. This international regatta started on the 15th of January and will last approximately 6 months. This race started in Alicante, Spain and will finish in Genoa, Italy. In between it will pass through different cities, going around the world as it passes through different continents; starting and finishing in Europe, but stopping in Africa and America.

This year for the first time we have two different routes as two different styles of boats are taking part. On the one hand, the IMOCA route (a novelty) which has 7 stages distributed in 9 cities. And on the other hand, the VO65 route with 3 legs in 4 cities.

The Barcelona World Race 2023 was due to start in mid-January. However, as was the case in 2019, the regatta has been cancelled and no new date has been announced to date.

Lanzarote International Regatta (February)

The Canary Island continues and will continue to be an irrefutable focus of world Olympic sailing, especially in these winter months due to the enviable weather. From 9th to 17th February the 3rd edition of the Lanzarote International Regatta will take place, a new event for the Olympic sailing classes (49er, 49erFX, 470, iQFOil male and female and Nacra 17); four of them completely new and with a record number of registered participants, with more than 350.

Gran Numa Trophy 2023 (February)

On the 11th and 12th of February in Malaga, Spain, the Gran Numa 2023 takes place where the Optimist, ILCA and Snip classes compete.

Heineken regatta St. Maarten (March)

On the 2nd of March, the 43rd edition of this fun Caribbean sailing regatta starts. The Caribbean's premier regatta and probably the world's largest warm water regatta. It features a great mix of intense windward and leeward racing mixed with tactical inshore racing. All this is accompanied by a great nightlife, making this a very lively and entertaining regatta, suitable for all sailing enthusiasts.

China Sea Race (April)

On the 5th April, one of the most important sailing regattas on the Asian continent will start. The start is from the giant harbour of Hong Kong and the finish in Subic Bay (Philippines). The distance of the race is approximately 565 nautical miles. As a curiosity, in the 2018 edition, Karl Kwok broke the race and multihull record with his MOD 70 Beau Geste with an elapsed time of 38h 30m 07s.

Spi Ouest-France Banque Populaire Grand Ouest (April)

The great French sailing event. It will take place over the Easter weekend, as it does every year. More than 400 boats and 2,000 competitors are expected to take part in this 45th edition. It is the largest European gathering of monohulls. The main objective of this regatta is to bring together multiple amateurs and professionals, monohulls and multihulls, one-designs and IRC and Osiris boats (very well known French measurement system).

Plastimo Lorient Mini (April)

Now in its 9th edition, the Plastimo Lorient mini has as a novelty the mixed doubles format aboard registered Mini 6.50s. This is a turning point for this event which, since 2014, has opened the Mini Class season in the Atlantic. A total novelty, as the Mini Class did not have female participation until now. This will take place on 13 April.

Settimana Velica Internazionale 2023 (April)

One of the most interesting sailing competitions in the Mediterranean takes place on April 22nd and is included, since last year, in the Italian Offshore Championship with the highest coefficient. This year, the event will also feature numerous parallel activities, such as the bicycle route, which will allow the regattas to be followed along the Livorno coastline.

The Ladies of Saint-Tropez (52 Super Series 2023) (May)

From 2 to 7 May, the 52 Super Series calendar kicks off and the first points will be counted at the Saint-Tropez 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week. It is the first time in this French city that joins an amazing journey with five events in three countries (France, Italy and Spain).

Solo MED (May)

The 2nd edition of Solo MED starts this May 7th, starting from Barcelona. An important regatta in the Mediterranean for the Mini 6.50 Class. Composed of 700 miles, single-handed, divided into two legs. A first of 500 miles and a second of 200 miles. This regatta will take place in the waters of Barcelona, the Balearic Islands and the Valencian Community.

Guyader Bermuda 1000 race (May)

Sunday 7th May is also scheduled to start from France. It is gradually becoming one of the unmissable events in the IMOCA GLOBE SERIES championship. It opens the IMOCA season (1st of the year in France).

Scarlino Sailing Week 2023 (52 Super Series 2023) (June)

The second of the five regattas scheduled for 2023 returns for the fourth consecutive year to Italy, specifically to Scarlino. Scarlino has excellent sailing conditions. They are expected to arrive in Italian waters between the end of May and the beginning of June.

Bol d'Or Mirabaud (June)

Held from 9 to 11 June on Lake Geneva's Lake Geneva, it has been organised since 1939 and is a must for the best crews. As a curiosity, it is one of the biggest and most prestigious sailing regattas in closed waters. It is open to everyone, with groups of friends and families taking part, and is a very popular sailing event in Switzerland and the surrounding area.

Rolex Giraglia (June)

This year 2023 marks the 70th edition of this classic ocean race, one of the best known in the Mediterranean. It will start on 14 June from St Tropez, will cover a course of almost 250 miles with a mark in French waters off Cannes and will then head for the islet of Giraglia before returning to the Italian Yacht Club in Genoa.

Sail GP (June)

SailGP season 4 will start on 17 or 18 June in Chicago, USA. In 2023, events will be held monthly from June to December. Passing through the United States, Europe (countries such as Italy and Spain) and the Middle East.

Superyacht Cup Palma (June)

The oldest superyacht regatta in Europe is already preparing its 27th edition. It will be held in the capital of the Balearic archipelago from the 21st to the 24th of June. There are already more than a dozen boats registered for this race. Three classes of boats are participating: the Performance Class, the original Superyacht class and the Superyacht Corinthian class without spinnaker.

Tall Ship Race (July)

From June 29th to August 6th the Tall Ship Race will take place, a classic and one of the most colourful regattas. It is known as the Tall Ship Race and is only for training ships or large vintage sailing yachts.

Royal Cup & tbc TP52 Invitational (52 Super Series 2023) (July)

From the 4th to the 9th of July in Menorca, Spain, the third event of the 52 Super Series will take place on this Balearic island. A familiar location, after the events held in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2021. The prestigious Royal Cup will be up for grabs.

Rolex Fastnet (July)

The 50th edition of this offshore yacht race organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, which takes place every two years, will start on 22 July. It is considered one of the great classic offshore sailing regattas and is among the top 3 in the world. The Fastnet tests both inshore and offshore skills.

Rolex TP52 World Championship Barcelona (52 Super Series 2023) (August)

From 21st August and for one week, the fourth and penultimate competition of the 52 Super Series will be held. After Menorca, it is the turn of the city of Barcelona, being closer to know who will take the 2023 TP52 world crown.

Classic Sailing Menorca (19th King's Cup for Vintage Yachts) (September)

From 29th August to 2nd September in the port of Mahón in Menorca, the best regatta of vintage boats in Spain and one of the most prominent in the Mediterranean, where most of the world fleet is concentrated.

Puerto Portals Sailing Week (52 Super Series 2023) (September)

The season will conclude in the last week of summer in Puerto Portals, Mallorca. This Mallorcan yachting resort has been the venue for the last 8 years, and on this occasion, an exciting finale will be contested.

Mini-Transat (September)

This regatta is held every two years and attracts a large number of sailors. The main objective is to cross the Atlantic solo, in a 6.50 metre sailboat, without land contact or assistance. More than 4,000 miles are covered, divided into two stages.

Barcelona Team Racing (September)

On 21 September the 1st edition of the Barcelona Team Racing, in the international Optimist class, will be held for the first time. It is a competition format of short sailing regattas of teams representing their clubs and/or countries, which compete against each other. The Barcelona Team Racing will be the only one of this format to be held in Spain.

Ibiza JoySail (October)

At the end of September and beginning of October the 3rd edition of this superyacht regatta will take place in Ibiza, Spain; sailing between Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Being already at that young age a reference in the international panorama of superyachts.

Rolex Middle Sea Race (October)

The 44th edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race starts on October 21st. An international regatta of more than 600 nautical miles between Malta and Sicily. It is considered one of the toughest challenges in offshore sailing.

Transat Jacques Vabre (October)

This year will be the 30th edition. A very well known biannual event in which 3 different classes participate, IMOCA, Ocean Fifty and Class40 being the longest of the Transat.

Rolex Sydney Hobart (December)

Late December is one of the toughest and most respected races in the world. It is the only one that starts in a harbour, goes through a passage and finishes in a river. More than 100 yachts between 36 and 100 feet in length are expected. It is a 630-mile route from Sydney to Hobart via Bass Strait.

What are the most important regattas in the world?

Of course, the most famous regattas have been discussed earlier in our calendar. Some of them have not been mentioned because this year 2023 does not apply to them.

  • The Ocean Race (team)
  • The Golden Globe Race (single-handed)
  • Vendeé Globe (single-handed)
  • America's Cup Sailing (team)
  • Route du Rhum (single-handed)
  • Barcelona World Race (team)
  • 5 Oceans Race (single-handed)
  • Transat Jacques Vabre (team)
  • Mini-Transat (single-handed)

How many types of regattas are there?

Before commenting on the types of regattas that exist, it should be noted that, within all the regattas mentioned, some are team sailing regattas and others are solo regattas. As the name itself indicates, when there is more than one person on a boat, we are dealing with team regattas, and there could be up to more than 15.

On the other hand, solo regattas are those in which only one individual competes. They are much harder and faster and test the skills and mental strength of the participants.

When we talk about types of regattas we refer to the following models:

  • Inshore regattas: These take place close to the coast and are those in which the course is delimited by fixed marks such as buoys, lighthouses or between nearby ports. The boats are usually light and manoeuvrable.

  • Tactical races: These are shorter than inshore races and fixed marks such as buoys have been intentionally placed by the race committee, for example. They are usually positioned according to the wind. Normally one of the buoys is usually placed to windward, to force the crews to sail upwind, and then downwind to the leeward buoy.

  • Offshore racing: This is a much broader competition, with a course across the sea or ocean with the aim of getting to a particular place before our competitors. In ocean racing, seamanship and nautical knowledge are of vital importance.

How long does a sailing regatta last?

Regattas do not have a set duration, it depends on the route of each one and the miles it has to cover. We can enjoy short regattas that last 1 hour, 24-48h; to some that last more than 6 months like the Ocean Race.

Where to watch sailing competitions?

On Nautical Channel you will be able to watch the highlights and specific programmes of the most important sailing regattas on the national and international scene.

For example, Rolex Spirit of Yachting ( is made up of 6 seasons where you can watch regattas of all styles, Sail GP, Rolex Giraglia, TP52, Fastnet Race, Sydney Hobbart race...and much more.

In addition, we also have individual shows of each race, especially the most interesting ones such as the Ocean Race, Transat Jacques Vabre or Bol D'Or. You can discover them on our website.

If you want to watch them live or recorded, Eurosport or even the YouTube channels of the most important races offer this content.

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