The BOC Challenge race was established in 1982, with main sponsorship from BOC Gases. The race was inspired by the Golden Globe Race, which was the first single-handed round-the-world yacht race. Although the Golden Globe was a non-stop race, the BOC Challenge concept was for a single-handed round-the-world race, to be run in stages (in contrast to the Vendée Globe, which is non-stop). As the longest single-handed event in the world, it is regarded as one of sailing's ultimate challenges.

The race is run every four years. The first edition was won by Philippe Jeantot, who won all four legs of the race with an overall elapsed time of just over 159 days. In 1990, the race was renamed the Around Alone; from 2006, it became known as the Velux 5 Oceans Race.


BOC Challenge British Oxygen Company sailing yachts Clipper round the world yacht race Global Challenge steel formular yacht race round the world Golden Globe


Velux ocean 5 sailing yacht race Vendee Globe Volvo ocean race Whitbread round the world yacht race







Sailing boats are zero carbon vessels that may one day make a comeback in terms of scheduled cargo transports, more than likely not in the form enjoyed in current yacht racing sport, taking seamanship out of the equation.


Importantly, races such as these keep the ocean in the public eye, but don't portray the current issues facing the planet in terms of climate change and marine pollution. Rather, they present a romantic image of the sea. This is not to detract from the enormous skills of the competitors, the designers of the boats or the good intentions of the organizers - of which we hugely applaud - and which endeavors should continue for the sport of sailing.


Most large luxury yachts afloat today rely on diesel engines. They can fairly be described as gas guzzlers, contributing to global warming. The owners of these gleaming plastic palaces have made their money in a society based on fossil fuel consumption before scientists drew attention to the need for more environmentally sound transport, heralding a need for a change in technology if we are to stay afloat with a clean bill of health.


Those with a love of the sea can remain on the water by moving to sails and employing a crew for the chore or move to automated rigging, or by using motorized vessels that are solar powered. You will see from the history of sailing events that there have been numerous brand lead and formula changes to attract philanthropists as responsible corporations willing to invest in clean energy. It is certain then, that electric yachting will eventually gain attention as promising technology in the battle against global warming.



The Elizabeth Swan worlds fastest solar powered boat  


THE ELIZABETH SWAN - [Left] The graceful lines of this beautiful solar powered boat complements the zero carbon cruising ideal that many designers and United Nations planners aspire to under SDG13. When built the Swan's hull will be the largest solar powered boat in the world at 43 meters (140ft). She could also prove to be the world's fastest blue water cruiser.


A NEW BREED - [Right] On the 4th of May 2012, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar set a world record for the fastest solar powered circumnavigation of 584 days also going into the Guinness Book of World Records for other electric boat achievements. PlanetSolar began its epic adventure from Monaco, also coming home to the harbour for a solar powered celebration. Though nearly seven years ago, we wonder if the success of this venture might one day lead to solar ocean races, where it is technically feasible to equal the times of most yacht sailing races.









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