How much sailing experience do I need?

It depends on the race event. For most yacht racing events the training that we provide as part of the campaign is sufficient, that goes for regattas, the Fastnet, the Middle Sea Race and the ARC amongst others. If you have a sense of adventure and are in good health with an average fitness level then we want you on the yacht racing team! Our instructors and race skippers are really experienced in training novice crew and ensure that everyone onboard the yachts  gets great coaching and the chance to build their sailing skills whatever sailing background they come from.  Some tougher offshore races like the Rolex Sydney to Hobart have special entry requirements, but even so we don’t usually turn people away because we assess the crew as a whole and usually we have a good mix of experience across the board.

Who else is on the crew?

Each yacht is skippered by a commercial skipper with race experience  and sailing experience relevant to the event (for example ARC skippers have ocean race experience) the skippers are usually backed up by a First Mate of at least Yachtmaster standard. Other sailing crew members come from all walks of life, they are all ages and have different levels of sailing experience. We typically get an even mix of men and women, and more often than not a great mix of nationalities, from French, German and Italian to Americans, Canadians, Aussies and South Americans.

Will I gain any qualifications?

We can offer RYA qualifications through our accredited sailing school Global Yacht Training. For some of our adventure sailing passages you can achieve your Competent Crew Certificate and Coastal Skipper and log miles towards your RYA Yachtmaster.

We can also arrange for you to gain an ISAF Safety and Sea Survival certificate, this course is a two day practical and theory course where you get hands on experience of using a life raft in a pool and lectures on  heavy weather sailing techniques and disaster management.  This course is often included in our offshore race event packages such as the Fastnet Race, the ARC race and the Middle Sea Race.


Are flights and transport included?

Generally not. You need to make your own way to us at Cowes for UK based events and to the yachts location at overseas races. This may involve bus or taxi rides to and from airports. We usually try to ensure that once on location, the yachts are conveniently placed for the accommodation, and that we are close to the organising clubs and social centres.

Do I need a travel visa?

You may need visas for Australia, and non UK residents need to check with their travel agent for other countries requirements. For Caribbean destinations UK Citizens do not usually need a Visa if you have a return flight. Please ask us if you need a letter of embarkation.

Do I need insurance?

It is part of our terms and conditions  that you have insurance that covers you for racing, medical issues, loss or theft of possessions and cancellation cover. We recommend our friends at Topsail Insurance and you can find details here www.topsailinsurance.com/global-yacht-racing

What happens if I have to pull out of the event?

If you have to pull out of racing due to illness, work commitments or other reason you may lose your deposit if you cancel before 90 days to the start. Within ninety days of the start dated you could end up losing the entire race fee, which is why good holiday insurance with cancellation cover is a must. Global Yacht Racing may be able to place you on an alternative race package at our discretion but this cannot be guaranteed.


Is accommodation included?

We try to accommodate our clients with a berth on one of boats if at all possible, however this is very much on a first come first served basis as we have limited space available for clients and staff on board.

Will I have a cabin to myself?

It is unlikely you will have a whole cabin to yourself if you are staying on one of the boats. During offshore races we sail with more crew than bunks as we are racing 24 hours, as such crew are required to “hot bunk” which means that you will not only share a cabin but will need to sleep in a bunk that has just been vacated by a member of the previous watch.

When in the marina before or after an offshore event or during an inshore regatta you will have your own bunk but this may be in a shared cabin. We try to accommodate our  clients requirements but cannot always do so.

Is accommodation ashore provided?

We do not provide accommodation ashore as part of any of our race packages, we can however help you to find some accommodation at your own cost and make recommendations where possible

What are the facilities on-board?

All boats have sea heads (toilets) on board and washing facilities however when in port clients are required to use shore side  facilities to maintain the boats in the best possible condition.


What do we eat while offshore?

We will be using a mixture of pre-prepared nutritionally balanced expedition foods from Look What We Found http://www.lookwhatwefound.co.uk/shop.html and fresh, tinned and dried foods sourced locally. 


What sailing kit do I need?

We always send out a gear list for each race. For some events shorts and shirts and a sturdy pair of non marking shoes is enough. For those events where you are ashore during training and transfer to the yacht for an offshore race please consider that you may also need a sleeping bag or sheet for use onboard as we do not supply bedding.

For offshore and long races you will need more sailing clothing and kit below is a typical list of offshore race gear, by no means exhaustive, it should give you some idea. 

Please remember that we are racing so keep gear to the absolute minimum! Please think carefully about what you bring and pack your gear in a soft collapsible bag, not a suitcase, and no bags with wheels please as they do not fold away. Bring a 20-25lt dry bag for kit stowage onboard. The hold-all that you use for travel will be stowed in shoreside stowage. Your storage area on board will be 20-30 litres volume. Your wet-weather gear, boots or deck shoes and your sleeping bag are in addition to the 25L kit bag.

Sailing Kit Note: Sailing at night or in poor weather can be cold. Bring light thermals as they help wick moisture away if you are sweating, they are also breathable and comfortable to wear under foulies or as alternative to T shirts, avoid cottons and non breathable gear, as it does not dry.

Recommended offshore kit list
  • Wet weather gear top and trousers
  • Deck shoes (You shouldn’t need boots but thin waterproof ‘Sealskin’ socks area good idea)
  • Sea boots (optional)
  • Sleeping bag and/or sleep sheet for events where you are sleeping onboard

Then additional items to be packed in a20-25 litre dry bag:

  • Thermal/breathable base layer x 1 (thin)
  • Fleece top
  • Sailing gloves
  • Warm hat
  • Sun hat
  • A head torch (with a red lens) or small pocket torch
  • T-shirts, preferably a quick dry, breathable UV protection type
  • Shorts 
  • Sunglasses x 1 pair with retaining strap
  • Underwear as required

NOTE – the Caribbean is usually hot! Most of your sailing (day and night) will be in shorts and T shirts with occasionally a light spray jacket. It does rain heavily on occasion and may be ‘chilly’ at night hence the need for light thermals and a fleece top.

Personal Kit

You are advised to bring one set of travel clothes to get from the UK to the Caribbean to UK. Any extra gear you may wish to bring to the Caribbean for onward holiday or travel will need to be stored separately by you as we won’t take it on the yacht whilst racing

  • Travel clothes (trousers/skirt, top, shoes, socks)
  • swimsuit
  • Travel or sports towel
  • Toothbrush
  • Glasses or contact lenses and solution
  • Personal prescribed medication and any required sea sickness medication
  • Wallet & money
  • Passport, visa, vaccination certificates and other documentation if required 
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Book/novel
  • Toiletries etc

Please do not bring massive amounts of lotions and potions, over the counter medication (paracetamol etc) make up or creams etc.

We politely ask that you pack a small wash bag please.

Meeting Points/locations

Please always check your joining instructions for up to date information on where to join your event!

Joining a UK Event

If you are joining a UK event then we are based at Cowes Yacht Haven in Cowes on the Isle of Wight,
Our boats are usually berthed in the North Basin and our office is located in the Yacht Haven too.

Our UK base is located in 

Cowes Yacht Haven

Isle of Wight

Joining a Caribbean event

If you are joining us for a Caribbean event then the boats are based in Antigua, however as the events take place on different Caribbean islands you will need to check your joining instructions sent ahead of the event or contact us to discuss. If your event is based in Antigua or you are joining us for a passage then the boats will either be in Jolly Harbour marina or Falmouth, please check your joining instructions.

Joining the ARC

There are taxis available at the airport. Just look for eggshell-white cars with a red stripe on the sides (on each front door). Other signs that might help you recognize a taxi are the letters SP (meaning ‘Servicio Público’) and a green light on top or in the front windscreen (this green light indicates that the taxi is free). This is the quickest but most expensive option. Costs vary according to your final destination.

There are frequent bus services between the airport and most of the destinations on the island. The journey to Las Palmas (north of the island) takes around 30. For further information contact the Marina on Tel: +34 928 244 101
Fax. +34 928 300 466

Joining the Rolex Middle Sea Race

Take a taxi from the Airport to EITHER the Grand Harbour Marina, OR Royal Malta Yacht Club. Taxi services from the Malta International Airport to all localities in Malta are based on a fixed tariff. Please check your Joining instructions as you may need to get a free water taxi to the boats

A &S Water taxi – 0035621806921 [email protected]

Joining the RORC Transatlantic Race

There are taxis available at the airport to our base at Marina Lanzarote.

We are based in marina Lanzarote for our pre-race preparations.


RORC Caribbean 600

It was a great adventure and experience. Feedback is nothing but great. Andy, Paul, Neil, and Jenn are class acts. Boat in great shape, clean, and competitive. Great experience on and off the boat. Thanks for everything. I would definitely sail with GYR again.

Vlad Mironenko RORC Caribbean 600 Race Crew 2023

YM Ocean Passage: Gibraltar to Canary Islands

I had an amazing time! Over 700nm covered and lots of sextant sights taken. Neil, our skipper, was outstanding. I would highly recommend Global Yacht Training.

Peter Hill YM Ocean Candidate November 2022

BVI 2022 - Hilary C

We had an amazing time! Neil and Katy, along with your Trainee, Adam were absolute pros both on and off the water. We felt very lucky to be in their charge. A great result, challenging chilled but competitive week - the 1st in Class was a bonus!

Hilary C

RTI Yacht Charter

Global Yacht Racing put together a superb charter for the RTI. Our reunion of experienced Round The World Clipper sailors is now bitten by the thrill of fast-paced round-the-cans racing!

Jenn Burgis


Race the World


Race Ready Yachts


Sailing Trips and Milebuilders


World Class Yacht Training

We love what we do. Why not get in touch and lets discuss you next adventure


Meet our dedicated team of professionals who are keen to share their expertise, knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport of sailing. We believe that yacht racing is a sport for everyone and that every event is an opportunity to develop your sailing and racing skills.

Andy Middleton

Andy Middleton

Gareth Glover

Gareth Glover

Global Yacht racing Alex Fisher

Alex Fisher