Class Globe 5.80 and all its events are primarily run by volunteers. If you would like to be part of this new adventure and help with logistics or running our events, we are happy to hear from you. If you would like to become a commercial partner, we welcome an opportunity to discuss options.
Don McIntyre (CEO)
Don McIntyre is the founder and Race Chairman of the Golden Globe Race, Ocean Globe Race and the Mini Globe Race. All three round-the-world races are unique in the sailing industry, focusing on human values and real challenges to create inspiring stories. He is also founder of the new Class Globe 5.80 one-design, plywood mini ocean racing yacht.
He has been organising sailing events and ocean adventures since 1984. Don is an experienced circumnavigator and seen as one of Australia’s great explorers. In 2012, the Australian Geographic Society, recognising his many diverse expeditions over the years and his ongoing efforts to promote adventure, presented him with it’s highest accolade, a Gold Medal for a “Lifetime of Adventure”. This was only the 12th time it had been presented in the history of the Society. The inscription on it simply read “For a life spent encouraging Adventure and Discovery”.
In October 2014, He received the prestigious “Emerald Award” from the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) The inscription read “In Honor of a lifetime of adventures that have done much to raise awareness of the marine environment and the need to protect it”.
Passionate about all forms of adventure and inspiring others, the Ocean Globe Race and the Golden Globe Race were born from his desire to recreate the Golden Age of fully crewed and solo around-the-world racing. Don finished 2nd in class in the 1990-91 BOC Challenge solo around-the-world yacht race and twice attempted unsuccessfully to become involved with the Whitbread Race.
Lutz Kohne (Race Director)
In 2019, leaving Frankfurt with a fresh Political Science degree in his pocket, Lutz moved aboard his first boat called ‘Little Olive’, a 1977 Contest 34 – without any sailing experience at all. The sea immediately became his ‘love at first sight’, logging 12.000 miles within four years, half of which solo, including a solo Atlantic crossing from west to east aboard his GGR Rustler 36 ‘Ems’.
He is an entrant of the GGR 2026, Race Director of the Globe 5.80 Transat, passionate about celestial navigation and always keen to pour some water over hot stones in a proper Finish sauna.
Jane Zhou (Finance & Admin)
“Jane Jane” manages all financial affairs of Class Globe 5.80, OGR and GGR, all Facebook live feeds, assists with race photography and never stops smiling. She is a qualified charter skipper, whale swim guide, diver and Antarctic zodiac driver who originally trained as an air traffic controller. She met Don in 2005 as a project manager/Chinese interpreter on a boat building project from Zhuhai, China.
Maria Laicova (5.80 Transat Volunteer)
Maria joined the 5.80 family after supporting as a volunteer for the GGR launch in 2022.
A business consultant with 10+ years experience in large project management, marketing and strategy, she is truly inspired by 5.80 as an opportunity to help people turn their dreams and sailing adventures into reality.
Maria races with her friends in SB20 class and desperately loves long-distance sailing voyages, holds a Yachtmaster Ocean qualification and is especially interested in celestial navigation. In parallel to her sailing life she also takes care of baby seals in a marine mammals rehab centre.
Rob Havill (Digital Director)
Rob has 20 years’ experience in managing creative and digital design projects. From branding to film production, his skills and interests are wide ranging.
Originally a graduate of engineering, he has captained his own design company since the early days of digital marketing.
Passionate about all things adventure!
Aida Valceanu (Events/Public Relations)
Daughter of Romanian publisher, lover of France since always, literary journalist. Organiser of conferences, book fairs, correspondent of several Romanian magazines, cultural columnist at the French Huffington Post. Events and PR for the OGR, and a passionate volunteer for GGR.