The Volvo Ocean Race is an exceptional test of sailing prowess and human endeavor which has been built on the spirit of great seafarers – fearless men who sailed the world’s oceans aboard square rigged clipper ships more than a century ago. Starting at Alicante, Spain the world’s longest and toughest ocean race covers more than 39,000 nautical miles during its eight month, nine-leg competition. Along the way the competitors dock at some of the world’s most stunning, cosmopolitan and historic cities. The 2011-12 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race goes on to visit Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya (China), Auckland, Itajaí (Brazil), Miami, Lisbon, Lorient (France) and finishes at Galway, Ireland.
The spirit that drove those commercial sailors along the web of trade routes, deep into the bleak latitudes of the Southern Ocean and around the world’s most dangerous capes, emerges today in the form of the Volvo Ocean Race, a contest now seen as the pinnacle of achievement in the sport.The first edition of this sporting adventure came in the wake of two remarkable sailors of the last century, Sir Francis Chichester and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, men who drew worldwide acclaim for amazing solo voyages around the planet. Inevitably their success led to talk in international sailing circles of a race around the world for fully crewed yachts. It became a reality in 1973 with The Whitbread round the World Race, the longest, most demanding and perilous sporting contest the world had known.Dangerous it was. In that very first race three competing sailors were lost after being washed overboard during storms. This led to the inevitable call for that inaugural contest to be the last, but the desire for unbridled adventure and great competition led to the race being staged every four years.The re-badged Volvo Ocean Race was run for the first time in 2001-02.
Today it is, quite simply, the ‘Everest of Sailing’.
Each of the entries has a sailing team of 11 professional crew and the race requires their utmost skills, physical endurance and competitive spirit as they race day and night for more than 20 days at a time on some of the legs. They will each take on different jobs onboard the boat and on top of these sailing roles, there will be two sailors that have had medical training, as well as a sailmaker, an engineer and a dedicated media crew member.During the race the crews will experience life at the extreme: no fresh food is taken onboard so they live off freeze dried fare, they will experience temperature variations from -5 to +40 degrees Celsius and will only take one change of clothes. They will trust their lives to the boat and the skipper and experience hunger and sleep deprivation.
The race is the ultimate mix of world class sporting competition and on the edge adventure, a unique blend of onshore glamour with offshore drama and endurance.It is undeniably the world’s premier global race and one of the most demanding team sporting events in the world.
At each and every Host Port a hive of entertainment awaits at a dedicated Race Village. Like something from a Formula 1 grand prix, there are thousands of square meters dedicated to entertainment with programs brimming with concerts, shows, exhibitions, sailing clinics, rides, fireworks and restaurants. Host Ports are also home to the Volvo Ocean Race Experience, an interactive attraction designed to suck landlubbers into the world of a Volvo Ocean Race sailor through its 3D cinema, simulator and winch grinding challenge. But taking centre stage at every Race Village are the stars of the Volvo Ocean Race – the six 70 foot Volvo Open 70 racing yachts, their expert crew and dedicated shore team.For the first time ever the team zones are open to the public allowing fans to watch master boat builders and design experts do their thing. The Race Village also provide the perfect place to watch the yachts race, when they lock horns in close-quarter In-Port Races, just meters from the shore.An estimated four million people will visit the race villages at Volvo Ocean Race Host Ports – make sure you’re one of them!
The Volvo Ocean Race is organised by:
Volvo Ocean Race, S.L.U
Registered Office: Muelle 10, Puerto de Alicante, Alicante, 03001, Spain
Registered in Spain No B54460910Address
Volvo Ocean Race, S.L.U
Muelle nº 10 de Levante
Puerto de Alicante
03001 Alicante – Spain
T: +34 966 011 100
F: +34 966 080 389