VOLVO OCEAN RACE
ALICANTE, LOCATED ON SPAIN’S SOUTH-EASTERN COSTA BLANCA AND THE CAPITAL OF ALICANTE PROVINCE IS NOT ONLY HOME TO GORGEOUS BEACHES, CHARMINGLY NARROW STREETS, COLOURFUL HOUSES, AND A BUSTLING NIGHTLIFE, IT IS ALSO THE STARTING POINT OF THE WORLDRENOWNED VO
The biggest ocean race kicks off
The Volvo Ocean Race is set to visit Cape Town once again as one of the twelve stop-over ports during the 2017/18 event as seven teams take to the seas in the ultimate extreme test of man- and windpowered machine – marking nine months of storms, speed, life-changing stories, stunning imagery, and nail-biting finishes in an epic journey around the world.
From Alicante all the way through to The Hague, the first leg of the race took place on 22 October 2017 where the teams successfully embarked on their 45,000 nautical mile journey which will carry them across four oceans, touching six continents and visiting twelve host cities over nine months. The event features almost three times as much Southern Ocean racing (around 12,500 nm) compared to recent editions. Starting in Alicante, Lisbon, and Cape Town, then onto Melbourne kicking off the 2018 side of the race. Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff, and Gothenburg follow, with the race set to end in June 2018 in The Hague – the popular city on the North Sea coast of the Netherlands.
STOP-OVER IN CAPE TOWN
The boats are expected to arrive in Cape Town, South Africa around 27 November, allowing the teams to step onto dry land for the first time in 6,300 nautical miles, and after three solid weeks at sea.
A travelling Race Village will open its doors to visitors on 24 November 2017, allowing local and international fans of the Volvo Ocean Race to experience the thrill of extreme sailing, as well as an immersive take on Volvo Group – including some exciting Volvo Cars models.
The Volvo Ocean 65 monohull racing yachts will again do duty in the 2017/18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race after a decision was made to improve costeffectiveness and sustainability by producing boats that would be suitable for two rounds of the event rather than one. The decision was also made to utilise a formula-based, One Design concept, which sees all eight teams racing in identical boats designed by Farr Yacht Design, leading to closer competition and producing results based solely on sailing skill on the water rather than potential design and technical advantages.
The race is putting sustainability at its heart and focusing on taking action to help “Turn the Tide on Plastic” – the rapidly growing and critical problem of plastic polluting the world’s oceans, highlighted by the United Nations Environment’s Clean Seas campaign that is being adopted by the Volvo Ocean Race.
There are three key pillars to the Volvo Ocean Race sustainability strategy:
• To minimise the race’s footprint with a
particular focus on reducing; and • Where possible, eliminating the use of single-use plastic by the teams and, in the Race Villages;
• To maximise the race’s impact using its global communications platform to spread awareness. This includes an educational programme to change views, a science programme to capture data while at sea and contribute to an understanding of the oceans in the most remote areas of the planet, and to leave a positive legacy wherever it goes.
Looking further ahead, the Volvo Ocean Race will use the One Design race boat platform to do everything possible to reduce and then eliminate fossil fuels onboard the boats in the future. The use of a hydro-generator for the first time during the 2017/18 edition should be a significant first step in reducing the use of fossil fuels, with race management able to mandate the use of the hydro-generators by each team. These hydro-generators provide power to the onboard electronics and communication systems.
The years 1973/74 saw the first edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, where a total of 19 teams travelled 27,000 nautical miles around the world over four legs: from Portsmouth to Cape Town, to Sydney to Rio de Janeiro, and back to Portsmouth. Overall, a total of 167 boats have taken part in the 12 editions of the race to date, including people from 43 different nationalities.
In the previous edition of the race, the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team became the first team to win the double – securing both the overall trophy and the In-Port Race Series.
However, this time around, the outcome could indeed be very different, and as the race is still in its first stages, it remains very uncertain. There has been some talk of teams using different modes or sail combinations than seen in the past, with Sun Hung Kai’s Luke Parkinson suggesting the teams may have been holding some things in reserve. It’s early in the race, and each team is learning new things as they go.
With the start behind them, the teams will settle into the routine of life at sea, as they have begun the first leg of what will primarily be a race around the planet. The intensity shown during the first hour of the first leg, when the fight was for every metre, demonstrates just how competitive the rest of this Volvo Ocean Race will be.
FROM ALICANTE ALL THE WAY THROUGH TO THE HAGUE,
THE FIRST LEG OF THE RACE TOOK PLACE ON 22 OCTOBER 2017 WHERE THE TEAMS SUCCESSFULLY EMBARKED ON THEIR 45,000 NAUTICAL MILE
Vestas 11th Hour Racing Team Turn the Tide on Plastic
Dongfeng Race Team
Team Sun Hung Kai Scallywag