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The Countdown Is On With Less Than A Year Till 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race Start

24th October 2016
The fleet in the most recent edition of the VOR sails out of Cape Town on 19 November 2014 The fleet in the most recent edition of the VOR sails out of Cape Town on 19 November 2014 Credit: Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

#VOR - The 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race will begin less than a year from now on Sunday 22 October, when the starting gun is fired in Alicante and the teams set out to complete a total of 45,000 nautical miles of offshore racing, over a course that takes in 11 landmark cities in five continents over eight months.

Organisers have also revealed the start dates for the first three legs of ‘sailing’s longest and toughest adventure’, rounding off a series of 10 major announcements on the future of the VOR over the past two weeks.

The first official action of the 2017-18 edition will be the Alicante in-port race on Saturday 14 October before the race proper begins eight days later with Leg 1, a 700nm sprint to Lisbon that also marks the fourth consecutive start from the race’s home port.

After arriving in Lisbon, the boats will take part in the in-port race on Saturday 28 October before the start of Leg 2 on Sunday 5 November.

That leg will see them battle it out over three-plus weeks and 7,000nm of the Atlantic Ocean to Cape Town, the 11 occasion in 13 editions that the Volvo Ocean Race has visited the South African city.

The Cape Town in-port race will take place on Friday 8 December and Leg 3 will begin two days later on Sunday 10 December.

VOR organisers say the decision to tweak the format of race weekends at many of the stopovers by moving the in-port race from the Saturday to the Friday gives teams an extra 24 hours to prepare for the rigours of ocean racing to come.

“With just a year to go, the countdown to the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 has begun,” said VOR chief executive Mark Turner. “The sailors can look forward to an unforgettable send-off from Alicante, our home port, and the fact that they’ll be thrown into a high intensity sprint to Lisbon straight off will make Leg 1 especially exciting.

Our Boatyard facility is based in Lisbon, and it will be very well known to teams who will use it as an Atlantic training base in the lead-up to the start.”

Turner added: “Cape Town also has a special connection with the Race – our boats have been heading there since the very first edition, back in 1973 – so there will be a lot that is very familiar before the teams head towards the Southern Ocean, which is such an important focus for the race.”

The full route, including almost three times the amount of Southern Ocean sailing as in recent editions, was announced earlier this year. Organisers will announce dates for the rest of the legs in the coming weeks.

Published in Ocean Race
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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