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The Ocean Race Ends an Epic 2023 on a High Note

30th December 2023
11th Hour Racing Team’s crew receive their first-place trophy during the prize-giving ceremony on stage in the Ocean Live Park in Genoa, Italy on 1 July 2023
11th Hour Racing Team’s crew receive their first-place trophy during the prize-giving ceremony on stage in the Ocean Live Park in Genoa, Italy on 1 July 2023 Credit: Sailing Energy/The Ocean Race

The year 2023 opened with the start of The Ocean Race from Alicante, Spain on 15 January — the first edition of the event to be raced in the high-tech foiling, flying IMOCAs, and the latest evolution in the 50-year history of the event from the Whitbread Round the World Race to the Volvo Ocean Race to The Ocean Race.

From the departure through the Grand Finale in Genoa, Italy in July, there was close, compelling racing on the water, including the longest Southern Ocean leg in race history and setting a new monohull speed record. It all culminated with the inspiring victory of 11th Hour Racing Team, the first American-flagged team to win the race, and subsequently honoured as World Sailing’s Team of the Year.

Alongside the race around the planet, another colossal effort was taking place: the race for the ocean. Throughout the year, The Ocean Race, its sailors, teams and stakeholders made efforts to support ocean health that included a 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the race organisation in comparison to the previous edition.

“This past year has demonstrated once again that The Ocean Race remains the pinnacle of human achievement in sport,” said Richard Brisius, race chairman of The Ocean Race. “As we celebrate 50 years of the race and reflect on how the event has evolved over time, this point is stronger than ever and at the heart of our legacy: competing in The Ocean Race is a singular accomplishment in the life of a sailor.

“We enjoyed an incredible race featuring many new sailors taking on the challenge of The Ocean Race for the first time and we had more women participating than ever before. All of our sailors and teams faced hardship and overcame challenges, perhaps none more so than 11th Hour Racing Team with their inspiring race win.

“At the same time, we took important steps forward in our shared mission to protect and restore the ocean, whether through The Ocean Race Summits and Genova Process developing momentum for ocean rights, or our innovative onboard science initiatives and international Learning Programme. As we look to the future, this work will continue to be at the heart of what we do.”

The Ocean Race’s award-winning sustainability programme, developed in collaboration with founding partner 11th Hour Racing, engaged and inspired sailors, teams, stakeholders and fans — such as with the One Blue Voice campaign, which gathered over 32,000 signatures supporting a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights.

“This was the year when The Ocean Race became the Race for the Ocean, redoubling our previous efforts and building a comprehensive collaboration between sport and sustainability to make a meaningful difference for the ocean,” Brisius added.

Since the conclusion of the Race in the summer, a comprehensive Race Report (with Nielsen and Meltwater) has been compiled showing significant global media coverage and value generated for teams, partners, host cities and stakeholders, including a cumulative media audience of 8.1 billion and a social media listening reach of 2.6 billion. Those interested in more information on the Race Report can contact [email protected].

As 2023 concludes, the Notice of Race has been published for both The Ocean Race Europe, to take place in late summer 2025, and the next edition of The Ocean Race, starting from Alicante in 2026-27.

The entry period for the second edition of The Ocean Race Europe is now open, while entries for The Ocean Race 2026-27 will open on 1 February 2024 and are limited to 10 IMOCA teams with the possibility of additional wild card-entries. There is no entry fee for early registration in both races.

Published in Ocean Race Team

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