In a press conference today (Wednesday 13 April), VOR organisers announced a unique collaboration with the Hong Kong Sailing Federation to bring the race to Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour.
It is set to be the largest world-class sailing event ever staged in Hong Kong, already one of the world’s most prestigious sailing destinations.
The world’s premier offshore race will transform the old airport in Kai Tak, and introduce residents of Hong Kong to a wide range of race-related activities geared to educate as well as entertain both existing fans and newcomers to the race.
An in-port race will also be held in the port before the boats leave for the next leg.
Anthony Day, Council Member of the Hong Kong Sailing Federation, said: “This will go down in history as a milestone event for Hong Kong sailing and will provide a wonderful platform for us to engage more Hongkongers in the sport of sailing."
Antonio Bolaños Lopez, acting CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race before Mark Turner takes up the role later this year, added: “I am thrilled that the race is visiting one of the most beautiful ports in the world for the first time.
"We are delighted to welcome Hong Kong to the Volvo Ocean Race family and know that we will have a stopover that will be one of the highlights of the 2017-18 edition.
“I would like to pay special tribute to the Hong Kong Sailing Federation and the Hong Kong government for making our dreams of bringing the race here a reality.”
Hong Kong brings the confirmed list of stopovers so far for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 edition to nine, which includes Alicante, Auckland, Cape Town, Cardiff, Newport in Rhode Island, Lisbon, Gothenburg and The Hague, which will host the finale after a successful pit-stop on the final leg of the 2014-15 race.
The Hong Kong stopover will mark the fourth time the Volvo Ocean Race has visited China, after Qingdao in the 2008-09 race and Sanya in the 2011-12 and 2014-15 competitions.