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Lisbon Gets Honour Of Hosting Next Volvo Ocean Race Start After Alicante 'Sprint'

11th May 2016
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The Boatyard at Lisbon complements the existing facilities for the VOR fleet at Alicante The Boatyard at Lisbon complements the existing facilities for the VOR fleet at Alicante Photo: Marc Bow/Volvo Ocean Race

#VOR - Lisbon in Portugal has been chosen as the destination for a flying start to the next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race in 2017-18.

Hailed by organisers as one of the most successful host cities of the VOR in recent years, Portugal’s capital city staged hugely popular stopovers in 2011-12 and 2014-15 following transatlantic legs.

But this time it's been have decided that a short, sharp ‘sprint’ leg from Alicante would be the ideal way to begin the round-the-world challenge.

Race organisers also announced yesterday (Tuesday 10 May) that a new Boatyard facility was opening with immediate effect in Lisbon to service the fleet for the next race and provide the base for an upgrade to all the Volvo Ocean 65 boats from October this year.

The Boatyard at Lisbon will complement the established maintenance centre in Alicante that will continue to be available for teams as their Mediterranean training and support base.

“We have a double reason to celebrate our close ties with the great maritime capital city of Lisbon today," said Antonio Bolaños López, acting chief executive of the VOR before Mark Turner takes the reins next month.

“Firstly, we know that Lisbon will provide a packed and vibrant host city for our fleet after a thrilling first leg from Alicante, ensuring the next race in 2017-18 will begin in real style.

“Secondly, Lisbon offers us the perfect location to set up a second Boatyard operation on top of the existing provision we enjoy in our home city of Alicante.”

Boatyard head Nick Bice said he was delighted to open a new centre for future teams, with perfect training conditions in the Atlantic so close by.

“Lisbon has endless possibilities for us," he said. "The building we’ll be using for The Boatyard is an old fish market. If you were to design and build a facility to undertake the upgrades to the boats, you wouldn’t be able to design it better than what’s already there in the docks in Lisbon.

“The training options are almost limitless. You can go up around the corner, around Cascais and be virtually guaranteed wind at any stage. Equally, you could train in the Tagus River to practise in light air scenarios.”

The fleet for the 13th edition in 2017-18 will be upgraded in the Lisbon facility later this year and early into 2017.

Lisbon joins Alicante, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Auckland, Newport in Rhode Island, Cardiff, Gothenburg and final destination city The Hague on the route for the 2017-18 race, with more cities to be announced in the coming weeks.

Published in Volvo 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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