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The Ocean Race Reveals Complete Route For 2021-22 Edition

13th March 2020
The route for the 2021-22 edition of The Ocean Race, around the world from Alicante to Genoa The route for the 2021-22 edition of The Ocean Race, around the world from Alicante to Genoa Photo: The Ocean Race

Amid the chaos surrounding event cancellations in the wake of the coronavirus threat, The Ocean Race has brought some much-needed certainty with the announcement of the full route for the 2021-22 edition of the prestigious round-the-world yacht race.

Starting in Alicante, Spain in October next year, the race will visit nine host ports around the globe — Cape Verde, Cape Town, Shenzhen, Auckland, Itajaí in Brazil, Newport in Rhode Island, Aarhus in Denmark, and The Hague — before its grand finale at Genoa in Italy in the summer of 2022.

Cape Verde, Shenzhen and Genoa have never before hosted the race, which for the first time is now open to the IMOCA 60 class in addition to its dedicated one-design VO65 that debuted in the 2017-18 edition of the then Volvo Ocean Race.

Confirming the “more compact” route, at a total of 38,000 nautical miles and with two fewer stopovers, “has taken on an added importance as the designers look to optimise performance for the conditions,” said Johan Salén, managing director of The Ocean Race.

Race chairman Richard Brisius added: “As ever, The Ocean Race appeals to athletes and teams who want to compete against the best in the world and add their name to the list of the legends of our sport who have defined their careers by taking on this incredible challenge.”

In the 2021-22 edition, this list will include more women as all race teams, in both classes, will be required to have female crew members.

And the introduction of the IMOCA 60 fleet presents a new opportunity for sailors to race in the world’s most challenging and competitive fully-crewed event.

Paul Meilhat, winner of the 2018 Route du Rhum and the current leader of the IMOCA sailor rankings, is among those looking to make the transition.

“It has long been my dream to compete in The Ocean Race and test myself against the best sailors in one of the most challenging races in the sport,” he said.

The Ocean Race organisers said they are “fully committed to holding a successful event” but, given the uncertainties related to the current coronavirus pandemic, they are in “ongoing conversations” with medical experts and authorities and following their advice.

“As always, the health, safety and well-being of The Ocean Race family and all race stakeholders is a top priority,” organisers said.

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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