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The Ocean Race Pushes Back Next Start Date By A Year

16th July 2020
The next edition of The Ocean Race will now start in October 2022 The next edition of The Ocean Race will now start in October 2022 Photo: Ainhoa Sanchez/The Ocean Race

Organisers of The Ocean Race have confirmed that the next edition will now set sail a full year behind its originally scheduled start.

The race route remains unchanged from that announced in March — but now the fleet will start in October 2022 from Alicante in Spain and finish in Genova, Italy in the summer of 2023, during the race’s 50th jubilee.

Race organisers say the change was made after consultations with stakeholders as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to reverberate across the sporting landscape.

But plans are in the offing to host a European race next summer to keep interest high for the historic round-the-world yachting challenge.

And dates have already been fixed for the next two Ocean Races in an ambitious 10-year ‘reboot’ roadmap that strives to be “innovative, sustainable and responsible” at its core.

After the 2022-23 edition, The Ocean Race will return in 2026-27 and 2030-31 with fully crewed, around-the-world yacht races.

‘Moving the start date allows our host cities, teams and partners the time they need to best prepare for the next race’

“Meaningful racing” is promised for the gaps between the worldwide events, among these being a European race next summer for IMOCA 60s and VO65s, and potentially other classes of fast racing yachts.

“The Ocean Race Europe has been a vision and dream of ours and many others for a long time,” said Richard Brisius, race chairman of The Ocean Race.

“We imagine a race and festival for everyone that will inspire and unify across Europe. A celebration with engaged fans and athletes achieving the extraordinary while driving change for a healthier planet.

“We have been planning for The Ocean Race Europe to be held in between editions of The Ocean Race since we took responsibility for the race last year.

“Originally we had been considering starting this in 2023, but we will now work with teams, cities, and partners to decide whether we should do it in the summer of 2021.”

Speaking on the move to push the next Ocean Race back by a year, managing director Johan Salén said: “We have been looking at the future of The Ocean Race and taking in honest feedback from our stakeholders around the world for some time now.

“Moving the start date allows our host cities, teams and partners the time they need to best prepare for the next race.

“But at the same time, we understood stakeholders were looking for confirmation of a longer term plan and enhancements to the race, which we are also developing.”

Check out a Special Edition of The Ocean Race’s Off Watch interview series for a race update from Richard Brisius and Johan Salén below:

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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