Volvo Ocean Race
This is the longest and toughest event in professional sport – a race run on a scale like no other and a story with the power to engage millions of fans worldwide. Across four oceans and five continents, the teams that will complete the 2014-15 race around the world will experience scorching days and freezing nights in impossibly cramped conditions on board.
Over 38,739 nautical miles and more than eight months of competition, the sailors will take on a challenge of breathtaking scope, hitting maximum speeds of 42 knots (77.8 kph) and be faced with waves as high as 16 metres. In a world which increasingly takes risk out of daily life, the Volvo Ocean Race is one of the last sporting pursuits which tests competitors to the core.
The Volvo Ocean Race began life in 1973 and remains sailing's pre-eminent round-the-world yacht race and one of the most coveted prizes in the sport.
The 12th running of this 40-year-old event will start on October 4, 2014, day of the first In-Port Race in Alicante, Spain, and finish with one last In-Port Race on June 27, 2015 in Gothenburg, the Swedish home of Volvo.
The 38,739-nautical mile route will also include stopovers in Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Newport, Rhode Island (USA), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France). A 24-hour pit-stop in The Hague is scheduled between France and Sweden.
The next two editions will be contested in a new high-performance boat, the Volvo Ocean 65, designed by Farr Yacht Design in the United States and built by a consortium of boatyards in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Switzerland.
The new 65-foot (19.8-metre) monohull racing yachts will be strictly One Design and delivered “ready to sail” for the next two race editions. The boats incorporate the latest video, satellite and content production facilities to further enhance the Onboard Reporter programme that has been in place since 2008-09.
The previous Volvo Ocean Race started in October 2011 in Alicante and was won by Groupama sailing team, skippered by Frenchman Franck Cammas, in July 2012.