About the race
What is The Volvo Ocean Race?
During the nine months of the Volvo Ocean Race, which starts in Alicante, Spain in October 2011 and ends in Galway, Ireland, during early July 2012, the teams will sail over 39,000 nautical miles of the most treacherous seas via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape Horn to Itajaí, Miami, Lisbon, and Lorient.
Each entry has an 11-strong professional crew and the race requires their utmost skill, physical endurance and competitive spirit as they race continuously for more than 20 days at a time on some of the legs. On board they will each take on different jobs, two will have had medical training, and there’ll be a sailmaker, an engineer and a dedicated media crew member.
During the race, the crews will experience life at the extreme: no fresh food is taken on board so they live off freeze dried fare, they will experience temperature variations from -5 to +40 degrees Celsius and will only take one change of clothes. They will trust their lives to the yacht and the skipper, and experience hunger and sleep deprivation.
The race is the ultimate mix of world class sporting competition and on-the-edge adventure, a unique blend of onshore glamour with offshore drama and endurance.
It is undeniably the world’s premier global race and one of the world’s most demanding team sporting events.
The first 31,250 nautical-mile race took place over 37 years ago (as the Whitbread Round the World Race 1973-74), testing the crews against some of the most ferocious elements man can encounter.
The 2011-12 race will be the 11th edition of the event.
This will be the first time the Middle East has been part of the race route.
Lying on the Arabian Gulf, Abu Dhabi has a rich maritime tradition as a port from where traditional dhows sailed on regional and intercontinental trading expeditions and pearling forays.