Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race is one of international sport’s longest and toughest events, pitting crews of up to 11 professional sailors in identical boats against each other in a nine-month global marathon.

With its roots in the iconic Whitbread round-the-world race, the Volvo Ocean Race is regarded as the unofficial world championship of fully-crewed offshore ocean racing and the roll-call of its victors down the years reads like a who’s who of some of the world’s greatest sailors.

The Volvo is a test of seamanship, a test of racing skill, stamina, determination and leadership and uniquely in professional sport, each team will be accompanied on board by so-called On-Board Reporters who will help convey the drama to the televisions, laptops and mobiles of millions of fans around the world.

Traditionally the Whitbread featured big mileage in the Southern Ocean; in recent years the race has focussed more on the middle latitudes, but in this latest renewal the race is returning to its roots with more time spent in the huge seas and ferocious winds of the deep south.

The 2017-18 race consists of 10 legs, travels more than 45,000 nautical miles and starts from Alicante in Spain on October 22. From there the fleet completes a short opening sprint to Lisbon before the first trans-oceanic leg from the Portuguese capital to Cape Town. Then it is on to Melbourne, Hong Kong and Guangzhou in China, Auckland, Itajai in Brazil, then Cardiff, Gothenburg and the finish in the Hague.

In addition to the offshore legs - which are scored cumulatively - the crews will also battle it out in a series of spectacular In-Port Races at most of the stopover ports where thousands of fans will see the Volvo Ocean 65s in anger and at close quarters. Another new feature this time is a rule-change that encourages skippers to take female sailors among what would otherwise be exclusively male crews.

Pre-Race Schedule

Locations Start Finish ETA
Assembly - Gosport July 31, 2017
Round the Island Race - Cowes Week August 3, 2017 August 3, 2017
Fastnet Race August 6, 2017 August 9, 2017
Plymouth to Lisbon Race August 10, 2017 August 15, 2017
Assembly Day - Lisbon September 18, 2017 September 22, 2017
Prologue Race - Lisbon to Alicante October 8, 2017 October 12, 2017

Volvo Ocean Race Schedule

Leg / In-Port Race From - To Start Distance
In-Port Race Alicante October 14, 2017
Leg Start Alicante - Lisbon October 22, 2017 700 nm
In-Port Race Lisbon October 28, 2017
Leg Start Lisbon - Cape Town November 5, 2017 7,000 nm
In-Port Race Cape Town December 8, 2017
Leg Start Cape Town - Melbourne December 10, 2017 6,500 nm
Leg Start Melbourne - Hong Kong January 2, 2018 6,000 nm
In-Port Race Hong Kong January 27, 2018*
Round the Island Hong Kong January 28, 2018 * 50 nm
Leg Start Hong Kong - Guangzhou February 1, 2018
In-Port Race Guangzhou February 3, 2018
Round the Island Guangzhou - Hong Kong February 5, 2018 50 nm
Leg Start Hong Kong - Auckland February 7, 2018 6,100 nm
In-Port Race Auckland March 10, 2018
Leg Start Auckland - Itajai March 18, 2018 7,600 nm
In-Port Race Itajai April 20, 2018
Leg Start Itajai - Newport April 22, 2018 5,700 nm
In-Port Race Newport May 19, 2018
Leg Start Newport - Cardiff May 20, 2018 3,300 nm
In-Port Race Cardiff June 8, 2018
Leg Start Cardiff - Gothenburg June 10, 2018 1,300 nm
In-Port Race Gothenburg June 17, 2018
Leg Start Gothenburg - Hague June 21, 2018 700 nm
In-Port Race The Hague June 30, 2018
TOTAL 45,000 nm

*These two races are added together to give an overall score for Hong Kong

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