About the Volvo Ocean Race
The Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s toughest sailing event, an exceptional test of sporting and human endeavour featuring the elite of the sailing profession. It is a marathon on the seas lasting over eight months, passing through four oceans and five continents, and it will push the athletes to the limits of endurance.
In the 38 years since its inception the race has evolved considerably from the Corinthian adventure of the original Whitbread Race, to the big budget, fully professional campaigns that typify the Volvo Ocean Race today.
Inspired by the achievements of the British singlehanded circumnavigator, Robin Knox-Johnston in the 1969 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, Guy Pearce and Anthony Churchill took their fledgling plans for the first fully crewed race around the world to Admiral Otto Steiner of the British Royal Naval Sailing Association. Convinced of its potential, Steiner enlisted the help of brewery boss Colonel Bill Whitbread. As legend has it, the pair met in a smokey Portsmouth pub to flesh out the fine details, announcing soon after that the first ever Whitbread Race would take place in 1973.
Rebranded in 2001 by its new owners as the Volvo Ocean Race, 2011-12 will be the 11th edition of this iconic sailing regatta.
For full information about the Volvo Ocean Race and ports, schedules and dates, go to www.volvooceanrace.com
The race will start in the Spanish port of Alicante in October 2011 and finish in Galway, Ireland in July 2012. On the way, the race will visit Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Miami (USA), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France).
The race is contested by 11-strong crews of professional sailors, who will experience temperatures ranging from -15 to +40 degrees Celsius over the course of the race. They will trust their lives to the boat skipper and experience hunger and severe sleep deprivation on legs lasting as long as 22 days. No fresh produce is taken on board during the race, meaning the teams will survive on freeze-dried food.
The push for even small advantages means the sailing teams are the forefront of technological advantages in the industry. The teams will compete in state-of-the-art Volvo Open 70s, the fastest racing yacht in the world. The current monohull speed record was set by the Volvo Open 70 Ericsson 4 during the 2008-09 race, with the boat covering 596 nautical miles in 24 hours.
One of the most demanding team sporting events in the world, the race presents a unique blend of high-tech glitz, offshore endurance and edge-of-the-seat adventure.
For more information about the race schedule visit www.volvooceanrace.com