The Volvo Ocean Race is a professional sailing race that takes place every three years. It is considered one of the most challenging and prestigious sailing events in the world, as it involves a series of high-stakes ocean races around the globe that test the skills and endurance of the sailors and their boats. The race was first held in 1973 and was originally known as the Whitbread Round the World Race. In 2001, the race was renamed the Volvo Ocean Race after its main sponsor, the Swedish car manufacturer Volvo. The race typically covers a distance of around 45,000 nautical miles and takes place over a period of several months, with stops in various ports around the world. The race is contested by teams of professional sailors in high-tech, high-performance sailboats called Volvo Ocean 65s. The team that completes the race in the shortest amount of time is declared the winner. In addition to the main race, the Volvo Ocean Race also includes a number of other events, such as in-port races, pro-am races, and youth sailing programs.
The 14th edition of The Ocean Race will commence in Spain after the Reyes holiday period, with the foiling IMOCA fleet embarking on a 32,000 nautical mile race around the world.
The first leg is a 1,900 nautical mile sprint from Alicante to Cabo Verde, the first time the race has included a stop at the African archipelago. Historically, the fleet has sailed past the islands as they head south down the Atlantic. During their time in Cabo Verde, The Ocean Race will hold their Ocean Week event, which will focus on local and international sustainability issues.
The second leg, beginning on January 25th, will see the fleet race south across the equator to Cape Town, a location that has been visited 12 times in the history of the race, making it the most visited stopover in this edition. This leg will also include the first of three “haul-out” stops, where the boats will be lifted out of the water for maintenance.
The third leg, the longest in the 50-year history of the race, will be a one-month, 12,750 nautical mile marathon from Cape Town to Itajaí, Brazil, taking the sailors through the Southern Ocean and past the three southern Capes without stopping.
Following this epic southern leg, there will be an extended haul-out stopover in Itajaí before the race continues north, across the equator and up to Newport, Rhode Island. From there, the race will return to Europe with a transatlantic leg to Aarhus, Denmark, followed by a fly-by of Kiel, Germany and a stop in The Hague, Netherlands.
The final offshore leg, the Grand Finale, will take the race to Genova, Italy for a Mediterranean finish.
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