Volvo Ocean Race – Sailing’s Top Sailors
The Volvo Ocean Race is the leading round-the-world sailing race for teams, with a series of 9 stops (ports) that give fans the chance to experience an In-Port Race series. The race began in 1973 and was then known as The Whitbread (brewerery) Round-The-World Race. The Volvo Group (car manufacturer) became owners in 2001 and the race name was changed. Today it is sailing’s biggest offshore race and one of the most coveted prizes in the sport. It lasts for nearly nine months, travels nearly 40,000 nautical miles – the longest sporting event in the world. The race began October 4 in Spain and will conclude June 27, 2015 in Sweden.
Seven teams representing more than eight countries are competing in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. This includes Team SCA (Sweden), Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Abu Dhabi), Dongfeng Race Team (China), Team Brunel (Netherlands- all female), Team Alvimedica (USA/Turkey), Team Vestas Wind (Denmark), Team Espana (Spain). Each team has 8 sailors aboard with the exception of the womens team which is allowed 11 sailors.
The teams will be racing the new Volvo Ocean 65 one-design. It’s built to a single, tightly controlled set of plans from Farr Yacht Design. All the boats come from the same group of four world-class boat builders – Green Marine, Decision, Persico and Multiplast. All the sails will be manufactured by North sails and built in batches so that the same mould is used for the production of eight sails of one type. In 2014-15, each one-design Volvo Ocean 65 will race around the world with just 12 sails. Just eight race sails are allowed on board, with no (non-repair) recuts and only four replacement sails. There is considerable cost savings to each team by having the boats designed, built, and fitted out as one designs allowing for a more competitive race. Much more importantly, the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race will be won and lost by the athletes.
The only stop in the US will be in Newport, Rhode Island from May 5 – 17, 2015. So if you missed the Americas Cup yachts in 2013, you now have an opportunity to experience world class racing here on the east coast. I may even sneak away this year to see how real men/women race sailboats. Here is everything you need to know about The Volvo Ocean Race in Newport.
Below are the links to help you fully enjoy the Volvo Ocean Race.
Outside Television.com is offering a video series every Monday evening at 10:30pm.