The Volvo Ocean Race – arguably the world’s toughest and most extreme sailing event – is set to visit Cape Town once again as one of the twelve stopover ports during the 2017-18 event. Entering its 13th edition, the 2017-18 running of the Volvo Ocean Race is set to raise the bar once again as seven teams take to the world’s oceans in the ultimate extreme test of man and wind-powered machine.
The first leg of the Race begins on 22 October 2017 in Alicante, Spain, where the teams will embark on their 45 000 nautical mile journey which takes them across four oceans, touching six continents and visiting twelve host cities over nine months. It will feature almost three times as much Southern Ocean racing, around 12 500 nm, compared to recent editions. Starting in Alicante, Lisbon and Cape Town follow, with Melbourne kicking off the 2018 side of the Race. Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff, and Gothenburg follow, with the Race set to end in June 2018 in The Hague.
Following previous editions of the event, the V&A Waterfront will be the host venue of the spectacular event for the 11th time, with a raft of activities planned around the Race itself. A travelling Race Village will open its doors to visitors from 24 November 2017, allowing local and international fans of the Volvo Ocean Race to experience the thrill of extreme sailing, as well as an immersive take on Volvo Group – including Volvo Cars. The Volvo Ocean Race is owned, rather than merely sponsored, by the Swedish group of companies.
Arrivals in Cape Town and the start of Leg 3
The boats are expected to arrive in Cape Town around 27 November, allowing the teams to step onto dry land for the first time in 6 300 nautical miles and after three solid weeks at sea. A full service will be performed in the port, preparing the yachts for the in-port events which lead up to the start of the next leg of the Race. The In-Port Race is scheduled for 08 December 2017 and the boats will the set sail for Melbourne, Australia, on 10 December.
The Volvo Ocean 65 monohull racing yachts will again do duty in the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race after a decision was made before the previous edition to improve cost effectiveness and sustainability by producing boats that would be suitable for two rounds of the event rather than one, and utilising a formula-based, One Design concept. The One Design concept, which sees all eight teams racing in identical boats designed by Farr Yacht Design, leads to closer competition and produces results based purely on sailing skill on the water rather than potential design and technical advantages.
All details of the Volvo Ocean Race, including information on the teams, boats, legs, host cities, route, live streams, online trackers and news feeds, can be found at www.volvooceanrace.com.
Local economy boost
The Volvo Ocean Race brings a wealthy boost to the local economy thanks to its global appeal and widespread reach in terms of suppliers, visitors and global media attention. The previous edition, which saw the spotlight land on Cape Town towards the end of 2014, saw a financial boost to the national economy of over R540 million and over 150 million eyes were focused on the world-renowned city.
Some of the impressive numbers include:
- 32 500 bed nights booked for Volvo Ocean Race international visitors
- 201 061 total visitors to the Race Village over a 19-day programme
- Average daily footfall along the quayside and surrounds – 10 582
- Direct job creation
- Approximately 28 000 man hours required to build the Race Village
- 7 local boat building companies assisted the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard
- 50 local charter boats chartered for the In-Port Race and Race Restart
- 150 boats and 3 000 spectators on the water for the In-Port Race and Race Restart
- International television Coverage (entire Volvo Ocean Race duration, 1 Oct 2014 – 30 June 2015)
- 24 894 broadcast elements
- 7 663 hours of coverage
- 293.1-million Euros publicity value