HomeThe Ocean RaceOne year on from The Ocean Race 2022-23 start

One year on from The Ocean Race 2022-23 start

It’s been an amazing year in the life of The Ocean Race, which started from Alicante, Spain on 15 January 2023.

It was 12 months ago today that the IMOCA and VO65 fleets set off from Alicante in the 14th edition of The Ocean Race, a 50th anniversary race, which continued the hard-earned tradition of being one of the greatest challenges in world sport.

Five IMOCAs took the start of the around the world race, with six VO65s racing for the new Sprint Cup – a shorter course based around the European legs of the race.

The new foiling, flying IMOCAs lived up to their reputation as boats that push the boundaries of technology and take the sailors to their limit and beyond. More women would particpate in the Race than ever before, while new heroes from the IMOCA scene became household names for fans of The Ocean Race.

Race records would be smashed and the overall result would be in doubt until the final leg when skipper Charlie Enright and his 11th Hour Racing Team were confirmed as worthy champions and the first US-flagged team to win the Race, but not before a comeback from a dramatic collision at the start of the last leg.

Enright and team CEO Mark Towill reflected on the victory like this: “When you walk into The Ocean Race HQ in Alicante, Sir Peter Blake’s words are etched in the wall above race control, ‘it gets in your blood and you can’t get rid of it.’ If you ask heroes gone by they’ll tell you that it’s the best and worst thing they’ve ever done, that they’ve even despised being involved during the harder times but when it’s over they know why… because there’s nothing quite like it. With both of us having taken part in three campaigns, we can confirm this is always the case!”

The 14th edition of The Ocean Race is also one where The Ocean Race became the Race for the Ocean, with its award-winning sustainability programme, developed in collaboration with founding partner 11th Hour Racing, leading the way on the restoration of ocean health, through on board science, education and The Ocean Race Summits with a focus on ocean rights.

One year on from the start of the last Race, this work continues to define The Ocean Race and will do so going forward.

As the calendar flips to 2024, race organisers are diligently working to secure host cities and define a race route for The Ocean Race Europe in 2025 and the next edition of the around the world race in 2026/27. Teams are getting ready for both races.

But for now, it’s worth reflecting on what started on 15 January of last year – an epic edition of The Ocean Race.

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