The Ocean Race Europe will promote international sport, the Green Deal and the European spirit
The first edition of The Ocean Race Europe, which will launch in late spring 2021, will bring world-class international and competitive ocean sailing to up to five European cities. The Ocean Race Europe will collaborate with European citizens to advance the ambitious green transition and show the power of digital transformation.
The Ocean Race Europe will have an international fleet of IMOCA 60 with foils and complete crew and VO65 monotypes, which will sail from the North Atlantic coast of Europe to the Mediterranean Sea, in a route of up to five stages, all of them with the same punctuation. There will be winners and prizes in both classes.
“The Ocean Race Europe, tentatively scheduled for June, fits well into the 2021 regatta calendar and provides our teams with a meaningful and competitive proposition next year, as well as continuing their competition programs,” he said Johan Salén, General Director of The Ocean Race. “Being a new event, it has been important to have the support of the teams and the sailors to get this project off the ground, and the feedback received to date has been extremely positive.”
“The Ocean Race Europe is a good new event for the IMOCA fleet, as it will allow us to start the summer with a regatta through Europe, with a full crew, both in oceanic and Mediterranean conditions”, explained Jérémie Beyou, skipper of the IMOCA 60 Charal . “The regatta, with relatively short stages, should be close and very competitive, while on land it will allow us to get closer to a greater number of sailing enthusiasts around Europe, so for us it is an interesting project.”
Thomas Ruyant, IMOCA 60 LinkedOut skipper added: “I like the idea of having a new full-crew competitive event after the Vendée Globe, and The Ocean Race Europe is a good fit. Sailing with a crew will be a new challenge, and the short stages will offer a very close competition. Importantly, it will also put us in touch with fans and sponsors across Europe, whom we don’t always see on our round-the-world or transatlantic regattas. ”
Bouwe Bekking, with eight appearances in The Ocean Race under his belt, sailed with Sailing Holland and Team Childhood in 2019 and has also coached the VO65 Sailing Poland team. “It is fantastic that The Ocean Race Europe visits countries that are important to our sponsors and allows us to get closer to the younger sailors who dream of one day participating in The Ocean Race. I like that the regatta is short and intense and that we sail in new areas of the Mediterranean once we pass through Alicante ”.
“It will be very interesting to see how the new teams will behave and also how the VO65s compete with the IMOCA 60. In cross-country directions, I’m sure there will be big differences and the IMOCAs will smoke at 65. But if we have upwind conditions or stern, maybe there will be more than one surprise. In any case, it looks like it will be an exciting few weeks of competition and I am looking forward to the moment, ”added Bekking.
“We are very excited about the new The Ocean Race Europe,” said Yoann Richomme of the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team. “With the one-year postponement of the world tour, it is a perfect opportunity for us to continue competing next year in the type of sailing our team and our VO65 boat were designed for. Being able to combine it with a focus on sustainability and our ‘Racing for the Planet’ campaign is ideal. ”
“The Ocean Race Europe comes at an ideal time for us as we will start looking for competitive regattas after the Vendée Globe,” said Boris Herrmann, skipper at SeaExplorer / Yacht Club of Monaco. “Participating in a fully crewed regatta in the IMOCA 60s will be a new challenge and a great opportunity to promote sustainability initiatives in the context of a high-level regatta.”
On land, there will be public activities in each host city, along with team hospitality and promotional events. The Ocean Race Europe will have as top priority the health of the sailors, teams and the public and will respect all COVID19 regulations in all the cities that are visited.
The work started by the award-winning 2017-18 sustainability program continues as part of The Ocean Race Europe and will continue in the future. The ‘Racing with Purpose’ program includes advocacy, science, education and excellence in sustainable events.
The health of the ocean and climate change are inextricably linked. The Ocean Race Europe will advocate for climate action, telling the story of climate change through a blue prism.
As part of the ‘Sports for Climate Action’ program of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), The Ocean Race joins forces with the sports sector in our race to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.
The Ocean Race’s plan is not just to achieve net zero emissions, but to lead truly restorative and positive action on the climate.
“As sailors, we instinctively know that protecting such a vital resource for life as the ocean is essential to our collective future,” explained Richard Brisius, President of The Ocean Race. “Together with our sailors, teams, cities and sponsors, we will continue our efforts to promote a healthy and abundant ocean, and The Ocean Race Europe fits this strategy.”
“This event has been inspired by the values and spirit of European identity and cooperation and will demonstrate its importance,” added Brisius. “The Ocean Race Europe, which passes through several member countries, will itself be a showcase for open borders, the ‘European Green Deal’, the EU’s Green Deal *, and the power of digital transformation, as well as the mindset to work positively and proactively across national borders to meet challenges. ”
The first edition of The Ocean Race Europe in 2021 kicks off a ten-year calendar of competitive activity that includes the iconic global full-crew event, The Ocean Race, held every four years from 2022-23.
During a call with the registered teams last Wednesday, The Ocean Race organizers updated the teams on progress at The Ocean Race Europe and informed the more than 60 attendees of an amendment to the Notice of Race to be made for The Ocean. Race.
This amendment will include a change in the crew configuration for IMOCA 60, which reduces the number of crew on board by one; Four members will be allowed in each crew (with at least one female) or five members (with at least four women). In both scenarios, each team must additionally have an on-board reporter (OBR).
This measure comes as a positive response to a request from the IMOCA Class Association, and has been preceded by a consultation with its members.
“The aim is to make it easier for existing boats and sailors, who are already active in the IMOCA fleet, to compete in the regatta,” explained Antoine Mermod, president of the IMOCA Class Association. “A common comment was the reduction in crew numbers and we are pleased to see this change.”
You can find all the information about The Ocean Race 2022-23 at www.theoceanrace.com
As agreements with host cities are finalized, more news about The Ocean Race Europe will be announced, including a possible prologue event in Northern Europe.
* The EU Green Deal is a plan that includes fifty concrete actions to combat climate change, which aims to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.