The Ocean Race
The route of the 14th edition of The Ocean Race is now official and includes an epic journey through the Southern Ocean that will be the longest stage in the history of the regatta.
The next edition of The Ocean Race will feature the longest stage across the Southern Ocean in the event’s 50-year history, an incredible 12,750-nautical-mile marathon between Cape Town (South Africa) and Itajaí (Brazil).
This is just one of the highlights of the definitive tour, which has been confirmed this week.
The route of the 14th edition of the regatta has been adapted to the logistical realities of a round the world tour in the COVID-19 environment and will depart from Alicante at the end of December or the beginning of January, the confirmation of which is still pending. final date.
From there, the IMOCA and VO65 fleets will leave the Mediterranean Sea for Cape Verde, visiting this African nation for the first time, before heading to one of the regatta’s fixed stopovers, Cape Town (South Africa).
Then, a return to the roots of the regatta, with a brutal stage through the South Ocean, of more than 30 days of competition, to Itajaí (Brazil), site of the last three stopovers that the regatta route has made in South America.
This will be the longest stage in the history of The Ocean Race since the first edition of the full crewed round the world tour took place in 1973 and will pass through the three great headlands: Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and Cape of Ovens, on and off, for the first time in history.
“We believe that the 12,750 nautical mile stage from Cape Town to Itajaí is a very special element, unique in history, for the next regatta,” explained Johan Salén, CEO of The Ocean Race. “The reality of COVID has made it impossible at this time to carry out the necessary plans to ensure successful shutdowns in China and New Zealand.”
“China and New Zealand remain important to the present and future of The Ocean Race, and we look forward to returning to both countries,” said Regatta President Richard Brisius. “We will work diligently with both to explore ways in which they can also have a meaningful presence in this edition.”
“China has hosted stopovers continuously since the 2008-09 edition and was the winning country of the last edition of the regatta, the Dongfeng Race Team. And we consider Auckland to be a spiritual home for this event, with legends like Sir Peter Blake, Grant Dalton, Ross Field, and Mike Sanderson, to name just a few of the incredible Kiwis who have taken up this challenge. His legacy is woven into the history of The Ocean Race. ”
After the Southern Ocean stage, and after circling the famous Cape Horn, the fleet will stop in Itajaí (Brazil) to physically recover and check the ships. The route will continue towards Newport (Rhode Island-USA) before crossing the Atlantic towards the northern European stops in Aarhus (Denmark) and The Hague (Holland), before the Grand Final arrives in the Mediterranean, in Genoa (Italy).
“This update to the regatta route brings us reminiscences of the first editions of The Ocean Race, and I hope that the delay of the start until after the Ruta del Ron will attract more teams to join us at the starting line.” said Charlie Enright, skipper for the 11th Hour Racing Team. “Not only is it a simpler regatta from a logistics and organization point of view, it should also be more profitable and more accessible to other IMOCA teams, especially those looking to prepare for the 2024 Vendée Globe. The confirmed course is exciting: a month at sea, crossing the South Ocean, in the longest stage we have ever faced. It is a reminder that we will have to be at the highest level to face it, and it allows us to fully focus on the preparations, starting with the Transat Jacques Vabre this weekend.
“When I look at The Ocean Race, I see a great opportunity,” said Paul Meilhat, 2018 Rum Route winner. “This is a race that will push us to the limit as sailors but is also well prepared for us as sailors. from IMOCA to compete in a fully crewed format and showcase the fastest ocean sailing yachts to fans of this sport around the world. ”
“For Team Malizia, this is positive news,” said Boris Herrmann, who has announced an ambitious five-year racing program, with a focus on ocean science and education. “The Ocean Race is a fantastic platform for what we are trying to achieve, both in and out of the water, and the updated route and schedule put the regatta as our primary goal for 2023.”
“The new route has an epic stage in the Southern Ocean, let’s go from China to Rio in the 2008-09 edition, ″ said Chris Nicholson, with six editions under his belt, who is currently putting together a campaign with W-Ocean Racing. “This edition combines all the necessary ingredients to be ideal for the sailors as well as for the sponsors and other parties involved. I really want it to arrive at the time that I am cautious before that long stage. One of the best aspects of The Ocean Race is being able to push yourself and the boat to the limit and now we have an even higher mountain to climb and I am looking forward to the challenge. ”
The dates of the stopovers will be announced shortly when the logistics of the route are fully confirmed.
“These are challenging times, but at the same time very exciting for international events like The Ocean Race,” reflected Brisius. “We have a clear mission ahead of us: to enable our sailors to achieve the extraordinary, while driving the change towards a healthier and more sustainable planet.”
“After celebrating the first edition of The Ocean Race Europe this spring, the 14th edition of the round the world is the next phase in our 10-year event plan, which includes regional and world regattas, as well as our The Ocean Race series. Summits, designed to explore solutions and drive significant change toward restoring ocean health. We will continue working with all of our allies: teams, host cities, sponsors, fans and the media to advance these goals ”.
The participating teams will register for the regatta over the next few months; the list of teams already registered can be found here.
“This route is emerging for sailors and teams in the IMOCA and VO65 classes as one of the toughest challenges in the long history of the regatta,” Salén concluded. “During our 50-year history, The Ocean Race has evolved with the times, but has remained true to its core values. We look forward to leaving Alicante in December / January to write the next chapter ”.