The Volvo Ocean Race is one of the most demanding and challenging ocean races in existence. The teams will compete on a nine-leg race around the world, covering over 39,000 miles of the world most grueling oceans and conditions.
The route takes the fleet across each of the major oceans, Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Southern as well as the Arabian, South China and Irish Seas. The yachts will cross the equator four times and round the world’s two most iconic Capes – Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope.
The first Whitbread Round the World Race was conceived ‘over a pint’ of beer nearly 30 years ago by Colonel Bill Whitbread and Admiral Otto Steiner, of the Royal Naval Sailing Association, and started in September 1973 in yachts that were little different from those cruising around the Mediterranean at the time. Since those early days, much has changed. Today the yachts are high tech state of the art speed machines with comfort standards at a bare minimum.