the harbour is large enough but the teams prefer to sail close, very close
before the official start Scallywag and Akzo Nobel test the waters
a minute before the start, the teams are jockying for the best position
race day, we head for the pier and we are not alone. Security is tight
crews are busy with the last preparations or just relax
and off they are
rounding the starting buoy again, it's close sailing indeed
after rounding the far end buoy they race back with the A3 gennaker fully deployed
one of the team sponsors has even hired and painted a plane, probably loaded with invited guests
the start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017 in Alicante
The Volvo Ocean Race is the world's most prestigious around-the-world race for sailing yachts.
The race is held every three years, lasts 9 months and is sailed in about ten legs that are sometimes 14.000 km long.
 
In most stop-over ports a short so-called in-port race is held which often provides for spectacular close quarter sailing.
 
It all started in 1973 as the Whitbred race with Porthmouth as start and finish port. 
In 2001 the name changed when Volvo took over as the main sponsor and the race has since grown into the pinnacle of yacht racing, drawing a huge global audience.
 
Since 1997 the boats are standardised to make the race more competitive, the present model being the Volvo Ocean 65, with a crew of about 10 professional sailors and one dedicated media crew.
 
The organisation's headquarter is located in Alicante and since 2008 this town has been the starting port of the race.
 
The 2017 version started October 22 and we were lucky to be in town to witness this spectacular event, (video)
 
you can follow the race here.
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we visit the race village the day before the start
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the 7 boats are nicely lined-uo
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a stunt team colors up the sky
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soon Mapfre joins in
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time to go home
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and here they go for a few extra laps in the harbour before heading for Lisbon
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