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 that brings spectacular close quarter sailing.
It all began in 1973 as the Whitbred
with Porthmouth as start and finish port. In 2001 Volvo got involved and the race has since grown into the pinnacle
of yacht racing.
Since 1997 the boats are standardized to make the race more competitive, the present model being theVolvo Ocean 65
, with a crew of 7 to 11, depending on gender.
The 2017-18 race
started in Alicante and finished in the
Hague. It was an epic and close fought race with the teams battling each other in huge freezing storms, hot windless days and even
in dense fog.
Unfortunately two lives were lost, a Chinese fisherman was killed when Vestas smashed into his vessel near
Hongkong and John Fisher
, crewmember of Scallywag was swept overboard during a false gybe in the Southern Ocean. Later
in that same epic leg 7, Mapfre ripped the main sail and Vestas even lost their mast.
At first Mapfre dominated the
race, Brunel surged later on, but in the end Dongfeng topped a steady performance with a surprise win in the last leg and carried
the overall victory.
In the transatlantic leg Akzo Nobel smashed the old 24 h distance record
and set it to a whopping 1116 km,
with speeds up to 55 km/h!