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Volvo Ocean Race: the world’s toughest race, comes to SA again

The Volvo Ocean Race, sailing’s equivalent of scaling Mt Everest, is coming to Cape Town again.

Since 1973, the Volvo Ocean Race has provided the ultimate test of a team, keeping an almost mythical hold over some of the greatest ever sailors.

The 2017-18 edition will take the teams 45,000 nautical miles around the world, across four oceans, touching six continents and 12 landmark host cities.

It finishes its second leg in the Mother City between 24-27 November.

The Volvo Ocean Race is the biggest event on the yachting calendar. It attracts the strongest and most proficient sailors who will no doubt experience massive sleep deprivation, physical exhaustion and of course the wrath of Mother Nature.

The race started in Alicante, Spain with an in-port race this week. On Sunday, seven syndicates will depart for Lisbon and take on the gruelling journey around the world to The Hague in the Netherlands.

From Lisbon, sailors will head to Cape Town on the second leg, which could take anything between 19 and 22 days to complete.

The stopover period will be from 24 November to 10 December. Following previous editions of the spectacular event, the V&A Waterfront will again be the host venue with a raft of activities planned around the race itself.

The Race Village will open its doors to visitors on 24 November from 11am to 8pm daily, allowing local and international fans to experience the thrill of extreme racing. The boats are expected to arrive in Cape Town between 24-27 November, allowing the teams to step onto dry land for the first time in 6 300 nautical miles and after more than three weeks at sea.

The Pro-Am is scheduled to take place on 7 December and the In-Port Race on 8 December. The boats will set sail for Melbourne, Australia, on 10 December. The VOR Academy and Youth Sailing is planned for 9 December.

The Volvo Ocean 65’s will be in port for the duration of the stop over for a full service, preparing the yachts for the in-port events which lead up to the start of the next leg.

Get up close and personal with the seven boats taking the competing teams around the globe and see the inner workings of a ‘Volvo Ocean 65’, the ocean-based home of the competing teams for eight months.

Support the Ocean Summit Globe, where you can learn more about ‘Turning the Tide on Plastics’ and what needs to be done to secure the future of our oceans.

South African sportsmen are also involved in the fight against plastic in the oceans. To find out more get a copy of the latest Team SA magazine on sail now and read how Durban swimmer Sarah Ferguson tackled the Channel of Bones in Hawaii in a bid to raise awareness!

Visit The Grind, where you can test your strength and see if you have what it takes to raise a sail 4,2m.

The Volvo Cars Pavilion will offer you the opportunity to view, compare and choose your favourite Volvo. Look the part in your official Volvo Ocean Race merchandise, available only from the Race Village Musto shop.

Be part of the Ocean Life Festival during the stopover period, featuring a roll-out of educational programmes and projects to promote environmental sustainability and resilience.

The Volvo Ocean Race offers something for everyone as well as every budget with many free and paid for options.

During the race’s last stopover in 2014-15, the event catapulted South Africa into the international spotlight, in a similar manner to what was achieved with the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

It was viewed by over 150 million people around the world, and contributed more than R540-million to the national economy.

This has been a catalyst for the evolution of thinking around the potential of what the Ocean Economy can look like for the Western Cape, and South Africa.

Picture of VOR – Clean Seas’ courtesy of Marc Bow/Volvo Ocean Race

 


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