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Volvo Ocean Race, the show must go on
Publishing date 1/10/2014
The Volvo Ocean Race returns this year to Alicante, to bring together the best yatchpeople in the world. Some of them are veterans in the race, and others are new. Thanks to the monotypes, boats which are exactly the same, competition is expected to be much tougher than in previous editions. Also, for the first time since 2001, a women's team, the SCA, is involved. Everything is prepared in Alicante for the Volvo Ocean Race, a battle that begins on the 4th of October, with the In-Port regatta. But if you want to enjoy a unique event, you will find in the Race Village, until the 11th of October, attractions, concerts, water sports, exhibitions, and workshops; a wide variety of activities for the whole family. Fun and excitement are secured in the capital of the Costa Blanca.
The Volvo Ocean Race sets out from Alicante, goes around the world and stops by eleven ports in eleven countries. From Europe, it heads to Africa, Asia, Australia and America, in this order, before returning to Europe, where it concludes; a true circumnavigation of the globe.
The starting point is Alicante, in the Spanish Mediterranean shore, where the first In-Port regatta is held on October the 4th. A week later, the first stage, which ends in Cape Town, will start. It is a classical journey: with the boats sailing north to south with the Trade winds, the entire fleet crosses the equator and tropical lulls. Not forgetting the final sprint in the South Atlantic, where strong winds and high waves are waiting for them in South Africa.
It may seem romantic... But it is a hard stage involving dramatic changes in temperature and extreme conditions, together with weather patterns which are not always easy to interpret.
The difficulties multiply during the 38,739 miles (70,376 kilometers) that lie ahead. After a stop and more In-Port regattas in Cape Town, the fleet heads back north through the Indian Ocean towards Abu Dhabi, into the Asian part of the route. After Abu Dhabi, the fleet goes east in the direction of Sanya, a tropical city in China, were the following stop will take place. Hence again the boats set out south through the Pacific, towards New Zealand, to Auckland, the City of Sails.
The next stage runs through the Southern Ocean, around Cape Horn and then up the east coast of South America, a stage that has been part of this world tour since its inception. Hopefully, stunning images of the boats as they face waves like roller coasters at the furtherest mythical land will reach us.
And from there, to America. The South American scale occurs in Itajaí, Brazil, after which the fleet will head to North America through the Trade winds and the equator again to reach Newport, a town in Rhode Island known for its love of sailing, where it is expected that the Regatta will generate great excitement.
The last stage stretches across the Atlantic Ocean to Lisbon, capital of Portugal, and then a series of shorter races begin, in which the teams have an opportunity to test their tactics. The boats head from Lisbon to Lorient in France, and then, to Gothenburg, in Sweden. A halfway technical stop will take place at The Hague, Netherlands.
And nine months later, the Volvo comes to an end with a final In-Port regatta in Gothenburg, on June 27th, 2015.
Fotos: Javier Escandell, Brian Carlin, Corinna Halloran, Ainhoa Sánchez, Stephan Coppers y Matt Knighton. Copyright Volvo Ocean Race