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Volvo Ocean Race to return to Australia

Volvo Ocean Race to return to Australia
January 27, 2017

Sailing’s Volvo Ocean Race will return to Australia for the first time in over a decade with a stop in Melbourne added to the calendar for the 2017/18 edition of the event.

With Melbourne’s addition completing the line-up for the series, the change to the Race route for the 2017/18 means it will be visiting Australia for the eighth time and Melbourne’s addition completes the line-up for the series.

With what will be a compressed stopover, Melbourne fits between Cape Town and Hong Kong, and completes a 45,000-nautical mile route that will see the teams cover three times as many miles in the Southern Ocean as in previous editions.

Cape Town to Melbourne will now make up Leg 3 of the race – a double-point scoring, 6,300-nautical mile leg. Melbourne will host a week-long stopover, but no In-Port Race, before the fleet leaves on Leg 4 to Hong Kong.

According to projections, the one-design Volvo Ocean 65 fleet will arrive around Christmas Day - creating competition for the yacht racing world’s attention with the annual Sydney to Hobart race.

The Race will then set off for Hong Kong on 2nd January next year.

Australia’s history with the Volvo Ocean Race goes all the way back to the first edition in 1973/74, with Melbourne having the event just once, in 2005/06 and now returns for a second time.

Announcing the return to Melbourne, Volvo Ocean Race Chief Operating Officer Richard Mason stated “we’re delighted to be visiting Melbourne again – a vibrant city of sport and culture with a strong maritime heritage.

“Having been born in Australia myself, I couldn’t be more excited to see the race head Down Under, and I know that sailing fans across the nation will be full of excitement to see the boats and sailors for themselves.”

The full route now features a total of 10 legs taking in 12 landmark Host Cities on six continents.

The teams will leave Alicante, Spain on 22nd October and race on to Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne and Hong Kong before a non-scoring transition to Guangzhou in China.

After a stopover in Guangzhou that will include a race in the In-Port Series, the ocean legs will resume with a leg to Auckland before stopping in Itajaí, Brazil, Newport, Rhode Island, Cardiff and Gothenburg, before the big finish in the Dutch city of The Hague.

There will be no in-port race in Melbourne, but there will be huge foreshore celebrations for the intrepid sailors, international crews and the public and yachting fraternity.

The addition of the Melbourne stopover means the race has locked in dates across the whole 2017/18 route.

The key dates are as follows:

Alicante
Race Village opens - 11th October 2017
Alicante In-Port Race - 14th October 2017
Leg 1 Start - 22nd October 2017

Lisbon
In-Port Race - 28th October 2017
Leg 2 Start - 5th November 2017

Cape Town
In-Port Race - 8th December 2017
Leg 3 Start - 10th December 2017

Melbourne
Leg 4 Start - 2nd January 2018

Hong Kong
In-Port Race - 27th January 2018

Guangzhou
In-Port Race - 4th February 2018
Leg 5 Start - 7th February 2018

Auckland
In-Port Race - 10th March 2018
Leg 6 Start - 18th March 2018

Itajaí
In-Port Race - 20th April 2018
Leg 7 Start - 22nd April 2018

Newport
In-Port Race - 19th May 2018
Leg 8 Start - 20th May 2018

Cardiff
In-Port Race - 8th June 2018
Leg 9 Start - 10th June 2018

Gothenburg
In-Port Race - 17th June 2018
Leg 10 Start - 21st June 2018

The Hague
In-Port Race - 30th June 2018

Images: Action from the Volvo Ocean Race (top and below) and the route for the 2017/18 race (middle)

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22nd July 2016 - ROLEX SYDNEY HOBART YACHT RACE NOTICE OF RACE AVAILABLE IN MANDARIN

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