Since 1973, the Volvo Ocean Race has provided the ultimate test of a team and a human adventure like no other. Over four decades it has kept 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. After 12 editions and half a million miles, racing resumes again on October 22 when the teams set sail from our home port of Alicante. Volvo Car Corporation, together with Volvo Group are the proud owners of the race since 1998.
The Volvo Ocean Race is often described as the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world, sailing’s toughest team challenge and one of the sport’s Big Three events, alongside the Olympics and America’s Cup.
To truly understand the race, though, it’s better to think of it in a way the athletes who take part will recognise immediately. Put simply, the Volvo Ocean Race is an obsession, and many of the world's best sailors have dedicated years, even decades of their lives trying to win it.
The race sits, just as it always has, at the intersection of human adventure, and world-class competition. Thanks to the work of the Onboard Reporters embedded with every team, fans are given a unique insight into just what it takes to win a race that is relentless in its demands – as teams give everything they have, 24 hours a day, in pursuit of the tiny advantages that can make all the difference.
Because make no mistake – the competition is fierce. In the current era of One Design racing, the only way to win is by sailing harder, and smarter, than your competitors. The race is won out on the water; not in the design phase.
The race’s concept is simple: it’s a round-the-clock pursuit of competitive edge and the ultimate ocean marathon, pitting the sport’s best sailors against each other across the world’s toughest waters. Racing one-design Volvo Ocean 65s, the world’s best professional ocean racers drive themselves to out-work and out-perform their competition around the globe.
In 2017-18, there is a renewed emphasis on the Southern Ocean and a new set of rules too – incentivising mixed crews of male and female sailors and more strategic innovation out on the racecourse.
A total of 2.4 million people visited the Race Villages in the last edition, to get a first-hand taste of the race. Millions more followed the action on our digital platforms and this time fans will be able to get even closer in person and online, with a newly imagined pit lane experience at the Host Cities and more live updates from the boat than ever.
The race will be heading to Cardiff for a stopover in May 2018. The race village will create a focal point for the world of sailing, attracting visitors from across the UK and providing an exciting branded experience for prospects, customers and other guests. More information on how you can get involved will follow in the New Year.
To follow the race download the Volvo Ocean Race app or visit volvooceanrace.com