Since 1973, the Volvo Ocean Race has provided the ultimate test of a team and a human adventure like no other.
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 – and the 2017-18 edition will take the teams 46000 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 November 24 and 27.
Often described as the Everest of sailing, the Volvo Ocean Race is the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world, sailing’s toughest team challenge and one of the sport’s Big Three events, along with the Olympics and America’s Cup.
To truly understand the race, it’s better to think of it in terms of thousands of sailors who have taken part over the years.
It is an obsession, and many of the world’s best sailors have dedicated years, decades even, in trying to win it.(The number of sailors allowed in an all-male crew has been reduced from eight to seven, but a team may take up two female sailors, to make a total of nine. Skippers can take 10 sailors if the team consists of an even male/female split, and an all-female team may take 11 crew members.)
Leg 2 from Lisbon to Cape Town started on Sunday, November 5, and was a classic north to south Atlantic run, passing through multiple Climate Zones. The seven teams started on the West Coast of Portugal sailing south past the Canary Islands, then onto the equator where the notorious doldrums awaited them. The doldrums are noted for calm periods when the winds disappear altogether, trapping sail-powered boats for periods of days or weeks. The biggest challenge for navigators are to avoid them as boats can get stuck there in windless conditions for days.
There’s some fun and entertainment to be had from these physical exploits for us landlubbers during the stopover period from November 24 to December 10 at the V & A Waterfront.
The Race Village will open its doors to visitors on November 24 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 November 24 and 27, allowing the teams to step onto dry land for the first time in 6300 nautical miles and after more than three weeks at sea.
The boats will set sail for Melbourne, Australia, on December 10.