When it comes to challenges of courage, adventure, and human endurance, there are few quite as tough - yet rewarding - as the Volvo Ocean Race.
Since its inception in 1973, this sailing event has become world renowned for being one of professional sport’s longest and most challenging events. Classed as one of sailings ‘Big Three’ events alongside the Olympics and the America’s Cup, the Volvo Ocean Race brings together the world’s best teams of sailors to embark on a voyage that is fueled by obsession and determination. In fact, unlike most sporting events, there isn’t a single penny of prize money to be won; simply the kudos and prestige of raising aloft the Volvo Ocean Race Trophy.
For over four decades, the race has seen some of sport’s most acclaimed professionals tackle thousands of miles of gruelling waves and harsh conditions every four years. As such, since 1973, there have been 12 editions of the competition, with Volvo being the owners and title sponsors of the event since 1997-8.
The 2017-8 race - which began in Alicante and finishes at The Hague after travelling to such cities as Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, and Auckland - runs from October 2017 until the end of June 2018, meaning the teams will have endured eight months of sailing challenges. These challenges often run for up to 20 days at a time, and will see crews experience fluctuations in temperature ranging from -5 to 40 degrees Celsius.
This year’s event has also introduced a new scoring system to determine the winners, affording those performing particularly well during certain legs to receive added rewards. For example, those rounding Cape Horn first will receive a bonus point. The reason for such changes, said former CEO Mark Turner, is to eliminate a ‘sheep mentality’ among racers.
“We needed to do something to encourage that strategic risk-taking. We’ve amending the points system, but we’re also considering things like blackouts in terms of positions, so teams can go into ‘stealth’ mode, and in terms of weather data provided, so that navigators need to use more of their own judgement at certain times.”
To find out more about the Volvo Ocean Race, or even to follow the live progress of the competitors, head to www.volvooceanrace.com today.