Revised Course for Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18
Published on January 26th, 2017
Melbourne, Australia (January 27, 2017) – The Volvo Ocean Race has announced the addition of Melbourne, Australia to the route for the forthcoming 2017-18 edition starting in October.
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.
Australia’s history with the Volvo Ocean Race goes all the way back to the first edition in 1973-74. The change to the 2017-18 route means the Race will visit Australia for the eighth time – but for the first in more than a decade. The race came to Melbourne once before in 2005-06.
“We’re delighted to be visiting Melbourne again – a vibrant city of sport and culture with a strong maritime heritage,” said Volvo Ocean Race COO, Richard Mason.
“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 original route, announced June 29, 2016, now features a total of 10 legs taking in 12 landmark Host Cities on six continents.
The teams will leave Alicante, Spain on October 22 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.
The two Southern Ocean legs – from Cape Town to Melbourne, and Auckland to Itajaí – plus the North Atlantic leg near the end of the race, Newport to Cardiff – will all score double points. The longest leg of the 45,000-nautical mile lap of the planet will now be the 7,600-nautical mile leg from Auckland to Itajaí.
The Volvo Ocean Race recently announced a series of major changes to the rules of the 43-year-old classic adventure, including a major incentive for teams to compete with mixed male-female crews.
The addition of the Melbourne stopover means the race has locked in dates across the whole 2017-18 route.
Editor’s note: We revised these dates (on Oct. 1, 2017) after discovering the event had made a change to the schedule we had published.
The key dates are as follows:
Alicante In-Port Race – 14 October 2017
Leg 1 Start to Lisbon, POR (700nm) – 22 October 2017
In-Port Race – 28 October 2017
Leg 2 Start to Cape Town, RSA (7000nm) – 5 November 2017
Cape Town, South Africa
In-Port Race – 8 December 2017
Leg 3 Start to Melbourne, AUS (6500nm) – 10 December 2017
Leg 4 Start to Hong Kong (6000nm) – 2 January 2018
Leg 5 (non-scoring) Start to Guangzhou (100nm) – 1 February 2018
In-Port Race – 3 February 2018
Leg 5 (non-scoring) Start to Hong Kong (100nm) – 5 February 2018
Leg 6 Start to Auckland, NZL (6100nm) – 7 February 2018
Auckland, New Zealand
In-Port Race – 10 March 2018
Leg 7 Start to Itajaí, BRA (7600nm) – 18 March 2018
In-Port Race – 20 April 2018
Leg 8 Start to Newport, USA (5700nm) – 22 April 2018
In-Port Race – 19 May 2018
Leg 9 Start to Cardiff, GBR (3300nm) – 20 May 2018
In-Port Race – 8 June 2018
Leg 10 Start to Gothenburg, SWE (1300nm) – 10 June 2018
In-Port Race – 17 June 2018
Leg 11 Start to The Hague, NED (700nm) – 21 June 2018
The Hague, Netherlands
In-Port Race – 30 June 2018
Background: Racing the one design Volvo Ocean 65, the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race begins in Alicante, Spain on October 22 2017 with the final finish in The Hague, Netherlands on June 30 2018. In total, the 10-leg race will visit 12 cities in six continents: Alicante, Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff, Gothenburg, and The Hague. The full fleet has yet to be announced but there expects to be a minimum of 7 teams with a possibility of 1 or 2 more.
Source: Volvo Ocean Race