The Ocean Race to finish in Italy
Published on September 23rd, 2019
The Ocean Race 2021-22 will finish in the Italian port city of Genoa, marking the first time the fully-crewed, around the world yacht race, will come to this European country in the Mediterranean.
“Bringing the finish of The Ocean Race to Genova and Italy is significant as it marks an opportunity to engage with more race fans in southern Europe who have a true passion for top-level sport,” said Richard Brisius, Race Chairman of The Ocean Race.
“In the City of Genoa we have found a partner who holds the same ambition towards creating a sustainable future as we do, and who shares many of our Race values such as teamwork and technology while at the same time respecting an impressive maritime heritage.”
In the last edition of the Race, the finish in The Hague (Netherlands) was the closest conclusion of the event in history, with three teams vying for supremacy after racing over 40,000 nautical miles around the world.
The Ocean Race 2021-22 will see two classes of boats competing for the first time in 25 years: the high-tech, foiling IMOCA 60 class, as well as the one-design VO65 fleet that produced record-breaking performances and such compelling and close competition in the last edition.
“Hosting such an important event shows the great visibility and recognition that the city is getting on a global scale,” said Mayor Marco Bucci. “It is a success that springs from the unique features of our territory, our longstanding maritime heritage and the incredible infrastructure potential we can offer.
“We will be ready to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors who will gather in Genoa for this event. We look forward to showcasing Genoa worldwide, not only during the finish of the Race, but also before and after it. The City of Genoa will do everything necessary to make it the most memorable and exciting finish in the history of The Ocean Race.”
Italy has long had a close relationship with The Ocean Race, which began as the Whitbread Race Around the World in 1973 with three Italian flagged entries on the starting line. Over the years, 11 Italian teams and over 130 Italian sailors have competed in the event first known as the Whitbread and from 2001 through 2018, as the Volvo Ocean Race.
In the last event Italian offshore sailor Alberto Bolzan sailed in his second consecutive edition of the Race. And Olympian and 49er FX World Champion Francesca Clapcich raced on board Turn the Tide on Plastic. Clapcich says having the race finish in Genoa will have a positive impact on youth sailing across the entire country.
“This is such positive news for sailing in Italy,” she said. “I know how inspiring it can be to see the top sailors in the world up close, competing in one of the most iconic races in our sport and it would be fantastic if this leads to an Italian campaign taking part in the next race.
“The Ocean Race is also a very effective platform to shine a light on ocean health as we did with our campaign last race, and I think that is a great opportunity for Genoa and all of my country as well.”
The Ocean Race is scheduled to start from its home port in Alicante, Spain in Q4 of 2021 and finish in Genoa, Italy in June of 2022. The full Race Route will be confirmed in the coming weeks, which had stated there would be up to nine stopover ports. Here’s what has been confirmed so far:
• Alicante, Spain: This historic Mediterranean port will host the start for the fifth consecutive edition in the autumn of 2021.
• Aarhus, Denmark: The course comes to the east coast of the Jutland peninsula during the spring of 2022, following a popular ‘Fly-By’ of the city during the final leg of the 2017-18 edition of the Race. Details.
• The Hague, Netherlands: This city along the North Sea coast will welcome the race for a third consecutive time, first coming as a ‘pitstop’ on the final leg of the 2014-15 edition and as the final finish port for the 2017-18 race. Details.
• Cabo Verde: More accustomed to having offshore teams sail by, or stop for repair, this archipelago of ten volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean will become just the second African venue the race has ever visited and the first West African nation to host the event. Details.
• Genoa, Italy: As the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, this first-time race host is Italy’s largest sea port yet remains full of grandeur as the gateway to the Riviera while offering weighty architectural heritage.
The Ocean Race (formerly The Volvo Ocean Race), scheduled to start in 2021, will be raced in two classes of boats: the high-performance, foiling, IMOCA 60 class and the one-design VO65 class which has been used for the last two editions of the race. Entries in the IMOCA 60 class will compete for The Ocean Race trophy, while those racing the VO65s will chase the Ocean Challenge Trophy.
The race course of the 2021-22 edition of The Ocean Race will be determined in 2019. The race will start from Alicante, Spain in the autumn of 2021 and finish in Europe in early summer of 2022. There will be up to nine stopover ports.
• IMOCA – Team Malizia (GER)- Boris Herrmann (GER)
• VO65 – Racing For The Planet (POR)
• IMOCA – Paul Meilhat (FRA)
• IMOCA – 11th Hour Racing (USA) – Charlie Enright & Mark Towill (USA)
Source: 11th Hour Racing Team