Supporting next generation of sailors

Published on April 28th, 2022

Through name changes and course adjustments, the round the world race now known as The Ocean Race has sought to balance its position as the premier crewed offshore event with the increasing cost to pursue the title.

When new ownership took over after the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, a re-imagined format got derailed by COVID-19, delaying the start from October 2021 to January 2023. That’s a lot of time to lose interest.

But now with the start less than nine months away, it is put-up or shut-up time to join this 50 year old race. Thus far, 14 teams are listed for the foiling IMOCAs and seven in the one-design VO65 class. How many make it to the start line is another matter.

However, one VO65 team that is certain to be there is Sailing Holland and DutchSail with ‘SAILING TEAM NEXTGEN’, a campaign seeking to support future generations of Dutch sailors.

It’s the thirteenth time in fourteen editions a Dutch-owned team will compete in the race, and the campaign can count on the support of Olympian Carolijn Brouwer, a three-time participant who made history in the last edition by being the first woman to win the race.

“Historically we, the Dutch, are the strongest country in The Ocean Race,” noted Brouwer. “ABN AMRO I was the last Dutch-flagged boat to win the race, but there was no Dutchie on board. In the last race I was on the winning boat, but that was not with a Dutch team.

“While I have never sailed in a Dutch team, this campaign is hopefully going to change that. Not for myself, but for the next generations. I really believe we could inspire a lot of young kids back at home and at the local sailing clubs. Next to that, I would like to transfer my knowledge and experience to the next generation of young sailors. They need to see that dreams are achievable.”

The team is already preparing for the start, having sailed their V065 from Sint-Maarten to Jeddah. By mid-June, the boat will set course for The Hague, using the transit as a training block. By the end of August, after a refit in the Netherlands, the boat will sail to the Balearic Sea where the crew will use the rest of the year in preparation for the January 15 start in Alicante, Spain.

The Ocean Race 2022-23 Race Schedule:
To be confirmed – Prologue Race(s): September to December 2022
Alicante, Spain – Leg 1 start: January 15, 2023
Cabo Verde – ETA: January 22; Leg 2 start: January 25
Cape Town, South Africa – ETA: February 9; Leg 3 start: February 26 or 27 (TBC)
Itajaí, Brazil – ETA: April 1; Leg 4 start: April 23
Newport, RI, USA – ETA: May 10; Leg 5 start: May 21
Aarhus, Denmark – ETA: May 30; Leg 6 start: June 8
Kiel, Germany (Fly-By) – June 9
The Hague, The Netherlands – ETA: June 11; Leg 7 start: June 15
Genova, Italy – The Grand Finale – ETA: June 25, 2023; Final In-Port Race: July 1, 2023

Race detailsRouteTeamsFacebook

The Ocean Race (formerly Volvo Ocean Race and Whitbread Round the World Race) 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 14th edition was originally planned for 2021-22 but was postponed one year due to the pandemic.

Source: The Ocean Race

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