Volvo Ocean Race announces Melbourne as extra stop & confirms dates
Published: Friday, 27 January 2017
The Volvo Ocean Race announced the change of the 2017-28 route, with Melbourne as a stop, marking the eighth time of the race visits Australia.
(Photos: Rob Blackbum, Roberto Seba, Josie Withers Photography, Amory Rose / Volvo Ocean Race - Melbourne)
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 before the fleet leaves on Leg 4 to Hong Kong.
The one-design Volvo Ocean 65 fleet will arrive around Christmas Day at Victoria.
“The Volvo Ocean Race is another chance for Victorians to see some of the world’s best sailing teams in action. Major events are fantastic for the entire visitor economy – they keep our restaurants and hotels full and our shopping precincts bustling,” says Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren. “The Victorian Government is proud to work with a range of dedicated partners to support this stand out sailing event.”
Australia’s history with the Volvo Ocean Race goes back to the first edition in 1973-74 and Australia has hosted the race seven times. The race first came to Melbourne in 2005-06 and now returns for a second time.
“We’re delighted to be visiting Melbourne again – a vibrant city of sport and culture with a strong maritime heritage,” says 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 full route now features 10 legs taking in 12 landmark Host Cities on six continents, The teams will leave Alicante, Spain on Oct 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.