Volvo Ocean Race

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VolvoOceanRace2006Yachts.jpg
Some of the Volvo Ocean Race participants in Baltimore Inner Harbor, United States, in 2006
History
Established:1973
Headquarters:Alicante, Spain
Title Sponsors:Whitbread (1973–2001)
Volvo (2001–Present)
Sponsors:Inmarsat, Abu Dhabi, Maersk Line, IWC, Cobham
Most recent winner:France Groupama 4 (2011–12)
Current Race
Start:Alicante, Spain 4.10.2014
Finish:Gothenburg, Sweden 27.06.2015
Entries:6
Legs:9
Yachts Used:Volvo One-Design
Similar Events:Vendée Globe, VELUX 5 Oceans Race, Global Challenge
Websites:www.volvoceanrace.com
 
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VolvoOceanRace2006Yachts.jpg
Some of the Volvo Ocean Race participants in Baltimore Inner Harbor, United States, in 2006
History
Established:1973
Headquarters:Alicante, Spain
Title Sponsors:Whitbread (1973–2001)
Volvo (2001–Present)
Sponsors:Inmarsat, Abu Dhabi, Maersk Line, IWC, Cobham
Most recent winner:France Groupama 4 (2011–12)
Current Race
Start:Alicante, Spain 4.10.2014
Finish:Gothenburg, Sweden 27.06.2015
Entries:6
Legs:9
Yachts Used:Volvo One-Design
Similar Events:Vendée Globe, VELUX 5 Oceans Race, Global Challenge
Websites:www.volvoceanrace.com

The Volvo Ocean Race (formerly the Whitbread Round the World Race) is a yacht race around the world, held every three years.[1] Originally named after its initiating sponsor, British Whitbread brewing company, it today carries the name of its current sponsor, Swedish automobile manufacturer Volvo. Presently, the Netherlands holds the record of three wins, with Dutch skipper Conny van Rietschoten the only to win the race twice.

Though the route is changed to accommodate various ports of call, the race typically departs Europe in October, and in recent editions has had either 9 or 10 legs, with in-port races at many of the stopover cities. The 2008–2009 race started in Alicante, Spain, on October 11, 2008.[1] The route for the 2008–2009 race was altered from previous years to include stopovers in India and Asia for the first time.[2] The 2008–09 route covered nearly 39,000 nmi (72,000 km), took over nine months to complete, and reached a cumulative TV audience of 2 billion people worldwide.[3]

During the nine months of the 2011–12 Volvo Ocean Race, which started in Alicante, Spain in October 2011 and concluded in Galway, Ireland, in July 2012, the teams were scheduled to sail over 39,000 nmi (72,000 km) of the world’s most treacherous seas via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape Horn to Itajaí, Miami, Lisbon, and Lorient.

Each of the entries has a sailing team of 9 professional crew who race day and night for more than 20 days at a time on some of the legs. They each have different jobs on board the boat, and on top of these sailing roles, there are two sailors that have had medical training, as well as a sailmaker, an engineer and a dedicated media crew member.

No fresh food is taken on board, so the crew lives off freeze-dried fare; they will experience temperature variations from −5 to +40 degrees Celsius and will only take one change of clothes[citation needed].

History[edit]

In 1972 England's Whitbread company and the British Royal Naval Sailing Association agreed to sponsor a globe-circling regatta, which would be called the 'Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race'.

Volvo Ocean Race flag in Baltimore Inner Harbor, United States

17 yachts and 167 crew started the first race of 27,500 nmi (50,900 km), which began from Portsmouth, United Kingdom on September 8, 1973. Approximately 3000 spectator boats set out to witness the historic start.[4]

The original course was designed to follow the route of the square riggers, which had carried cargo around the world during the 19th Century.[5]

From 2001 the ownership of the race was taken over by Volvo and Volvo Cars and the race was renamed the ‘Volvo Ocean Race’. Stopover ports were added in Germany, France, and Sweden being Volvo's three biggest car markets in Europe.

Winning the race does not attract a cash prize, as the feat of competing is presented as sufficient reward.

Many of the contestants in the Volvo Ocean Race tend to go into other professional teams after the race, such as certain members of Oracle Team USA.

The worst weather conditions are usually encountered in the Southern Ocean where waves sometimes top 100 feet (30 m) and winds can reach 60 knots (110 km/h).

The 2014–2015 race is set to last 39,379[6] nautical miles, which is the longest route in its history.[7]

Stealth Play[edit]

Stealth Play, a tactic that allows a crew to hide its position from its competitors for a period of 12 hours, is designed to add an intriguing tactical dimension to the race, whereby a team might opt to make a break from the fleet without the rest of the competitors knowing what they are doing and where they are on the race track. The ploy can first be used on leg one from Alicante to Cape Town and then on leg two (Cape Town to Kochi), leg five (Qingdao to Rio de Janeiro), leg six (Rio to Boston) and leg seven (Boston to Galway). If it is not used on one leg, it cannot be accumulated for use on a following leg.[8]

The yachts[edit]

Main article: Volvo Open 70

The Volvo Open 70 has been replaced by the Volvo Ocean 65,[9] a new class of high performance one-design racing yacht created by Farr Yacht Design and built by a consortium of four European boatyards.

List of races[edit]

EditionClassLegsIn-Port RacesEntriesStartFinishWinning yachtWinning skipper
1973–7432–80 ft (9.8–24.4 m)4017Portsmouth, EnglandPortsmouth, EnglandSayula II, MexicoRamón Carlin, Mexico
1977–7851–77 ft (16–23 m)4015Portsmouth, EnglandPortsmouth, EnglandFlyer, NetherlandsConny van Rietschoten, Netherlands
1981–8243–80 ft (13–24 m)4029Portsmouth, EnglandPortsmouth, EnglandFlyer II, NetherlandsConny van Rietschoten, Netherlands
1985–8649–83 ft (15–25 m)4015Portsmouth, EnglandPortsmouth, EnglandL'Esprit d'Equipe, FranceLionel Péan, France
1989–9051–84 ft (16–26 m)6023Southampton, EnglandSouthampton, EnglandSteinlager 2, New ZealandPeter Blake, New Zealand
1993–9485 ft (26 m) ketchs
& Whitbread 60
6014Southampton, EnglandSouthampton, EnglandNZ Endeavour, New ZealandGrant Dalton, New Zealand
1997–98Whitbread 609010Southampton, EnglandSouthampton, EnglandEF Language, SwedenPaul Cayard, American
2001–021008Southampton, EnglandKiel, GermanyIllbruck Challenge, GermanJohn Kostecki, American
2005–06Volvo Open 70977Vigo, SpainGothenburg, SwedenABN Amro I, NetherlandsMike Sanderson, New Zealand
2008–091078Alicante, SpainSaint Petersburg, RussiaEricsson 4, SwedenTorben Grael, Brazil
2011–129106Alicante, SpainGalway, IrelandGroupama 4, FranceFranck Cammas, France
2014–15Volvo One-Design9107Alicante, SpainGothenburg, SwedenTBDTBD
2017–18TBCTBCTBCTBATBATBDTBD

1973–74 Whitbread Round the World Race[edit]

The first Whitbread Round the World Race started off from Portsmouth, England on 8 September 1973. Seventeen yachts of various sizes and rigs took part. During the race three sailors were swept over board and died: Paul Waterhouse, Dominique Guillet and Bernie Hosking. Waterhouse and Guillet were never to be seen again.[10] The crew of the Mexican yacht Sayula II, a brand new Swan 65 owned and skippered by Mexican Captain Ramón Carlin, successfully won the overall race in 133 days and 13 hours. Her actual time was 152 days.[11][12]

LegStartFinishLeg winnerSkipper
1Portsmouth, EnglandCape Town, South AfricaSayula IIRamón Carlin
2Cape Town, South AfricaSydney, AustraliaPen Duick VIÉric Tabarly
3Sydney, AustraliaRio de Janeiro, BrazilGreat Britain IIChay Blyth
4} Rio de Janeiro, BrazilPortsmouth, EnglandSayula IIRamón Carlin

1977–78 Whitbread Round the World Race[edit]

On August 27, 1977, 15 boats started out from Southampton for the Whitbread Round the World Race under gale force winds and driving rain. Most of the second Whitbread Race was dominated by a tight race between Swan 65 King's Legend and Flyer. The maxi ketch Flyer was designed by Sparkman & Stephens and built at the W. Huisman shipyard in 1977 for skipper Cornelius van Rietschoten. She won the race. All 15 boats finished the 26,780-nautical-mile (49,600 km) race. Great Britain II was winner on elapsed time for the second race in succession.[13]

LegStartFinishLeg winner elapsed timeLeg winner corrected time
1Southampton, EnglandCape Town, South AfricaFlyerFlyer
2Cape Town, South AfricaAuckland, New ZealandHeath's Condor33 Export
3Auckland, New ZealandRio de Janeiro, BrazilGreat Britain IIGauloise II
4Rio de Janeiro, BrazilSouthampton, EnglandHeath's CondorGauloise II

1981–82 Whitbread Round the World Race[edit]

On August 8, 1981, 29 boats started out from Southampton for the Whitbread Round the World Race. The maxi yacht Flyer II was designed by Germán Frers and built at the W. Huisman shipyard in 1981 for skipper Cornelius van Rietschoten. In an unusual feat, she won the race both on line honours and on handicap. Only 20 finished the race out of the 29 that started it.[14]

LegStartFinishLeg winner elapsed timeLeg winner corrected time
1Southampton, EnglandCape Town, South AfricaFlyer IIKriter IX
2Cape Town, South AfricaAuckland, New ZealandFlyer IICeramco NZ
3Auckland, New ZealandMar del Plata, ArgentinaFlyer IIMor Bihan
4Mar del Plata, ArgentinaPortsmouth, EnglandFlyer IICeramco NZ

1985–86 Whitbread Round the World Race[edit]

L'esprit d'équipe and SAS Baia Viking in Punta del Este, 1986

On 28 September 1985, 15 boats started out from Southampton for the Whitbread Round the World Race. L'Esprit d'Equipe skippered by Lionel Péan won the race in a corrected time of 111 days 23 hours. Phillips Innovator was second, and Swan 651 Fazer Finland third. (UBS Switzerland was named first on elapsed time, with Lion New Zealand as runner-up. Drum (carrying owner/pop star Simon Le Bon) finished just a breath behind.[15]

LegStartFinishLeg winner
elapsed time
Leg winner
corrected time
1Southampton, EnglandCape Town, South AfricaUBS SwitzerlandL'Esprit d'Equipe
2Cape Town, South AfricaAuckland, New ZealandAtlantic PrivateerPhilips Innovator
3Auckland, New ZealandPunta del Este, UruguayUBS SwitzerlandL'Esprit d'Equipe
4Punta del Este, UruguayPortsmouth, EnglandUBS SwitzerlandL'Esprit d'Equipe

1989–90 Whitbread Round the World Race[edit]

The Whitbread Round the World Race was run with several classes (for size of boat). This race featured the first all-woman crew on Tracy Edwards' Maiden. Although in a much smaller boat than many of their male counterparts the women fared well—claiming two leg victories in class.

Final standings[16]
PosBoatNatSkipperLOA/DesAggregate
1Steinlager 2 New ZealandPeter Blake (NZ)84' Ketch128 d 9 h
2Fisher & Paykel NZ New ZealandGrant Dalton (NZ)82' Ketch129 d 21 h
3Merit  SwitzerlandPierre Fehlmann (F)80' Sloop130 d 10 h
4Rothmans United KingdomLawrie Smith (GB)80' Sloop131 d 4 h
5The Card SwedenRoger Nilson / Ann Lippens (S)80' Ketch135 d 7 h
9Union Bank of Finland FinlandLudde Ingvall (FIN)72' Sloop138 d 16 h
11Fazisi Soviet UnionAlexi Grischenko / Skip Novak / Valeri Alekseyev83' Sloop139 d
18Maiden United KingdomTracy Edwards (GB)58' Sloop167 d 3 h
21La Poste FranceDaniel Mallé (F)51' Sloop181 d 22 h

The boat Creighton's Naturally suffered a serious broach on leg 2, at about 3 in the morning. Crew members Anthony (Tony) Philips and Bart van den Dwey were swept over board. They were both pulled back on deck. Van den Dwey successfully resuscitated, but, after three hours of trying, crewmembers were unable to revive Philips. A few days later, by radio agreement with relatives ashore, Philips was buried at sea.[17]

Leg Winners
LegStartFinishLeg winnerSkipper
1Southampton, EnglandPunta del Este, UruguaySteinlager 2Peter Blake(NZ)
2Punta del Este, UruguayFremantle, AustraliaSteinlager 2Peter Blake (NZ)
3Fremantle, AustraliaAuckland, New ZealandSteinlager 2Peter Blake (NZ)
4Auckland, New ZealandPunta del Este, UruguaySteinlager 2Peter Blake (NZ)
5Punta del Este, UruguayFort Lauderdale, USASteinlager 2Peter Blake (NZ)
6Fort Lauderdale, USASouthampton, EnglandSteinlager 2Peter Blake (NZ)

Steinlager 2 skippered by Peter Blake won the race easily. For the first time since 1981 to 1982 (when the race comprised just four legs), the victor won every leg (albeit closely chased by both Grant Dalton's Fisher & Paykel NZ and Pierre Fehlmann's Merit entries). The vast difference in speed and capability of the many different boats involved in the 1989 to 1990 race lead to the creation of a committee to examine the commission of a Whitbread class boat for use in future races. Many of the Maxi yachts in this year's race were nearly twice the size (LOA) of the smallest, and carried well over twice the sail area. The net result of this was that many of the smaller boats finished the longer legs more than ten days after the leg winner. In the overall results, the last finisher was some 52 days behind Blake's Steinlager 2 128 day aggregate time. In addition, the expense of the big yachts was getting to be too much - even for the well funded teams like Steinlager, Rothmans and Merit. Eventually, the new class would be called the W60 - but its gestation would not be quick or lack controversy.

1993–94 Whitbread Round the World Race[edit]

The 1993 to 1994 Whitbread Round the World Race was run to "mixed class" rules (as with prior races). New for the 93/4 race was a purpose built Whitbread boat—the W60. As with previous years a handicap was applied to different boats based on their race rating. The competitors were none too keen or running both Maxis and W60's together. The two competing classes battled throughout with protest flags always at the ready. Many entrants wanted the old maxis banned for this year, however owing to concerns over whether enough new boats would be ready (not to mention the large investments the Maxi owners had made in previous years), several Maxis were allowed to compete in the 1993 to 1994 race. The W60 skippers almost unanimously insisted they were in a 'completely different boat race', to the fury of Grant Dalton skippering a maxi. Dalton conceded afterwards however that the race should only have one class in future, to avoid similar squabbles.

Final standings
PosBoatNatSkipperClassAggregate
1NZ Endeavour New ZealandGrant Dalton (NZ)Maxi120 d 5 h
2Yamaha Japan/ New ZealandRoss Field (NZ)W60120 d 14 h
3Merit Cup United KingdomPierre Fehlmann (F)Maxi121 d 2 h
4Intrum JustitiaEuropeRoger Nilson (S) / Lawrie Smith (GB)W60121 d 5 h
5Galicia 93 Pescanova SpainJavier de la Gandara (Esp)W60122 d 6 h
6Winston United StatesDennis Conner (USA) /Brad Butterworth (NZ)W60122 d 9 h
7La Poste FranceÉric Tabarly (F)Maxi123 d 22 h
8Tokio JapanChris Dickson (NZ)W60128 d 16 h
9Brooksfield ItalyGuido Maisto (I)W60130 d 4 h
10Hetman Sahaidachny UkraineEugene Platon (Ukr)W60135 d 23 h
11Reebok/Dolphin Youth United KingdomMathew Humphries (GB)W60137 d 21 h
12Heineken United StatesDawn Riley (USA)W60138 d 16 h
13Odessa UkraineAnatoly Verba (Ukr)W60158 d 4 h
NFFortuna SpainLawrie Smith (GB)MaxiWD
Full details of finishing positions can be found in: Media Guide: 5. History

Intrum Justitia was originally skippered by Roger Nilson, who was injured on the first leg.

Leg Winners:

LegStartFinishLeg winnerSkipper
1Southampton, EnglandPunta del Este, UruguayNZ EndeavourGrant Dalton (NZ)
2Punta del Este, UruguayFremantle, AustraliaIntrum JustitiaLawrie Smith (GB)
3Fremantle, AustraliaAuckland, New ZealandNZ EndeavourGrant Dalton (NZ)
4Auckland, New ZealandPunta del Este, UruguayNZ EndeavourGrant Dalton (NZ)
5Punta del Este, UruguayFort Lauderdale, USAYamahaRoss Field (NZ)
6Fort Lauderdale, USASouthampton, EnglandTokioChris Dickson (NZ)

References[edit]

External links[edit]