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Volvo Ocean Race: the Numbers Behind the Myth

The Volvo Ocean Race 2017 will start in less than 10 days. Waiting for this new edition, take a look at these numbers to understand we the VOR is the greatest race around the world.

Volvo Ocean Race history:

  • The first edition of the race was staged in 1973-74. A total of 19 teams entered and the course took them 27,000 nautical miles around the world over four legs: Portsmouth-Cape Town-Sydney-Rio de Janeiro-Portsmouth.
  • There have been 12 editions of the race to date, staged every four years at first, before the cycle moved to every three years from 2008-09.
  • Volvo Car Group and Volvo Group have been owners and title sponsors of the Volvo Ocean Race since the 1997-98 edition.
  • 167 boats have taken part in the 12 editions of the race to date.
  • 43 different nationalities have been represented.
  • The one-design Volvo Ocean 65 monohull was introduced for the 2014-15 edition. The same seven boats from 2014-15 will be used again in the next race after an extensive refit process at the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard facility in Lisbon. An eighth boat is being built at Persico and will be raced in 2017-18.
Amory Ross / Team Alvimedica / Volvo Ocean Race


The 2017-18 edition:

  • At 45,000nm, this will be the longest course in the history of the race (previous longest racecourse was 39,270 in 2011-12.).
  • It will feature almost three times as much Southern Ocean racing, around 12,500 nm, as in recent editions.
  • It will cross four oceans and take in 12 major cities: Alicante, Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport RI, Cardiff, Gothenburg and The Hague.
  • The Race will start on 22 October 2017 from Alicante and finish eight months later in The Hague.


Women in the Volvo Ocean Race:

  • For the 2017-18 edition, the race has introduced rules that give teams a major incentive to include women as well as men.
  • All-male teams will be limited to seven sailors for this edition, but teams can also name 7 men plus 1 or 2 women; 5 men and 5 women; or 11 women on an all-female crew.
  • 126 women have competed in the race since 1973, including 11 in the  first edition.
  • Clare Francis became the first female skipper in the 1977-98 race.
  • Tracy Edwards and her crew of Maiden became the first all-female team to compete in 1989-90.
  • Since then a further four all-female teams have competed – 1993-94 US Women’s Challenge (Nance Frank/Dawn Riley); 1997-98 EF Education (Christine Guillou); 2001-02 Amer Sports Too (Lisa McDonald née Charles); 2014-14 Team SCA (Sam Davies).
  • No women competed in the race in 2008-09 and 2011-12.

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