The Volvo Ocean Race is the world's pre-eminent round-the-world yacht race and one of the most coveted prizes in the sport. The Race is owned by Volvo Cars and Volvo Group and managed by a dedicated team working from state-of-the-art headquarters in Alicante, Spain.
The event, which began life as the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973, moved from its home in England to the Valencia region in 2010 and is preparing for its 12th edition in 2014-15 and the 13th in 2017-18.
These next two editions of the race will be contested in a new high-performance yacht, the Volvo Ocean 65, designed by Farr Yacht Design in the United States and built by a consortium of boatyards in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Switzerland.
The new 65-foot (19.8-metre) monohull racing yachts will be strictly One Design and delivered “ready to sail”. The new concept will help significantly reduce the cost of mounting a competitive campaign.
The new boat is being designed and built with the latest video, satellite and content production facilities to further enhance the work being done in the unique Onboard Reporter programme that has been in place since 2008-09. These embedded reporters send back multimedia material direct form the racecourse each day, using best-in-class satellite technology and services.
Interest in the Race has never been higher after an 11th edition that proved the closest in history.
Across four oceans and five continents, the six teams that contested the 2011-12 race around the world experienced scorching days and freezing nights in impossibly cramped conditions on board. Over 39,270 nautical miles (45,000 miles or 72,000 kilometres) and over eight months of competition, the sailors took on a challenge of breathtaking scope, hitting maximum speeds of 42 knots (77.8 kph) and being faced with waves as high as 16 metres.
The 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will start on October 4, 2014, the day of the first In-Port Race in Alicante, Spain, and finish with one last In-Port Race on June 27, 2015 in Gothenburg, the Swedish home of Volvo.
The 38,739-nautical mile route will include stopovers in Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Newport (Rhode Island, US), Lisbon (Portugal), Lorient (France) and a 24-hour pit-stop in The Hague (Netherlands) on the final leg.