THE VELUX 5 OCEANS announces race route for 2010-2011
Five Ocean Sprints within a Marathon Solo Circumnavigation of the Planet
Clipper Ventures PLC, organisers of the VELUX 5 OCEANS yacht race, are pleased to confirm the route for the 2010-11 race, the eighth edition of the classic solo yacht race since it was first established in 1982.
Following the announcement in October that the city of La Rochelle (France) will host the start and finish, the Race Management is pleased to confirm that there will be five Ocean Sprints:
1. Cape Town Ocean Sprint: 7,500 nautical miles from La Rochelle (France) to Cape Town (South Africa), starting October 17, 2010
2. Wellington Ocean Sprint: 7,000 nautical miles from Cape Town (South Africa) to Wellington (New Zealand)
3. Salvador Ocean Sprint: 7,400 nautical miles from Wellington (New Zealand) to Salvador (Brazil)
4. Charleston Ocean Sprint: 4,000 nautical miles from Salvador (Brazil) to Charleston (USA)
5. La Rochelle Ocean Sprint: 3,600 nautical miles from Charleston (USA) to La Rochelle (France)
David Adams, Race Director concluded, "We are excited to announce the race route for the VELUX 5 OCEANS 2010-11 with just under two years to go until the race start from La Rochelle. We have spent 12 months in discussions with potential skippers to listen to their needs and build on the lessons from the last event. In 2006-07, our three legs were designed to reduce costs for skippers, but the long distances resulted in the fleet becoming too spread and led to higher than anticipated costs due to the long stops in Australia and USA. So we have returned to a traditional format of five Ocean Sprints, and are delighted to have found such strong support with partners in La Rochelle, Cape Town, Wellington, Salvador and Charleston. We will announce the dates and timings of the Ocean Sprints and City Pit Stops in 2009."
The race has been billed as The Ultimate Solo Challenge since 1982 because of the stop-start nature of the high speed racing over the Ocean Sprints, covering the greatest distance and time alone at sea of any race around the world. Each Ocean Sprint offers unique challenges faced by the skippers, including the tactical difficulties of approaching the coast lines and the varying weather and ocean patterns. It is also a truly international ocean race, visiting five continents and offering a worldwide media profile over an eight month period.
David Adams continued, "The racing itself is closer with the fleet tightly bunched from each restart. And if a yacht breaks down, there's a chance to demonstrate the seamanship necessary to get to the next port, repair and restart. For sailors, there's also the strong camaraderie that develops among the skippers and their teams ashore, as well as interacting with locals in each port. For sponsors, there are opportunities for international media, hospitality and promotions in some of the world's most spectacular harbour cities. For spectators, there are more opportunities to meet the inspirational skippers at the various ports, and to watch the spectacular Sprint starts and finishes, whether 'live' or via the media or internet."
"Over the next two years we will work with our new city partners to deliver high quality stopovers for skippers, providing world class services, global media coverage and reducing costs as much as possible across the board. However, we are well aware that the unique nature of the event, comparable only to the Volvo Ocean Race in terms of the time and resources required to participate, makes it a high cost commitment. Clipper Ventures is therefore working with VELUX to ensure that The Ultimate Solo Challenge is a cost-effective platform for skippers and sponsors seeking a truly global event."
VELUX and Clipper Ventures made an additional joint announcement today in Paris, revealing a significant investment and value in kind package for participating skippers. VELUX is providing a €500,000 Skipper Prize Fund and a further €700,000 to be invested in accommodation, logistics and communication for skippers, designed to reduce budgets and incentivise skippers to enter the race. Clipper ventures will match this investment with an additional €600.000 of value in kind in order to assist with budgets and further reduce cost burdens.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of Clipper Ventures PLC, concluded, "The stopovers make it a much richer experience for sailors, sponsors and spectators alike. It's a true journey around the world, experiencing other cultures and people, as well as the challenges of the oceans."
"However, there is no denying that our classic race format, with 4 pit stops around the world, makes the event more expensive for competitors and their sponsors than a non-stop race. VELUX and Clipper Ventures are to therefore jointly deliver €1.8 million of value to skippers, designed to attract inspirational sailors from a broad range of nations."
The Race Route 2010-11
Ocean Sprint 1 to Cape Town sees the South African city welcome back the race for the seventh time. The city's ideal position as the meeting point of two great oceans means that the fleet can push hard through the Atlantic after battling through the Bay of Biscay departure from La Rochelle (set for October 17, 2010).
Ocean Sprint 2 to Wellington sees the race returning to New Zealand for the third time, having previously visited Tauranga and Auckland, in 2002 and 1998 respectively. New Zealand's Capital City will host the race for the first time and will be the ideal venue for the competitors to recover from the long leg from Cape Town before preparing for the treacherous Southern Ocean Sprint around Cape Horn to Brazil.
Ocean Sprint 3 to Salvador sees the VELUX 5 OCEANS return to Brazil for the first time since the inaugural race in 1982. Although this will be the first time hosting this race for Salvador, the Bahian city is no stranger to offshore racing, hosting both the Transat Jacques Vabre and Transat 6.50 events. The fleet will arrive just in time for the Salvador Carnival, the biggest in Brazil, the perfect remedy after the hardships of the Southern Ocean, Cape Horn and the South Atlantic.
Ocean Sprint 4 to Charleston sees the East Coast USA port welcome the race for third time. The fleet will battle the Doldrums for the second time and face the storms off the American coast before arriving in the historic city in South Carolina.
Ocean Sprint 5 to La Rochelle will be a high adrenaline race across the North Atlantic and back into the Bay of Biscay, where La Rochelle will celebrate the unique achievements of completing The Ultimate Solo Challenge.
The VELUX 5 OCEANS Race Management Team is working hard to ensure the 2010-11 event is a rewarding experience for skippers, sponsors, host ports and spectators alike.