The Ocean Race, a crewed race around the world that has held two other names and sponsors since its inception (Whitbread Round the World Race, Volvo Ocean Race), has announced that the 14th running of the race originally scheduled to start in October 2021 will be pushed back one year to October 2022.
The competition, sailed aboard VO65 and IMOCA 60 classes, will still start in Alicante, Spain, and end in Genoa, Italy, but will conclude in the summer of 2023. The route will stay unchanged and will include stops in Cabo Verde, Cape Town, Shenzen, Auckland, Itajai, Newport, Aarhus and The Hague.
“Since 1973, The Ocean Race has been one of the toughest challenges in sport,” race chairman Richard Brisius wrote in a press release. “Winning teams have showcased that proper preparation is the foundation for success. We now find ourselves in unprecedented times, and our first priority is with all those who have been and continue to be affected by the pandemic.”
Charlie Enright, skipper of the Newport, R.I.-based 11th Hour Racing Team commented: “Given the current environment, it makes a lot of sense to postpone the race. An extra year will provide additional time for health and safety conditions to improve. The added time should also allow race organizers to work closely with the IMOCA class on the format to achieve the best possible race and maximize the entries. Our goals haven’t changed; we’re aiming to be at the start for the next edition of The Ocean Race with the strongest possible team, proving to the world that sustainability is not a compromise.”