In Alicante the sailing elite is now in place for the world’s largest and most prestigious regatta around the world.
A short “In-Port Race” was aranged last Saturday in Alicante and the Swedish Prince Carl Philip participated on the Swedish SCA boat. The Swedish team boat SCA is the only one with exclusively female crew and for the first time in 10 years there is a crew with only women in the race. Crews are limited to eight members, but for entirely female teams, there may be 11 team members. In addition, there is a reporter on board, which will not participate in the actual race.
The Race starts in Alicante this weekend and finishes in Gothenburg with a final In-Port Race in the heart of the city on June 27th 2015. The route consists of nine stages with stopovers in Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (UAE) , Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Newport (Rhode Island, USA), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France). A 24-hour pit stop in The Hague (Netherlands) is planned between France and Gothenburg. The total length is 71,745 km, which is almost twice the circumference of the earth, making this competition to the world’s longest sports competition.
Each port that is visited by the competition hosts a festival-like event that lasts about two weeks of free entertainment and activities for both large and small. Then there are also plenty of opportunities to get a glimpse of what the participants are going through. In the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race a total of 2.9 million people visited the ten ports.
Before the race port in Alicante Sweden’s Prince Carl Philip was challenged by the competition’s media director Jon Bramley to climb the mast of the boat SCA. He replied that “I do it if you do it”, but Jon Bramley chickened out. The prince climbed still 100 feet up the mast and took a “selfie” which probably is a classic “a unique experience,” said Carl Philip afterwards.
Check out the program for what goes on in Alicante these days on the Volvo Ocean Race’s website: www.volvooceanrace.com