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Volvo Ocean Race – Blog 1

May 6, 2012

I’ve keenly followed the VOR since it has had that name. The current version is a good book end to the first one, which I also saw in Auckland some 10 years ago. I was a keen novice sailor when that first race arrived. I am now a keen experienced sailor with several thousand miles of racing under my keel.

Many of the keen salties that I know have a love hate relationship with the VOR. We love the fast boats, modern design, and especially the multi-media coverage that brings the race to our homes. We are not so sure about the commercialism, sponsorship, route selection, boat breakages, dubious journalism, small numbers of boats and the in-port races.

The history of the VOR, and the Whitbread before it, has had much to celebrate and plenty to scratch the head about. The first few editions of this round the world race has more in common with what many sailors now experience. It was mostly amateur and the route was very simple (only 4 legs and very much the shortest return distance around the world from Europe). This year’s race will have 9 legs and 10 in-port races. The Whitbread mainly sailed the Atlantic and Southern Oceans. This year has also visited most of the India Ocean and the north-west Pacific, as well as numerous seas (Med, S Arabian, China, etc.).

The boats were also very different, again similar to many harbour races. The ’81 race has 29 entries. The VOR has had 8 at the most (in 2008) but even that race had only 6 teams as Ericsson and Telefonica both had 2 boats.

So what is good and bad about the latest race? …

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From → The Sea

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