The Ocean Race confirms January 2023 start date

Ocean Race

The around-the-world Ocean Race 2022-23 has confirmed its first leg will start on 15 January 2023.

Both IMOCA and VO65 fleets are scheduled to depart from Alicante, on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, before undertaking the 31,000-nautical-mile circumnavigation, billed as the greatest challenge in sailing.

There will be race activity throughout next year in the run-up to the official start, including The Ocean Race Legends event, ahead of the assembly period in Alicante in late 2022.

For the 14th edition of The Ocean Race, the course has been rationalised in response to the logistical realities of an around the world race in a Covid-19 environment.

From Spain the IMOCA and VO65 fleets will sail out of the Mediterranean Sea to Cabo Verde, visiting this African island nation for the very first time, before racing down to Cape Town, South Africa. Then, via the Southern Ocean over 30 days of racing, the teams will arrive in Itajaí, Brazil, host of the past three stopovers in South America.

At nearly 13,000 nautical miles, this will be the longest leg in the history of The Ocean Race, dating all the way back to the first fully-crewed around the world race in 1973, and will see a transit of the three great Capes – the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn – in succession.

The Race then goes to Newport, Rhode Island in the USA; Aarhus, Denmark; The Hague in The Netherlands; and on to a Grand Finale finish in the Mediterranean in Genova, Italy in the summer of 2023.

“This marks a change for The Ocean Race, as we adjust to the challenges of this new world with a more compact and exciting race route than ever before,” says Johan Salén, managing director of The Ocean Race.

“We are pleased to have been able to work with our partners in Alicante, which has been the home of the Race since 2009, to agree on a start date for leg one that takes advantage of the Christmas and New Year holiday season and allows for maximum stakeholder opportunities in the week leading up to the start as well.”

Stopover dates for the above stages of the Race will be confirmed before the end of the year.

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