Mar 15, 2010, 9:47 AM
Post #1 of 14
The Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) organizers are leveraging the 2011-12 race route, seeking to build interest through the gradual disclosure of port stopovers. One of the mandates for the race was to reduce team budgets, and a significant team expenditure occurs at each port. The 2008-9 race had ten stops; look for the next race to have nine.
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Route
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With the remaining host ports to be revealed throughout the remainder of March, here’s what is currently known:
Leg 1: Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa
Leg 2: Cape Town, South Africa to Abu Dhabi, UAE
Leg 3: Abu Dhabi, UAE to ?
Leg 7: North America to Lisbon, Portugal
Leg 8: Lisbon, Portugal to Lorient, France
Leg 9: Lorient, France to Galway, Ireland
Where will the middle of the race go? Here are some theories:
LEG 3: The 2008-9 race went to India, but with UAE now confirmed, Leg 3 must be headed to Asia. The last race went from India to Singapore, and Singapore to Qingdao, China, but look for the next race to sail through the southern section (wasn’t too popular last time), though perhaps not as far north as Qingdao (gets cold up there in the winter). Despite damage in the 2008-9 race to five boats due to the strong weather and water hazards of the South China Sea, China is too strong commercially for the race to pass on.
LEG 4: The 2008-9 race went from Qingdao, China to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which at 41 days was the longest leg of the race (and race history). It was also a hard leg to maintain media interest, so look for a shorter route from China, and with limited options, an Australian or New Zealand stop seem likely.
Leg 5: Leaving from the Oceania region across the South Pacific, the fleet will be stopping in South America…but where? Just because the 2016 Olympics are going to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, don’t expect the VOR to follow suit. Rio underperformed commercially during the last race, so look for alternatives in Argentina or Brazil.
Leg 6: Leaving Argentina or Brazil, this next leg will head toward North America, and the two cities still vying for the bid are Newport, RI and Miami, FL. The final decision is believed to be Miami due to better financing, and considering that Lisbon is a long, long way south of previous trans-Atlantic finish ports, Miami’s southern location will help teams navigate around the Azores High.
- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt