The Volvo Ocean Race continues to hold position as the world’s premier crewed offshore race- capturing the sailing public’s attention year after year and those roots are starting to run deeper and deeper with three generations of sailors now hooked on every tactical decision and every sail change all the way around the world.
Across technological developments that have been as fundamental as the introduction of GPS, data transmission from boats at sea and 700Nm+ days the Volvo Race has become the gold standard by which we now measure a boat’s offshore credentials. Alongside this we have the Volvo sailors themselves- professionals made of sterner stuff, tenacious beyond most people’s belief, highly skilled and able to push a boat beyond anything the designer or builder may have had in mind.
So, how exactly can normal sailors ever make the leap into the sailing stratosphere and get a slice of the action? Two options- 1. you need to trade it all in amigo- all of it- family and all, become a world class athlete, sell your soul to Satan and win the lottery. Option 2 is a little more accessible- this Fall you could get on board with the Spartan Ocean Racing program and voyage from a famous historical Volvo start in Southampton, UK to this year’s race start in Alicante, Spain -arriving just in time to visit the opening of the 2017 Volvo Ocean Race Village.
There will be two boats making the trip, both with interesting Volvo stories- one was Americas Challenge in the ’97 race and one was Intrium Justitia in the ’93 race. The company also owns the boat that started the modern era of 60-65′ offshore racing boat’s – Ross Field’s ’93 race winner ‘Yamaha’ a boat we will hear more from in 2018.) From Southampton the boats will head South out into the Bay of Biscay a challenging highpoint in any sailing career- after that it is a left turn under the rock of Gibraltar and make the famous passage through the straits into the Mediterranean.
After arriving in Alicante crew can make our way over to the race village and see the latest generation of boats and meet some of the sailors. It will certainly make this Volvo race a very much more real and vibrant event to spectate on if you have actually been there at the start, have sailed on a Volvo 60 and have experienced in some small part what the Volvo Ocean Race is truly about.
The company will also have boats participating in the Volvo organized ‘Race of Legends’ to take place alongside the last leg of the RTW race between Gothenburg and Den Hague in 2018- contact Spartan for more details as places are very limited for this unique event.
To find out more see Spartan’s website