peace and love

Last week we ran this disgruntled letter from journo Barry Pickthall. Now it appears all is good?

We’d like to take this opportunity to confirm that we have reached out to Barry Pickthall and connected with him on Friday to address the concerns he raised in his “Open Letter”.
As custodians of The Ocean Race, we feel a great responsibility towards the heritage of the event and to honour the people who have sailed in this race as we carry the legacy forward. In the story Barry referenced, we could have taken a wider approach in our fact-checking. Our team has updated the piece on our website to reflect a more complete telling of the origin of the 1973-74 Whitbread Round the World Race following Barry’s comments.
Barry himself, along with a handful of his colleagues, can be considered among the journalist legends of the Race, given the work they have put in over past editions to tell the story of the amazing men and women who have taken on the compelling challenge of what was known originally as the Whitbread Round the World Race and then for nearly twenty years as the Volvo Ocean Race. We hope his contributions continue.
Looking forward, this is an exciting time for The Ocean Race. In less than a year, on 15 January 2023, two fleets of fully-crewed IMOCAs and VO65s will depart from Alicante, Spain for the 14th edition of the Race, marking the 50th anniversary – golden jubilee – year of the event.
Already, the local organising committees in our nine stopover cities around the world, along with our growing team in Alicante, are engaged and working to provide an unforgettable experience for the sailors, our stakeholders and partners, and local visitors alike.
This edition of the Race will feature the longest leg in the history of the event, racing through the deep south, direct from Cape Town to Itajaí, Brazil, with some of the best sailors in the world motivated to take on this epic challenge.
And despite these uncertain times we are expecting the largest fleet of entries in the race in more than 20 years. Our goal has been to have more participating teams than we had in the last race and we are pleased to be on track to reach this.
As has been the case since its inception, The Ocean Race today is a platform for uniting and motivating people to achieve the extraordinary. And the Race is also driving change towards a healthier and more sustainable planet. While our sailors have always been leaders when it comes to protecting our ocean, with sustainability now a core principle of the event, our Racing with Purpose initiatives are reaching top decision-makers and influencers around the world, like French President Emmanuel Macron and Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, among many others. This is a positive development that reaches beyond sailing.
We invite Barry – and all of you – to join us at the start in Alicante, Spain in January (or any of our amazing stopovers through the Grand Finale in Genova, Italy at the end of June 2023) to see it for yourself. Come and enjoy the latest chapter in the amazing story of The Ocean Race.
Richard Brisius and Johan Salén