"We had two aims when changing the stopover programme. Firstly we have reduced the time the teams are onshore and the time they have between the In-Port race and the Leg start,” said Knut Frostad, CEO Volvo Ocean Race.
“Traditionally the teams would change their yachts from an offshore sailing mode to an inshore racing one and back again for the Leg start. By bringing the two events together we lower the costs to them and their sponsors. In fact, we have also achieved more time for the shore crews to work on the yachts and subsequently the sailors get more time off.”
There will be no scoring gates in this edition of the race. Leg 1 will see the fleet pass the island of Fernando de Noronha. Due to increasing pirate attacks and hijacking off the coast of Somalia, the fleet will sail around an exclusion zone. On Leg 8, fleets will sail around the archipelago of the Azores, while Leg 9 will have the teams sailing around the Fastnet Rock.
The race will visit eight stopover ports on five continents and race through four oceans, in under nine months. The Volvo Open 70's will cover over 39,270 nautical miles racing around the globe.
"Secondly we can entertain the local public with the spectacle that is the Volvo Ocean Race on the water, for a long weekend of great racing and thrilling viewing. We hope by providing the local spectators with this on-the-water display, we will increase the public's awareness and passion for the sport of sailing," added Frostad.