For better or worse, professional sailing is run on 2 or 4 year cycles. Whether it is the Olympics, the Vendee Globe, the Volvo Ocean Race or the once regular America’s Cup there are huge gaps in the calendar for sailors at the top of the sport. The complete lack of co-ordination of sailing as a sport outside of the Olympics makes it very hard for anyone to plan.
We’ve not given much coverage to the Portimão Global Ocean Race. Unfortunately, the Class 40 boats, for all the goodwill and intentions, just don’t get the ‘rockstar’ coverage given to the larger Open 60’s that they are supposed to be a stepping stone for. The race has suffered from being run at the same time as the Vendee Globe and the Volvo Ocean Race, with nowhere near the media budget.
In a long article on the Race’s official website, seven sailors talk about the life of being a professional sailor and it’s tough. Sponsorship plays a large part in future plans. It’s worth a read.