The Volvo Ocean Race has become one of the most professionally organised and successful yacht racing events in the world, but the commercialisation of the race has not pleased everyone. There will always be some who like to get nostalgic about the past and reminisce about how it was better when it was ‘The Whitbread’.
When the Volvo Ocean Race moved from the UK to Alicante this year, there was a sense that the Spanish city had a more visionary idea about how the Race could fit into the fabric of a community. Recognising the importance of the event’s past, organisers and the city that will host the start of the next race, have announced a Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta.
The event will bring together competitors and yachts from the 37-year history of the race in the first ever official reunion. The Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta will slot between the Alicante In-Port Race and the Pro-Am Race the previous weekend and the start of leg one on Saturday 5 November with a full Legends racing schedule.
The announcement was made at the official inauguration of the Volvo Ocean Race Headquarters by the President of the Generalitat Valenciana, President Francisco Camps. He said:
“This is another example of how the Volvo Ocean Race will provide entertainment for the local people of Alicante and the Valencian region and will help attract even more Spanish and international tourists.”
Many well-known competitors from the 10 previous races are looking forward to the event next year.
“Count me in,” – Skip Novak, whose history includes skippering rock star Simon Le Bon’s entry Drum in the 1985-86 race, and putting together the first Russian entry, Fazisi in 1989-90.
“It sounds great. Count on me.” – Magnus Olsson, a six-race veteran will certainly be there.
“It sounds exciting. Lovely idea and looking forward to it,” – Kiwi race winner Mike Sanderson.
“Great, I’ll be there,” – former winner Grant Dalton, who will also have his Volvo Open 70 Camper on the start line for the 11th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.
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