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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7: Point Nemo - Ground control to Major Tom

by Peter Rusch 24 Mar 2018 23:24 PDT 25 March 2018
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7, Auckland to Itajai, around East Cape. 19 March © Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race

As the Volvo Ocean Race fleet passes Point Nemo, the closest people are the astronauts on the International Space Station...

Point Nemo is defined as the place furthest from land in the world. And as it happens, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet will pass quite close to this isolated spot it this weekend.

Point Nemo is located over 1,600 miles (1,400 nautical miles) from the Pitcairn islands to the north, the Easter Islands to the north-east and Antarctica to the south.

On this Southern Ocean leg, the fleet is actually passing to the south of the theoretical position of Point Nemo, named after Captain Nemo from the Jules Verne story.

This is where the sailors are closer to the astronauts on the International Space Station than they are to any earthly inhabitation.

And that's not the only relationship between Point Nemo and space. For decades, Point Nemo has been a 'space junk' graveyard, where hundreds of decommisioned satellites and the like are jettisoned as they re-enter earth's atmosphere.

They are deposited here to avoid the risk of hitting anyone, or anything. It truly is the most isolated place on earth.

Except this weekend when the Volvo Ocean Race fleet passes by.

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