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On the eve of historic race start, The Ocean Race outlines an exciting future

by The Ocean Race 14 Jan 09:38 PST
10 January 2023, Practice race in Alicante: 11th Hour Racing Team © Sailing Energy / The Ocean Race

The iconic around the world race is confirmed to start every four years, with intermediate races now added to the calendar.

One day ahead of the start of the historic 50th Jubilee edition of The Ocean Race, race organisers have revealed a schedule of events stretching into the next decade.

In a briefing to race stakeholders, Richard Brisius, the Race Chairman of The Ocean Race, confirmed the next around the world race would start from Alicante, Spain during the winter months of 2026-27, with the exact start date to be determined.

In addition, following the success of the inaugural edition of The Ocean Race Europe last summer, the next event will be held late in the summer of 2025.

Both the around the world race and The Ocean Race Europe will continue on four year cycles.

"This is an important and exciting moment for The Ocean Race," Richard Brisius said. "We are on the eve of an historic around-the-world Race starting tomorrow. It is our first as The Ocean Race, the 14th edition in our history, and it comes as we celebrate our 50th anniversary year.

"On this occasion we understand that we are standing on the shoulders of all of those who have built this Race into the iconic event that it is today. From the Whitbread Round the World Race back in 1973, through 20 years of Volvo stewardship, to where we are today as The Ocean Race, the race has seen many changes.

"But the core values remain: The Ocean Race is the toughest test of a team in sport and we believe in taking ever more increasing action to protect the health of the ocean, recognise the inherent rights of the ocean and listen to the voice of the ocean. This will never change.

"With that in mind, it is important that we provide certainty to all of our stakeholders, partners, teams and fans in terms of the future of the Race. Looking forward, we are confirming The Ocean Race Europe in Q3 of 2025 and we will be starting conversations with candidate stopover cities and other partners in the coming weeks. The next two editions of The Ocean Race around the world are confirmed to take place in 2026-27 and 2030-31."

In terms of boats, the IMOCAs, making their debut in The Ocean Race on Sunday, will also be raced in The Ocean Race Europe in 2025 and The Ocean Race 2026-27 as well.

The award-winning Racing with Purpose sustainability programme, founded in collaboration with Premier Partner 11th Hour Racing, will continue as a fundamental element of The Ocean Race going forward.

From a media perspective, the innovative production partnership between The Ocean Race and Warner Bros. Discovery will continue longterm, and is currently contracted through the 2026-27 edition of the event.

Scott Young, SVP Content and Production at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, said in an earlier statement: "The Ocean Race is one of the toughest team tests in sport that stretches the athletes' skill, endurance and mental strength to the absolute limits. To showcase their endeavours, as host broadcaster we are excited to undertake this unique challenge of producing coverage at sea by utilising our technology, production expertise and storytelling ability to bring these athletes the recognition they deserve on a global stage.

"The popularity of sailing continues to grow and we will harness the full scale of our linear, streaming, digital and social platforms to dive into The Ocean Race like never before to help it reach new fans. In tandem, endurance sailing spotlights two vital themes of our time, climate change and ocean health, and by partnering with The Ocean Race, we will raise even greater awareness of these topics among broader audiences."

How to follow the race start in Alicante

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