Volvo Ocean Race Sails Again Come 2011

| April 19, 2010 | 1 Comment

Crowds line the dock in Boston for the Volvo Ocean Race (Photo: Taylor Michie, click image to see more)

The route for the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race was just announced, and there’s a good mix of favorite stops with some new, exciting destinations.

However, Maryland decided not to bid for a port for the upcoming 2011 race. In 2009, local lawmakers decided that the “burden would be too great” to ask the state for the $3.5 million needed to fund such a stopover, citing the current economic situation. In 2006, the last time Annapolis / Baltimore hosted the Race, it pumped $20 million into the Annapolis economy alone, and another $20 million into the businesses around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

Instead, the state declared that they would bid for the Senior Olympic Games in 2015. Terry Hasseltine, Baltimore’s Director of Sports Marketing, said that the $4.5 million needed to put up for the Senior Olympics could be raised over a period of time, instead of having to pay up for Volvo immediately.

I had the privilege of visiting the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Boston, the North American city that beat out Annapolis for the port-of-call in the most recent race. It was an amazing experience to work there for a weekend. Over 50,000 people attended on just one Saturday. The whole time I was there, a four day visit, almost 200,000 people walked in and out of the race village. I remember thinking to myself when I heard the news that Annapolis would not bid for a port, that this would be a mistake. It would bring tourist traffic to Annapolis, and Annapolis would further confirm itself as Sailing Capital of America, a term invented by the city.

Anyway, I’ll get to the Volvo Ocean Race now. Most sailors recognize it as one of the largest sailing events in the world, a round-the-world race that encompasses 39,000 miles of ocean and stops on six continents. Taking nine months to complete, the Volvo Ocean Race is one of the biggest sporting events in the world. Here are the ports for the race, which will start in October 2011 in Alicante, Spain.

  • Leg 1: Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa
  • Leg 2: Cape Town, South Africa to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Leg 3: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to Sanya, China
  • Leg 4: Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand
  • Leg 5: Auckland New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil
  • Leg 6: Itajai, Brazil to Miami, Florida
  • Leg 7: Miami, Florida to Lisbon, Portugal
  • Leg 8: Lisbon, Portugal to Lorient, France
  • Leg 9: Lorient, France to Galway, Ireland

The number of ports has shrunk slightly from 11 to 9 (as compared to the 2008-2009 race), and there is a stopover on every continent, excluding Antarctica. The race has recently started expanding to Asian and Middle Eastern ports, as  Kochi, India appeared in the last race;  and now in the ports of Sanya and Abu Dhabi are in the upcoming one.

Annapolis sailors can hope that Annapolis or Baltimore will enter a bid in for the 2014-2015 race, but, until then, raising the mainsail and sailing south to Miami will be the only way to go. Happy sailing!

Taylor Michie is a 14-year old Annapolis resident and author of the sailing novella Racing Winds. Taylor is a sailor himself, sailing 420s in Annapolis. He is a Volvo Ocean Race fanatic, but enjoys other round-the-world sailing races like the Velux 5 Oceans and the Clipper Round the World Race. Taylor’s work has been featured in Soundings Magazine, The Capital, and, most notably, the Volvo Ocean Race in Boston, MA. Taylor was awarded the US Sailor of the Week in May 2009 by US Sailing. He is currently working on his second book, Whitecaps, and his environmental work through his charity, Racing Winds GreenBooks.

You can find Racing Winds on the web at www.racingwinds.com, where you can buy the book, and learn more about Taylor, his book, and his campaigns. You can also follow Racing Winds on Twitter, by visiting www.twitter.com/racingwinds, and on Facebook by searching “Racing Winds.”

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tags: , ,

Category: LIFE IN THE AREA, Sports

About the Author ()

A 14-year old author of a sailing novel, Racing Winds, high school student, and Eye on Annapolis contributor.