Volvo Ocean Race
|Title Sponsors:||Whitbread (1973–2001)
|Sponsors:||Inmarsat, DHL, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Boston Consulting Group, International Watch Company, Thrane&Thrane|
|Most recent winner:||Groupama 4 (2011-12)|
|Yachts Used:||Volvo Open 70|
|Similar Events:||Vendée Globe, VELUX 5 Oceans Race, Global Challenge|
The Volvo Ocean Race (formerly the Whitbread Round the World Race) is a yacht race around the world, held every three years. It is named after its current owner, Volvo. At this moment the Netherlands holds the record of three wins with the Dutch skipper Conny van Rietschoten being the only skipper to win the race twice.
Though the route is changed to accommodate various ports of call, the race typically departs Europe in October, and in recent editions has had either 9 or 10 legs, with in-port races at many of the stopover cities. The 2008-2009 edition of the race started in Alicante, Spain, on October 11, 2008. The route for the 2008-2009 race was altered from previous years to include stopovers in India and Asia for the first time. The 2008-09 route covered nearly 39,000 nmi (72,000 km), took over nine months to complete, and reached a cumulative TV audience of 2 billion people worldwide.
During the nine months of the 2011–12 Volvo Ocean Race, which started in Alicante, Spain in October 2011 and concluded in Galway, Ireland, in July 2012, the teams were scheduled to sail over 39,000 nmi (72,000 km) of the world’s most treacherous seas via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape Horn to Itajaí, Miami, Lisbon, and Lorient.
Each of the entries has a sailing team of 11 professional crew who race day and night for more than 20 days at a time on some of the legs. They each have different jobs on board the boat, and on top of these sailing roles, there are two sailors that have had medical training, as well as a sailmaker, an engineer and a dedicated media crew member.
No fresh food is taken on board, so the crew lives off freeze-dried fare; they will experience temperature variations from -5 to +40 degrees Celsius and will only take one change of clothes.
17 yachts and 167 crew started the first race of 27,500 nmi (50,900 km), which began from Portsmouth, United Kingdom on September 8, 1973. Approximately 3000 spectator boats set out to witness the historic start.
From 2001 the ownership of the race was taken over by Volvo and Volvo Cars and the race was renamed the ‘Volvo Ocean Race’. Stopover ports were added in Germany, France, and Sweden being Volvo's three biggest car markets in Europe.
Winning the race does not attract a cash prize, as the feat of competing is presented as sufficient reward.
Many of the contestants in the Volvo Ocean Race tend to go into other professional teams after the race, such as certain members of Oracle Team USA.
The worst weather conditions are usually encountered in the Southern Ocean where waves sometimes top 100 feet (30 m) and winds can reach 60 knots (110 km/h).
The 2014-2015 race is set to last 39,895 nautical miles, which is the longest route in its history.
The yachts 
The Volvo Open 70 is the current class of racing yachts designed for the Volvo Ocean Race.
|Edition||Class||Legs||In-Port Races||Entries||Start||Finish||Winning yacht||Winning skipper|
|1973-74||32–80 ft (9.8–24 m)||4||0||17||Portsmouth||Portsmouth||Sayula II||Ramón Carlin|
|1977-78||51–77 ft (16–23 m)||4||0||15||Portsmouth||Portsmouth||Flyer||Conny van Rietschoten|
|1981-82||43–80 ft (13–24 m)||4||0||29||Portsmouth||Portsmouth||Flyer II||Conny van Rietschoten|
|1985-86||49–83 ft (15–25 m)||4||0||15||Portsmouth||Portsmouth||L'Esprit d'Equipe||Lionel Péan|
|1989-90||51–84 ft (16–26 m)||6||0||23||Southampton||Southampton||Steinlager 2||Peter Blake|
|1993-94||85 ft (26 m) ketchs & Whitbread 60||6||0||14||Southampton||Southampton||NZ Endeavour||Grant Dalton|
|1997-98||Whitbread 60||9||0||10||Southampton||Southampton||EF Language||Paul Cayard|
|2001-02||10||0||8||Southampton||Kiel||Illbruck Challenge||John Kostecki|
|2005-06||Volvo Open 70||9||7||7||Vigo||Gothenburg||ABN Amro I||Mike Sanderson|
|2008-09||10||7||8||Alicante||Saint Petersburg||Ericsson 4||Torben Grael|
|2011-12||9||10||6||Alicante||Galway||Groupama 4||Franck Cammas|
- Volvo Ocean Race - Official site
- Volvo Ocean Race TV - Official Web TV site
- Volvo Ocean Race Press Information - Press releases etc.
- The Volvo Open 70 Rule - Volvo Open 70 Rule
- Volvo Ocean Race Official Image Gallery - (For Media Use, but browsing is unrestricted)
- Volvo Ocean Race Events Information - (For Events Use, browsing is restricted)
- Volvo Open Rule v3
- official Whitbread films
- Ocean Motion: Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009
- Volvo Ocean Race live reporting and TV footage
- Volvo Ocean Race News and Photos
- Virtual Volvo Ocean Race Game - Official game of the Volvo Ocean Race.
- Volvo Ocean Race forums at 2007ac.com - (oldest VOR forum, est. in 2001 by VOR Media Team forum mgr.)
- Special Coverage of the VOR
- Volvo Ocean Race Business & Commercial News
- VOR Forum - Sailing Anarchy Forum
- François Chevalier (2012). "Volvo Ocean Race Yacht Designs".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Volvo Ocean Race|