The Volvo Ocean Race – Life at the Extreme | Western Cape Government

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The Volvo Ocean Race – Life at the Extreme

Volvo Ocean Race - Cape Town


The Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s longest professional sporting event and leading offshore sailing competition.

Although the boats have become faster, the crews more professional and the technology  particularly communications evolved enormously,  the beauty of the Volvo Ocean Race is that it is still a very human challenge and a battle with nature. 

The race, which began in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race and evolved into the Volvo Ocean Race in 2001, has changed tremendously since the first boats left England at the start of the first competition. 


Seven teams will battle it out during the nine months of the race, which happens every four years: 

Fast facts about the 2014/2015 race and route:

  • There are nine stages.
  • Boats will cross four oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Southern oceans).
  • Boats will cover 38 739nm (71 745 km/ 44 580 miles).
  • Participants will visit 11 countries on five continents (Spain, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, China, New Zealand, Brazil, United States, Portugal, France, The Netherlands and Sweden).

Each host port stages a festival lasting around two weeks, featuring free family entertainment and a chance to see first-hand what the sailors have to put themselves through to succeed.

Cape Town

This is the 10th time Cape Town is hosting a Volvo Ocean Race stopover. Volvo Ocean Racing CEO Knut Frostad said: "Cape Town is an iconic city and the sight of Table Mountain on the horizon as you approach the port at the end of Leg 1 is something every ocean racer looks forward to".

The City of Cape Town's Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Councillor Garreth Bloor, said: "The City of Cape Town is a proud host and supporter of the Volvo Ocean Race. The event holds enormous benefits for the city and its residents, and the direct economic impact through visitor and organiser spend is estimated at over R540 million. We welcome the teams, their families, support crews and visitors to our city for the race and wish everyone a pleasant stay. Our support for the Volvo Ocean Race is part of our strategy to attract big events to the city and to position Cape Town as the events capital of Africa".

Youth and children with a keen interest in sailing are also set to benefit. Sailing development programmes which will include learners and disadvantaged youth, will run during the Cape Town stopover.

A race-village at the V&A Waterfront will allow spectators and race fans to meet the crews and experience an "up close and personal" look at many aspects of one of the world’s greatest sailing races.

The first boats arrived at the V&A Waterfront on 5 November, and the second leg of the race will kick-off on 19 November. 

The V&A Waterfront Race Village:

Volvo Ocean Race 2014/2015 Race Village

The Western Cape Government is a proud co-sponsor of the Cape Town stopover and invites all citizens to support local businesses and teams taking part in this year's race.

For more information on the full programme in Cape Town and other details, please visit:



The future South African team - Volvo Ocean Race 2014/2015


Join the adventure of a lifetime - Volvo Ocean Race 2014/2015


Fast & Furious - Volvo Ocean Race 2014/2015


Riaan Manser - Ambassador for the 2011 Volvo Ocean Race Cape Town Stopover

The content on this page was last updated on 14 November 2014