Alicante focus of sailing world

THE sailing world’s eyes will be on Alicante as the next Volvo round-the-world race starts from the city’s port. The date is fixed for October 4, 2014 and the race ends at Volvo’s Gothenburg (Sweden) home on June 27, 2015.

The route covers 39,895 nautical miles (73,886 kilometres) and visits 10 cities in nine countries. Eight boats built to the new 65-foot (19.8 metres) design will set off from Alicante with a first stopover in Recife in Brazil.

This is followed by the longest leg around South Africa to Abu Dhabi, a distance of almost 10,000 kilometres. Possible pirate attacks during this stage of the race have yet to be discussed.

In the last edition of the race, the leg from Cape Town halted at Male in the Maldives and the boats were shipped to Sharjah to avoid pirates in the Strait of Hormuz.

It is not yet known whether this will be repeated in the latest edition of the race as well as on the third leg from Abu Dhabi to Sanya in China. Piracy has declined in both areas and no decision has yet been made, the organisers said.

The race will then continue to New Zealand, Brazil, the US, Portugal, France before reaching Sweden nine months after leaving Alicante.

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