Volvo Ocean Race sets sail from Spain’s Costa Blanca

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THE first leg of the 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean Race started in Alicante today (Sunday).

The competition, which will visit six continents over a course of 9 months, is held once every three years. The race is considered the most gruelling team-racing sailing competition and one of the longest and toughest professional sporting events in the world.

In 2015, the Abu Dhabi Racing Team took home the trophy and Ian Walker, now Director of Racing at the Royal Yachting Association, became the first British skipper to win the race.

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The 11-leg race will stop at 12 cities across the globe, covering more than 45,000 nautical miles in total.

Former Spanish King Juan Carlos 1 travelled down to Alicante Port to see off the competitors, before they set sail on the 1,450 nautical mile stretch past Gibraltar to reach Lisbon, the first destination.  

The next leg will see teams sprint down to Cape Town, South Africa.

The race is scheduled to finish in The Hague, Netherlands in July 2018. Cardiff will also be the first British port in more than a decade to host one of the race’s stopovers next May.

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