For the 10th time in 12 editions, Cape Town has been selected as the first stop of the Volvo Ocean Race route. A worldwide sailing competition, the Volvo Ocean Race features seven opposing sailing teams for an ocean world tour.
THE VOLVO OCEAN RACE
40 years ago Cape Town welcomed a leg of the Whitbread Round the World Race, now called the Volvo Ocean Race. Ever since, the city was selected for 10 editions. This international competition is a nine month race with 39 000 nautical miles crossed by the yachts. This year, the Mother City was selected to be the first stop off, and the only one in Africa. Having started in Alicante Spain, the competition will end in Sweden, going through all of the seven continents. Each stop off represents the competitor’s continent, and the cities have been selected meticulously.
AN INTERNATIONAL EVENT
Cape Town, as the first stop, hosts the Open Oceans festival for 20 days. Giving honour to the ocean but also the African culture as shows, exhibitions and animations have been settled in the Volvo Ocean Race village at the V&A Waterfront. From kayaking activities to yacht exhibitions and meeting with the teams. Music shows, dances, and artists highlight the beauty of the African culture to vistors. The first yachts arrived on November 7th and after an in-port race that took place on the weekend of the 15th, the competition will start again on the 19th to head to Abu Dhabi.
To host the event, the city had to put some incredible logistical skills to practise. Known worldwide, it brought a large number of visitors,including the sailing teams, their technical staff and their supporters. As usual, Cape Town, took up the challenge. South Africa shows once again, its world-class rank as an international venue, and demonstrates its touristic and MICE assets.
CAPE TOWN THE EMBLEMATIC CITY
The Mother City was chosen to represent Africa in this competition, more than having the assets to host world class events, Cape Town is the symbol of Africa’s Renewal. “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” said Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race. No one ever gets used to the view of the impressive table mountain that dominates the city.
THE MOTHER CITY, SAILING CITY
Having already hosted sailing events, and having all the natural assets to develop this premium sport, the city announced a partnership with WorldSport and the V&A waterfront. This partnership will result in an ocean legacy programme who’s purpose is ‘’to create a new generation of South African ocean sailing legends’’ according to Bruce Parker Forsyth, CEO of WorldSport.
Already on the right track, Cape Town might become an exceptional sailing city.