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The French city of Lorient will return as the penultimate stopover in the Volvo Ocean Race for the 12th edition in 2014-15, completing a route that will test the world's best professional sailors to the limit in a race around the world lasting almost nine months and 38,739 nautical miles.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This story was updated on January 19, 2014 after a 24-hour pit-stop in The Hague was announced and on September 12, 2013 after Cape Town was announced as the first stop, replacing Recife.

The Race will start on October 4, 2014, day of the first In-Port Race in Alicante, and finish with a final In-Port Race on June 27, 2015 in Gothenburg, the Swedish home of Volvo.

The route will take in 11 cities in 11 countries – Spain, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, China, New Zealand, Brazil, United States, Portugal, France, The Netherlands and Sweden – and will require the teams to cover 38,739 nautical miles – equivalent to 44,580 miles or 71,745 km.

Lorient, the Breton city on the west coast of France, hosted the Race for the first time in 2011-12 and provided an incredible spectacle for fans. French team Groupama sailed into Lorient as winners of the penultimate leg from Lisbon and had another emotional success in the In-Port Race. The team skippered by Franck Cammas went on to seal their debut victory in the Volvo Ocean Race at the finish line in Galway.

"Lorient is France's sailing capital and the response we had during the last Race was phenomenal," said Race CEO Frostad. "It will be a real pleasure to come back to this stunning part of the world, where the people are so knowledgeable about the sport and the whole set-up suits the Race so perfectly. Lorient will be a real highlight on the route."

Frostad described the route as "an immense challenge" for sailors.

"From a brand new port like Newport to now familiar stops such as Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Itajaí, Lisbon and Lorient, and classic sailing cities such as Cape Town and Auckland, this route gives just about the perfect mix of old and new. Add to that the start in Alicante and a mid-summer finish in Gothenburg, my only regret is that I'm not sailing the route myself."

2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race details in full:


Alicante:
In-Port Race: October 4, 2014
Leg Start: October 11, 2014
Leg Distance to Cape Town: 6,487 nm

Cape Town: 
In-Port Race: November 15, 2014
Leg Start: November 19, 2014
Leg Distance to Abu Dhabi: 6,125 nm

Abu Dhabi:
In-Port Race: January 2, 2015
Leg Start: January 3, 2015
Leg Distance to Sanya: 4,670 nm

Sanya:
In-Port Race: February 7, 2015
Leg Start: February 8, 2015
Leg Distance to Auckland: 5,264 nm

Auckland:
In-Port Race: March 14, 2015
Leg Start: March 15, 2015
Leg Distance to Itajaí: 6,776 nm

Itajaí:
In-Port Race: April 18, 2015
Leg Start: April 19, 2015
Leg Distance to Newport: 5,010 nm

Newport:
In-Port Race: May 16, 2015
Leg Start: May 17, 2015
Leg Distance to Lisbon: 2,800 nm

Lisbon:
In-Port Race: June 6, 2015
Leg Start: June 7, 2015
Leg Distance to Lorient: 647 nm

Lorient:
In-Port Race: 14 June, 2015
Leg Start: 17 June 2015
Leg Distance to Gothenburg: 960 nm

The Hague - 24-hour pit-stop
Racing will resume on June 20, 2015

Gothenburg:
In-Port Race: June 27, 2015
Total Race Distance: 38,739 nautical miles

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©Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race will start on October 4, 2014, day of the first In-Port Race in Alicante, Spain, and finish with one last In-Port Race on June 27, 2015 in Gothenburg, the Swedish home of Volvo. The 38,739-nautical mile route will also include stopovers in Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Newport, Rhode Island (USA), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France). A 24-hour pit-stop in The Hague is scheduled between France and Sweden.

24666
©Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race will start on October 4, 2014, day of the first In-Port Race in Alicante, Spain, and finish with one last In-Port Race on June 27, 2015 in Gothenburg, the Swedish home of Volvo. The 38,739-nautical mile route will also include stopovers in Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Newport, Rhode Island (USA), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France). A 24-hour pit-stop in The Hague is scheduled between France and Sweden.