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 40,000 nautical miles.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This story was updated on September 12 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 10 cities in 10 countries – Spain, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, China, New Zealand, Brazil, United States, Portugal, France and Sweden – and will require the teams to cover 39,379 nautical miles – equivalent to 45,317 miles or 72,930 kms.
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:
In-Port Race: October 4, 2014
Leg Start: October 11, 2014
Leg Distance to Cape Town: 6,487 nm
In-Port Race: November 15, 2014
Leg Start: November 19, 2014
Leg Distance to Abu Dhabi: 6,125 nm
In-Port Race: January 2, 2015
Leg Start: January 3, 2015
Leg Distance to Sanya: 4,670 nm
In-Port Race: February 7, 2015
Leg Start: February 8, 2015
Leg Distance to Auckland: 5,264 nm
In-Port Race: March 14, 2015
Leg Start: March 15, 2015
Leg Distance to Itajaí: 6,776 nm
In-Port Race: April 18, 2015
Leg Start: April 19, 2015
Leg Distance to Newport: 5,010 nm
In-Port Race: May 16, 2015
Leg Start: May 17, 2015
Leg Distance to Lisbon: 2,800 nm
In-Port Race: June 6, 2015
Leg Start: June 7, 2015
Leg Distance to Lorient: 647 nm
In-Port Race: 14 June 2015
Leg Start: 17 June 2015
Leg Distance to Gothenburg: 1,600 nm
In-Port Race: June 27, 2015
Total Race Distance: 39,895 nautical miles
- 12 Sep 2013Cape Town to stage first stopover on 2014-15 route
- 10 Jul 2013Final leg to start June 17 as Lorient dates confirmed
- 19 Apr 2013Gruelling, cruel but glorious – the end to our round-the-race tour
- 1 Jan 2013My wish for 2013? Let's dare to be radical
- 21 Aug 2012All-women's team first to enter 2014-15 Race
- 16 Jun 2012Bienvenue to Brittany - and the timing is just perfect!