The Volvo Ocean Race is often described as the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world, sailing’s premier round-the-world race – and as one of the sport’s Big Three events, along with the Olympics and America’s Cup.

To truly understand the race, though, it’s better to think of it in terms thousands of sailors who have taken part over the years will recognise immediately. 

Put simply, the Volvo Ocean Race is an obsession.

For over 40 years, the race has exercised an almost mythical hold over some of the greatest ever sailors – many of whom have dedicated years, decades even, in trying to win it. It began life in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race and to this day it remains sailing’s toughest race to run and the ultimate test of a team in professional sport.

The 2017-18 edition will start in Alicante, Spain on October 22, 2017 and finish at the end of June in the Hague. The competing teams will cover 46,000 nautical miles around the world, stopping at a total of 12 landmark Host Cities. The event is managed and supervised from Race Control in Alicante.

What is the Volvo Ocean Race? Find out here.

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