One year. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8760 hours, or 525,600 minutes (and counting....)
It's that long since the last race began – and for the Volvo Ocean Race sailors, 22 October will always be a day that sticks in the memory.
One year ago, on 22 October 2017, the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race kicked off, in true Volvo Ocean Race style. For some, it was the beginning of an exciting new chapter – a round-the-world journey to follow in the footsteps of their heroes.
For others, a continuation of an obsession which has seen them put themselves to the test, against each other, and Mother Nature, for decades.
Thousands of fans arrived from all corners of the planet to see off the sailors from the Start Port of Alicante, creating an incredible atmosphere – excitement, anticipation, inspiration.
When the seven boats left Alicante in the blazing Spanish sun, we knew that we were in for an unforgettable nine months of racing – but no-one quite realised just how dramatic it would be.
In fact, the signs of the most hard-fought race in history were there before we'd even left the harbour – Dongfeng, MAPFRE and Brunel ducking and weaving each other in front of the famous Santa Barbara Castle, and Turn the Tide on Plastic and Scallywag chasing cat and mouse right through the spectator fleet in the first of many heart-in-mouth moments.
These sailors live and breathe competition – and that exhausting intensity never dropped until they crossed the finish line in The Hague in June 2018, with Dongfeng Race Team the winners after nine months of racing.
Nine months of adventure. Nine months of incredible competition. Nine months we'll never forget.