Race village experience

So, you want to see it all: the sailors, the boats and the racing? Well, the good news is - you don't have to sail around the world to get a first-hand taste of the event! Just come and check out our race villages.

Every stopover will feature fantastic free entertainment: concerts, ceremonies, celebrity appearances, and activities within the Volvo Ocean Race Experience.

The Experience forms a central platform offering interactive, multimedia entertainment, while the In-Port Race series gives spectators the chance to see the sailors bring the Volvo Ocean 65 boats close to shore. The programme for 2014-15 is based on the success of the 2011-12 edition.

One thing's for sure - fans visiting Alicante, Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Lisbon, Lorient, The Hague and Gothenburg can look forward to something special. The Boatyard, the shared service centre for the new one-design Volvo Ocean 65, is a brand new feature that will let you see right inside the daily operations needed to keep these machines running.

Maybe you were a part of the 2.9 million visitors last time around – we hope that even more of you join us as we take the show on the road.

Race weekends

Make sure you’re in town to cheer the sailors as they arrive into port after weeks at sea. You’ll see ecstatic faces, disappointed faces, and tired faces. We're not going to lie, it will probably smell too – but the local support makes all the difference for the athletes as they come ashore.

Estimated times of arrival - all practical information will be available on the race and the stopover websites in due time.

In-Port Race
There will be one In-Port Race in all of the 10 stopovers. These one-hour races are short and action packed, providing you with a great show and giving the teams an opportunity to gain valuable points for the In-Port Race series. The course for the In-Port Racing is always as close as possible to land so the public can watch the battle unfold between the Volvo Ocean 65s.

Leg Start
Bring tissues – it's likely to be emotional. There is a lot at stake as the sailors embark for the next leg, and the presence of families and friends gives it a whole different meaning too.

Taking place the day after the In-Port Race except for in Alicante, Cape Town or Lorient where they will be either the following weekend or a mid-week start, the fleet starts with an inshore course before heading offshore.

Extreme corporate hospitality

In-Port Races and Leg Starts allow sponsors to put their guests out on the water on hospitality boats to catch the action and enjoy their time on board. For the lucky few, it is possible to be part of the competitive racing action itself, joining the crew on board as a guest for the In-Port Race or for the Leg Start for a period of approximately 45 minutes, jumping off the boat just before the boat heads out to sea.

Pro-Am racing does not count for the overall ranking but allows selected sponsors’ guests to go out racing themselves and to experience the power of the yachts first hand. The racecourse is positioned in a very similar place to the In-Port Race, maximising the visual impact for the crowds.

And it’s for real: these guests not only get to sail with the teams but assist the team in racing against the others. They have the opportunity to live a real ‘money can’t buy' experience, taking on tasks such as grinding, hoisting, trimming and even driving, in a real racing atmosphere.

The Volvo Ocean Race Experience
Have a look at the race through the eyes of a sailor!

Volvo Ocean 65 Cross Section
A massive tent comparing the life on board with your daily life at home and displaying a full size Volvo Ocean 65 cross-section. Explore the boat that the sailors call home for nine months, crawl into a bunk, test the toilet (well, not really!), the galley and the workstations. Do you think you could cope with it?

40 Knots Experience
Now that you know what the boat is like inside, get a feel of its speed out on the water. In several stopovers, you will have access to one of the dedicated ribs provided by the stopovers and enjoy a 40-knot acceleration. An experienced driver will take you out and explain you about the different conditions all around the globe. You'd better tie your hair up!

'Another Day at the Office' live show & 'Generation Volvo Ocean Race' Cinema
Enter the dome to live 'another day at the office'. A host will guide you through a 40-minute program and will present a quiz show based on the life at sea. You’ll be part of a team and you’ll be invited to answer questions and participate in several challenges. And then it’s movie time at the Cinema.

'A Chat With...' Live Comment Show
During racing we will provide you with a live talk-show: what's going on outside on the race-track, who is leading, and why? A talk-show will be hosted by local sailors discussing the racing. When racing is off, the program will cover different topics for the audience, and talk to sailors, shore crew and family.

The Boatyard
Go behind the scenes to see how the yachts are maintained, how the sails are repaired and who is doing it. Come and visit the Boatyard, our centralised maintenance centre.

Kids area
Designed for our smaller race fans, the Kids area features workshops for those aged 3-10 years. There are also picnic tables to rest little legs (and some big ones!) and colourful info graphics of the race. When all batteries are recharged, head to the Terra Aventura Playground, and Pedal Vehicles: a real treat for aspiring young drivers, who can navigate their way around a fenced and carpeted track on miniature Volvo style ride-on cars, trucks and diggers. Drive safely!

Trophy &
Leader Board area
Check out the shiny Volvo Ocean Race prize for yourself in the display area. With two large LED screens, the Leader Board will display race and Race Village information alongside a state of the art lighting and sound system to give it that 'wow' effect - especially at night.

9 Stack Daily Show
This will be a real spectacle. A daily show, powered by Maersk Line, it consists of awesome footage which comes alive as the evening becomes darker - on a 7 huge projection screens! Do not miss this... it's just by the Maersk Line exhibition.

Wisdom is our mascot, and has been since 2011/12. She is also an albatross, an endangered species, and represents the Volvo Ocean Race's contribution to the 'Save the Albatross' campaign. You never know, you might see Wisdom walking around the Race Village. If you do, don't forget to stop and say 'hi'!