The first yachts, currently on an epic voyage around the world, are set to arrive in Cape Town from Thursday. The 60,000-kilometre Ocean Race comprises a fleet of five fully crewed IMOCA 60s, with some of the best offshore sailors from around the world competing.
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The yachts left Cabo Verde last week on their two-week race to the Mother City.
The first are expected to arrive on 9 February before departing on the longest leg of the race, a 12,750-nautical-mile, 34-day marathon to Itajaí, Brazil, on 26 February.
This leg will take the crews down to the strong westerly winds known as the Roaring Forties and Furious Fifties of the Southern Ocean.
Antarctica will be to the right, and the fleet will pass all three great southern Capes, the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn.
From Brazil, the race continues to Newport, Rhode Island (USA), then Aarhus, Denmark; a fly-by via Kiel, Germany; then a stopover in The Hague, the Netherlands; before a final stretch to Genova, Italy, for a Mediterranean grand finale at the end of June 2023.
“Because of our extraordinary location, at the gateway to the Southern Oceans, the ocean is at the heart of the V&A Waterfront’s vision,” CEO, David Green explained. “We have adopted the mutually reinforcing goals of growing the opportunities relating to the ocean economy, including creating jobs, while developing and exercising best-practice ocean stewardship.”
The Waterfront first hosted what was then known as the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race in 1997. The event was viewed by over 150 million people around the world and contributed more than R540 million to the national economy.
“In order to deliver the Ocean Race, you need world-class infrastructure, from repair facilities to hospitality and many other critical services,” Green added. “All of this is offered by the V&A Waterfront, a national economic asset for South Africa’s coastal, marine and ocean economies.”
“We are proud to host the Ocean Race. We are even more excited about its global vision for the care of our oceans and are ready to welcome it back to our shores.”
To commemorate the occasion, a free-to-enter public village, Ocean Live Park, will open daily from Thursday, 09 February, between 10am and 7pm, with a variety of fun activities, educational programmes, and projects promoting environmental and marine sustainability.
Meanwhile, the Two Oceans Aquarium will be hosting various events, including the inaugural Ocean Innovation Africa Summit, Trash Bash Beach Clean-up, Ocean Race Learning Programme, and a Valentine’s Dinner.
The Ocean Sports Festival will also be taking place between 12 and 19 of February.
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