The Spanish City of Bilbao has won the bid to host the start and finish of the 5-Oceans Race 2006/07

The Spanish City of Bilbao, in the province of Bizkaia, has won the bid to host the start and finish of the 5-Oceans Race 2006/07.

The race will start from the Puerto Deportivo el Abra Getxo, located at the mouth of Bilbao’s river, on 5 November 2006, and finish there the following spring.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of race management company Clipper Ventures plc, said: “We are delighted with the approach, enthusiasm and commitment that the City of Bilbao and the Diputacion Foral de Bizkaia have shown towards hosting the 25th anniversary edition of the 5-Oceans Race. Bilbao has the world class facilities we require and is geographically the perfect location from which to start the race.”

The 5-Oceans Race has already announced a significant investment of $500k from the Government of Western Australia for Fremantle to host the event’s first stopover.

Leg 2 sees competitors race to a host port on the Eastern Seaboard of the USA, to be announced, and the final leg will be a transatlantic sprint returning to Bilbao in the spring of 2007.

Following the last race (previously known as the Around Alone), Sir Robin created a unique advisory board, consisting of round the world sailors, sponsors, and media representatives. Following extensive consultation, a series of changes have been made. The race has been rebranded as The 5-Oceans Race. The new name in part, to recognise that solo sailing at this Grand Prix level is a significant team effort between skippers, shore teams, sponsors and event owners, and to signal the new, fresh approach to the event format.

The event will be raced in the Grand Prix IMOCA Open 60 and sister class, the Open 50. The choice of two classes will reduce the overall duration of the race. This, combined with shortening the length of each stopover, will considerably lower the overall cost of entry for each skipper and their sponsors. The additional accommodation and marina package provides further financial benefits for prospective skippers.