Clipper Ventures confirm race route of five ocean sprints within a marathon circumnavigation

Clipper Ventures PLC, organisers of the Velux 5 Oceans yacht race, have confirmed the route for the 2010-11 race, the routing was described as – Five Ocean Sprints within a Marathon Solo Circumnavigation of the Planet. Also announced was a ?1.8 million value for skippers, including a prize money pot of ?500,000.

The city of La Rochelle, France will host the start and finish, and there will be “five ocean sprints within a marathon solo circumnavigation of the planet”:

1. Cape Town Ocean Sprint: 7,500 nautical miles from La Rochelle (France) to Cape Town (South Africa), starting October 17, 2010

2. Wellington Ocean Sprint: 7,000 nautical miles from Cape Town (South Africa) to Wellington (New Zealand)

3. Salvador Ocean Sprint: 7,400 nautical miles from Wellington (New Zealand) to Salvador (Brazil)

4. Charleston Ocean Sprint: 4,000 nautical miles from Salvador (Brazil) to Charleston (USA)

5. La Rochelle Ocean Sprint: 3,600 nautical miles from Charleston (USA) to La Rochelle (France)

Velux is providing a ?500,000 Skipper Prize Fund and a further ?700,000 to be invested in accommodation, logistics and communication for skippers, designed to reduce budgets and offer incentives to enter. An additional ?600,000 will assist with budgets and further reduce cost burdens.

David Adams, Race Director, explained: “We have spent 12 months in discussions with potential skippers to listen to their needs and build on the lessons from the last event. In 2006-07, our three legs were designed to reduce costs for skippers, but the long distances resulted in the fleet becoming too spread and led to higher than anticipated costs due to the long stops in Australia and USA.”

“So we have returned to a traditional format of five Ocean Sprints, and are delighted to have found such strong support with partners in La Rochelle, Cape Town, Wellington, Salvador and Charleston. We will announce the dates and timings of the ‘Ocean Sprints’ and ‘City Pit Stops’ in 2009.”

Adams continued, “The racing itself is closer with the fleet tightly bunched from each restart. And if a yacht breaks down, there’s a chance to demonstrate the seamanship necessary to get to the next port, repair and restart. For sailors, there’s also the strong camaraderie that develops among the skippers and their teams ashore, as well as interacting with locals in each port.”

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of Clipper Ventures PLC, concluded: “The stopovers make it a much richer experience for sailors, sponsors and spectators alike. It’s a true journey around the world, experiencing other cultures and people, as well as the challenges of the oceans.”

“However, there is no denying that our classic race format, with four pit stops around the world, makes the event more expensive for competitors and their sponsors than a non-stop race. Velux and Clipper Ventures are to therefore jointly deliver ?1.8 million of value to skippers, designed to attract inspirational sailors from a broad range of nations.”