The Volvo Ocean Races is the toughest sailing race in the world.
The race is held every three years and the best of the best come to see if they have what it takes to sail around the world. The race has nine legs, starting in Alicante, Spain, to Cape Town, Dubai, China, New Zealand, Brazil, the US, Portugal and Netherlands before finishing eight months later (this June) in Gothenburg, Sweden.
We were lucky enough to travel to Alicante, Spain with Helly Hansen who sponsored the all-female team, Team SCA, to enjoy the pre-race festivities and race start. After spending a week in Alicante, I can tell you these sailors are supreme athletes. Just to qualify, the teams must sail 2,000nm non-stop, that’s across the Atlantic Ocean. Just to qualify!
Each team has nutritionists who plan out exactly how many calories the individual athletes burn and how many calories they need per day. Each meal is rationed out for each leg and then they refill in the next port. Each team earns points from their finish placement at the end of each leg. Team with the most points, wins.
We were staying at the Melia Alicante, a hotel on the beach. It was a vacation from traveling. We slept in, ate, went to the beach, ate again, drank and ate another time for 8 days. It was awesome.
We also enjoyed the biggest, best, most delicious pizza ever.
On the day of the race, we woke up to Eye of the Tiger blasting from speakers in the race village. Teams said farewells to their families and fans bid team bon voyage from the pier. Adrenaline pupping, boats out in the harbor honking theirs horns, the teams got into position for the race gun to blow, and they were off. Next stop, Cape Town.
You can follow the teams as they sail around the world, here: www.volvooceanrace.com/en/social-stream.html