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Volvo adds The Fastnet Race to the mix

In August 2017, the Volvo Race fleet will assemble for Cowes Week in the Isle of Wight, UK for ‘Leg Zero’, which will include the 600-mile Fastnet Race.

The Rolex Fastnet Race and a new Lisbon-Alicante Prologue will both feature in an intense period of pre-race qualifying for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18.

The Volvo Race Management has outlined a number of mandatory qualifiers before the start in Alicante, Spain, in October 2017 – including provisionally a transatlantic test for all the fleet in June or July.

The Rolex Fastnet Race will take the teams from Cowes, through the English Channel, around Land’s End and out into the Celtic Sea.

After rounding Fastnet Rock off the southwest coast of Ireland, they race on from Plymouth.

The boats will then race from Plymouth to Lisbon, Portugal to complete Leg Zero.

Teams will then tackle a brand new Prologue race from Lisbon to Alicante, where they will remain until the start of the 2017-18 edition.

Many Volvo Ocean Race teams have used the Fastnet Race as part of their preparations but it has never before been a mandatory qualifier.

The maxi yacht Drum, preparing for the 1985-86 race, famously capsized during the Fastnet and pop star Simon Le Bon was among the crew who had to be rescued by the Royal Navy.

The seven existing Volvo Ocean 65s are currently undergoing a stringent re-fit process at the race’s Boatyard facility in Lisbon, Portugal, and an eighth boat is currently being built.

The Race will start in Alicante in October 2017 and finish eight months later in The Hague in summer 2018, visiting a total of 11 landmark cities.

Related Volvo Updates for the 2017-18 race - I'm a Celebrity - Get Me On the Volvo !

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