Volvo Race has added a Leg Zero to the 2017/18 race format, which will actually consist of a series of races, beginning at Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight, and ending at the Volvo Boatyard in Lisbon, Portugal.
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Racing as a fleet, the 2017/18 Volvo Race entries will compete in the Round Isle of Wight Race, as part of the Triple Crown at Cowes Week, on Wednesday 2 August.
They will then set off for the Rolex Fastnet Race which is organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and starts on Sunday 6 August.
That will take around three days to complete, and then the boats will be back in Plymouth by Wednesday 9 August, where they will stay overnight, before beginning a race to Lisbon, Portugal on Thursday 10 August.
On the way to the Boatyard in Lisbon they will visit St Malo for a short pit-stop.
The boats will arrive there on Friday lunchtime and there’ll be a short, coastal Pro-Am on the Saturday, before the sailors leave on Sunday 13 August to continue the race to Lisbon.
The next compulsory date is the beginning of the Assembly Period in Lisbon on Monday 18 September.
The Assembly Period lasts for around two weeks, and they will be able to crane all of the boats out of the water and complete final pre-race measurement and safety checks.
On Sunday 8 October, the Prologue Race, which is a non-scoring sprint from Lisbon to Alicante, will begin. It should take the teams around three or four days to arrive, so the current ETA is Thursday 12 October.
The fleet will battle out the Alicante In-Port Race on Saturday 14 October, before the Volvo Race itself begins on Sunday 22 October.
Overview – Leg Zero and Prologue key dates
Wednesday 2 August: Cowes Week Round Isle of Wight Race
Sunday 6 August: Rolex Fastnet Race starts
Wednesday 9 August: Rolex Fastnet Race ETA
Thursday 10 August: Fleet departs Plymouth
Friday 11 August: Fleet arrives in St Malo
Sunday 13 August: Fleet departs St Malo
Wednesday 16 August: Fleet ETA in Lisbon
Monday 18 September: Assembly Period begins in Lisbon
Saturday 30 September: Assembly Period ends in Lisbon
Sunday 8 October: Prologue Race Lisbon–Alicante begins
Thursday 12 October: Prologue Race ETA Alicante
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18 April 2017 11:53 GMT