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Volvo Ocean Race moves to 2-year cycle

As indicated earlier, the Volvo Ocean Race has confirmed the move to a 2-year cycle after the upcoming 2017-18 edition.

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Confirmation of the change will align all the major events of the sport – the Volvo Ocean Race, Vendée Globe, America's Cup and Olympic Games – in a non-conflicting calendar for the first time ever.

Volvo hope that the change will provide more continuity and more commercial value for professional sailing teams, sponsors and Host Cities.

The next VOR, the 2017-18 edition starts 22 October from Alicante and will finish at the end of June next year in The Hague, Netherlands.

The three races after that will run 2019-20, 2021-22 and 2023-24 and the tender process for Host Cities is now open for all three editions.

This change, coupled with the new mix of stopover formats and additional inventory, aims for a better value proposition and flexible options, for the bidding cities around the world.

Over the last 20 years, the Volvo Ocean Race has expanded massively from the early routes that made as few as three stops around the world.

The race now visits many more markets that are important to both stakeholders and fans and in 2017-18 the route takes in a total of 12 Host Cities.

Recent editions of the race have attracted criticism that it was losing media/spectator interest as to wound its way around the world and lacked racing continuity.

By reducing the cycle, it won’t be necessary to go to all commercially important markets in every edition.

This means that organisers will be able to choose routes that provide the right balance between the sporting integrity of the race and commercial value.

The race is making a firm commitment to visiting North America, South America, Australasia, China, and at least five major European markets at the very minimum once every other edition (and in some cases every edition).

Thus making it easier for two-cycle sponsor commitments to be made to teams before fully detailed final routes are fixed.

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Gerald New - Sailweb
14 June 2017 10:57 GMT


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