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Volvo Race - Leg 1 start to Lisbon

Sunday afternoon at 12:00 UTC, the first Leg of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race will start in Alicante, Spain with a short sprint to Lisbon.Leg 1 Start -

And after some short course racing off the beachfront of Alicante, the seven crews will depart on the first leg of a 45,000 nautical mile race around the world.

The main media interest has been in the on-going spat between Dutch sailor Simeon Tienpont and his team, AkzoNobel.

Removed from his position as skipper he is now reported to be in talks about reinstatement after he won the arbitration case he brought against AkzoNobel in the Dutch Arbitration Institute.

While that wrangle continues to some sort of conclusion the Volvo fleet will start in Easterly winds of 7 to 15 knots. This is somewhat lighter than forecast earlier in the week. Nonetheless, the favourable direction means the fleet will make good progress off the starting line.

Alicante - Click image for a larger image

24 hours into the race and teams will be lining up for the Gibraltar Strait, the Rock of Gibraltar looming on the western horizon.

As teams file into the narrow strait, wind strength could double from 14 to up to 30 knots, leading to frantic sail changes as teams negotiate accelerating wind, choppy waters and one of the world's busiest shipping channels all at the same time.

On Tuesday, 48 hours after the start, the sleigh ride comes to an end at the end of the acceleration zone and the fleet will be required to negotiate a ridge of high pressure, and its associated light winds, continuing onwards.

Where to from there? The Volvo Race is all about hitting their marks**, and Lisbon the 'mark' is the weekend, so if they are early they will do a couple of holding laps before the finish.

Race Director Phil Lawrence has reserved the right to lengthen the route with additional waypoints, if necessary, in order to secure an on-time arrival into Lisbon for the weekend.

Follow the start live here

** Hitting your mark means that you do your action at a specific location on set. By hitting your mark effectively, you are able to complete your dialogue and actions on camera allowing for the scene to come to life on the camera screen.

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