Sailing

Bermuda could bid for Volvo Ocean Race

  • Bermuda have shown an interest in hosting a leg of the race

There is growing speculation that Bermuda could submit a bid to host the Volvo Ocean Race.

The tender process for host cities for the 2019-20, 2021-22 and 2023-24 editions is now open and it is believed that Bermuda has shown an interest in hosting a leg of the prestigious race.

Bermuda punched above its weight in successfully bidding and staging the 35th America’s Cup, with Oracle Team USA becoming the first team to defend the “Auld Mug” in foreign waters by choice.

The potential bid to host the Volvo Ocean Race comes in the wake of an ambitious Bermuda Tourism Authority-driven proposal to have a Bermuda team compete in the event which ultimately fell through the cracks.

Kevin Dallas, the BTA chief executive, said: “It has long been the position of the Bermuda Tourism Authority that successful delivery of the 35th America’s Cup would have legacy benefits in proving Bermuda as a desirable partner for delivering a mid-sized global event.

“Indeed, the ITU World Triathlon Series was won partially on the back of our America’s Cup World Series event delivery.

“Bermuda is now in the enviable position of being approached by multiple parties in the wake of AC35. It would be premature to say which should and will be taken forward.”

The Volvo Ocean Race will start on October 22 in Alicante, Spain, and conclude at the end of June next year in The Hague, Netherlands. Recent editions of the Volvo Ocean Race consisted of either nine or ten legs with in-port races being staged at stopover cities.

The race will switch from a three-year to a two-year cycle after the upcoming edition, a change that will provide more continuity and commercial value for professional sailing teams, sponsors as well as host cities.

Over the past two decades 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 with the route for the next edition taking in a total of 12 host cities.

The class used for the race is the Volvo Ocean 65, one-design racing yacht created by Farr Yacht Design. However, it has been announced that the 2019-20 edition will be contested in brand new foil-assisted monohull boats.

Led by skipper Ian Walker, one of Britain’s most successful sailors, United Arab Emirates entry Azzam won the previous race held between 2014 and 15.