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Lisbon, Portugal makes history in Volvo Ocean Race



After a fierce bidding process, Lisbon has been chosen as the first of the European ports for the Volvo Ocean Race, starting from Alicante in the autumn of 2011. Lisbon, located in the west of Portugal, at the point where the river Tagus flows into the Atlantic Ocean, will be the finish of the transatlantic leg of the race during the summer of 2012. 


It will be the first time that this historic Portuguese port has played a part in the world's premier ocean race.

Interest in hosting the Volvo Ocean Race in Europe was received from 34 cities, 15 of which went through to the final phase of the bidding process.  This clearly underlines the enormous interest the race generates and makes Europe by far the most competitive continent in the selection procedure.


"It is great to have such an iconic city included in our list of stopovers and Lisbon, especially, has wonderful sailing conditions, which will make for a very exciting in-port race," said Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad.  "Lisbon is a delightful city with much to offer the Volvo Ocean Race and this will be a stopover to look forward to after the rigours of the transatlantic leg," he added.


"Portugal is a country of navigators that opened the world to new horizons and its capital, Lisbon, was the starting point for the fabulous saga of the Discoveries. A city with such grand nautical tradition had to be associated with the biggest transoceanic adventure of modern times and it is with utmost honour and pride that we are now a part of the Volvo Ocean Race's global itinerary," said António Costa, Mayor of the City of Lisbon.


The next European port will be announced on Wednesday 3 March.   


The Volvo Ocean Race traces its origins back to 1973 and is the world's premier offshore sailing race.  The Volvo Open 70 racing boat is sailed by professional athletes, who race around the world with the prevailing winds. 

For media information on the Volvo Ocean Race, please contact:



Lizzie (Green) Ward - Press Officer (in UK)

Mob +44 7801 185 320 




Sophie Luther - International Press Officer (in Spain)

Tel + 34 966 011 152  Mob +34 606 894 940



High resolution images can be downloaded from     

Tim Stonton, Picture Desk Manager (in Spain)

Tel +34 966 011 151 Mob +34 606 905 497


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Editors' Notes: The Volvo Ocean Race

  • The next Volvo Ocean Race will start in the Spanish port of Alicante in the autumn of 2011
  • Portugal's Joao Cabecadas has taken part in the race three times:Esprit de Liberte 1989-90, La Poste (3rd) 1993-94 and BrunelSunergy 1997-98.
  • The 2011-12 race will be the 11th edition of the event
  • The design of the boat is regulated and the boat is built for speed
  • The first 31,250 nautical-mile race first took place over 37 years ago (as the Whitbread Round the World Race 1973-74), testing the crews against some of the most ferocious elements that man can encounter



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