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July 1, 2023 - 4PM CET

Genoa In-Port race starts in

Ulysse Nardin
11th Hour Racing Team

The Ocean Race

world’s longest sporting event

The Ocean Race is an obsession capturing the minds and hearts of the world’s best sailors who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of competition and adventure.

Racing around the world

The Ocean Race pushes sailors to their limits. It is renowned for being the longest and toughest test of a team in professional sport. Spanning several months, this global race covers thousands of nautical miles, the race confronts the teams with unpredictable weather conditions, treacherous seas, and isolated, harsh environments. It is famously known that ‘Point Nemo’ in the treacherous Southern Ocean is the most isolated location on earth, where the sailors are closer to the astronauts in the International Space Station than anyone on land.

Those who take part in this grueling adventure are often pushed to the limits of physical and mental exhaustion, as their lives are put on hold in the pursuit of the elusive Ocean Race trophy.

To win The Ocean Race – often a lifelong dream for those who dare participate – takes exceptional teamwork. Success requires the ability to make split-second decisions, cope with pressure, adapt swiftly to changing circumstances, and above all keep improving. As our Skipper Charlie Enright said, “the team that wins The Ocean Race won’t be the best team on the starting line, it will be the best team on the finish line”. 

Overall, winning the ocean race provides a unique opportunity to capture the world’s attention and use that platform to advocate for sustainability and inspire positive changes for the protection of our oceans and the planet as a whole.

Alicante, Spain

a mediterranean jewel

This is the fifth edition of The Ocean Race to start from Alicante and the fourth since the Race’s Headquarters moved to the city. Located on the Costa Blanca, Alicante is one of the most important tourist destinations on the east coast of Spain.

The city lies right on the Mediterranean with beaches, bars and restaurants spilling onto the shoreline and just out of town there’s a seven-kilometre stretch of sand and blue water at Playa San Juan. Overlooking the city and perched on top of Mount Benacantil stands one of Spain’s largest medieval fortresses, the Castle of Santa Bàrbara, providing a great view of Alicante including the Race Village.

#OceanHour Facts

Due to its location, Alicante is situated in an arid territory lacking any meaningful permanent water stream. This has resulted in water scarcity affecting both the natural and human environments. Alicante has hot summers and very little annual rainfall with just under 11 inches per year, but the rainfall can be torrential with over 4 inches in a 24-hour period, leading to severe flash flooding. There is biodiversity loss throughout the Mediterranean and in the Alicante region, notably the loss of seagrass meadows due to trawling, coastal development and polluted runoff.

Cape Verde


The Atlantic’s Hidden Gem

Cape Verde or Cabo Verde will be the first West African nation to host The Ocean Race and only the second African venue the race has ever visited. An island country in the central Atlantic Ocean, Cape Verde is made up of ten volcanic islands lying about 350 miles west of the western coast of Africa, near Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania. The archipelago remained uninhabited until the 15th century, when Portuguese explorers discovered and colonized the islands, establishing the first European settlement in the tropics. Today the island largely depends on tourism for economic prosperity.

#OceanHour Facts

The Cape Verde archipelago is a global marine biodiversity hotspot, supporting a wealth of endemic marine species, including 17 types of whales and dolphins, more than 60 shark and ray species, and five species of marine turtles including one of the three largest nesting populations of loggerhead turtles in the world. International organizations are supporting a network of five marine protected areas around the island recognizing that there is significant dependence on marine resources on the island, and there is insufficient local capacity to successfully manage these resources. Almost 80% of Cape Verde’s 92 endemic plants are threatened with extinction, including the phoenix palm, iron tree, and the Cape Verdean dragon tree.

Cape Town, South Africa

Gateway to the Southern Ocean

Cape Town – a rainbow city in the rainbow nation – sits just north of the Cape of Good Hope, at the southern tip of South Africa and the African continent, on a peninsula beneath the imposing Table Mountain. The city is home to almost four million people spread along hundreds of kilometers of stunning coastline. Cape Town’s history with the race goes back all the way to the very first edition in 1973-74. The city has only been absent from the route a couple of times.

#OceanHour Facts

Cape Town is home to exceptional biodiversity. The city is located in the Cape Floristic Region, the smallest and most diverse floral kingdom on earth. The region hosts almost 9,000 plant species on 90,000 km2, some 44% of the flora of the subcontinent on just 4% of the land area. Water scarcity is a real issue for both the natural and human environments, although good rains in 2020 effectively broke the drought and dam levels are now at 95%. Other environmental challenges include rapid urbanization of the natural habitats and pollution of the city’s air, water and open spaces.

Itajai, Brazil

A Surfer’s Paradise

Itajaí first hosted The Ocean Race in 2011-12 and it has been a hugely popular stopover on the race course ever since. Situated in the south of Brazil, on the north coast of Santa Catarina State, it’s positioned about 80 miles north of the state capital of Florianopolis. The arrival in Itajaí will mark the end of the big Southern Ocean challenge and the first port of call after the boats have rounded Cape Horn. After racing thousands of miles through the planet’s icy waters, the first boat into Itajaí will get some serious kudos – and a very welcome tray of the local Caipirinhas!

#OceanHour Facts

Itajaí has a humid subtropical climate: humid in winter and dry in summer. At their highest, temperatures can reach 40°C and during the winter they can get as low as 5°C. In a first for Brazil and South America, during The Ocean Race 2017-18, Itajai became the first Brazilian city to sign up to the United Nations Environment #CleanSeas campaign to help rid our ocean of plastic.

Environmental challenges for the city include water quality and the safe disposal of waste water,  biodiversity loss due to offshore drilling, the deforestation and mining of indigenous lands and pollution and runoff into river systems from land-based pollution.

Newport, USA

The Heart of American Sailing

Newport is one of America’s most famous sailing hubs. Situated in Rhode Island, the smallest state in the USA, there is mile after mile of magnificent coastline, harbors, beaches and much more. An entire sailing-centric community and quintessential New England port lined with historic sea captains’ houses, pubs, taverns, shops and galleries, Newport Harbor hosts the greatest collection of classic yachts, the largest collection of the famous 12 meter rum runners’ yachts and every type of modern sail, power and mega yacht. The 2022-23 edition of The Ocean Race will be the third visit the race has made to the home of 11th Hour Racing Team.

#OceanHour Facts

Newport, along with its nearby neighbors Middletown, Portsmouth, and Jamestown, is an island in the dynamic Narragansett Bay. Thanks to its situation on the Eastern Seaboard, it has a dynamic natural environment that attracts many people to the area to enjoy the wildlife, fauna and flora. There are many natural challenges to the health of the region through sea level rise, storm surge erosion and waste water pollution into the rivers and sea. The warming waters that lap the coast are seeing a shift in the ecosystem, bringing difficulties for both nature to thrive and for the abundant fishing communities.

Aarhus, Denmark

Denmark’s Design Capital

Aarhus, Denmark, will host The Ocean Race for the first time following a popular ‘Fly-By’ of the city during the final leg of the 2017-18 edition. The fleet, en route from Gothenburg to the finish in The Hague, raced into the inner harbor of Aarhus port and around a turning mark in front of tens of thousands of fans, and this cemented the popularity of The Ocean Race in Denmark and made Aarhus a natural choice as the first ever Danish Host City. Aarhus is the second-largest city in Denmark located on the east coast of the Jutland peninsula.

#OceanHour Facts

Aarhus is located at the Bay of Aarhus which provides a natural harbor with a depth of 10m, close to the shore. With a temperate oceanic climate, the weather is constantly influenced by major weather systems from all four directions, resulting in unstable conditions throughout the year. Environmental challenges include sea level rises, coastal flooding and the impact of the shipping industry in one of the biggest industrial ports in northern Europe. Aarhus is home to the largest container terminal in Denmark, which processes more than 50% of Denmark’s container traffic and accommodates the largest container vessels in the world.

The Hague, Netherlands

The City by the Sea

The Hague is unlike any other city in The Netherlands. Despite not being the capital of the country, the city is the home to the Dutch King and the seat of the Dutch Government. 150 international organizations call The Hague home, including the International Court of Justice. Having hosted The Ocean Race for the first time in a short pit-stop in 2014-15, this famous city in the Netherlands hosted the nail-biting finish of the legendary race in 2017-18.

#OceanHour Facts

As most of The Netherlands is below sea level, the challenge of tackling sea level rise is high on the country’s agenda. The country is protected by a sophisticated high-tech system of dikes and dunes that maintain the desired water level. The Hague is one of the global leaders in urban innovation and sustainability – both environmental and social. Due to the city’s situation on the North Sea, industrial shipping and fishing impact the city, with marine debris, plastic pollution and ghost gear causing problems for ocean health.

Genoa, Italy

Italy’s Capital of Sailing

Genoa, the capital of the Italian region of Liguria and the sixth-largest city in Italy, will host the finish of the next edition of The Ocean Race, marking the first time the fully-crewed, around the world yacht race will come to Italy. The choice of Italy’s top maritime city opens the event to a new audience in one of the most passionate sailing centers in Europe. The birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Genoa is the most important Italian port. The ancient Genoese coins portray one of the principal characteristics of Genoa: the city as the gateway to the sea.

#OceanHour Facts

The city, characterized by one of the largest historical centers in Europe, is the core of the Italian Riviera, located about 120 km south-west of Milan on the Gulf of Genoa. The city lies mainly on a 30 km long and narrow coastal plain extending through a few narrow valleys into the western steep slopes of the Apennine Mountains. Environmental challenges include the impact of hosting the main commercial port in Italy and the biodiversity loss in the Mediterranean due to overfishing.

What is the Ocean Race

Often described as the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world, The Ocean Race is sailing’s most challenging professional team competition. Along with the Olympics and the America’s Cup it is acknowledged as one of the sport’s ‘Big Three’ events.

The only thing more important than winning

Is leaving a positive impact

What’s below the ocean’s surface connects us all: from the oxygen we breathe to the food we eat, the ocean is our lifeline.
As we race around our blue planet we’ll be working with incredible grantee organizations who are regenerating the health of our ocean through technology, education, and ecosystem restoration.

Meet the 11th Hour Racing TEAM Grantees

Get to know the organizations working hard to restore and regenerate ocean health around the world through innovative technology, habitat restoration, and community education.