Thinking back to The Ocean Race 2022-23, it’s easy to remember the close finishes (Leg 2, 4 and 6 in particular) the wild weather leg starts (Cape Town), the iconic wins (Newport) or perhaps just the general excitement of extreme competition – but as some of you will know, there was another side to the stopovers for our team that we’d like to take a moment to revisit.

As we sailed around the world in The Ocean Race we took the opportunity to expand our Legacy Grantee Program, an important element of our campaign which was committed to advancing local initiatives that improve the health of our oceans and address the dynamic environmental challenges facing the sailing and marine communities. 

In short, this means finding and supporting groups and communities who are implementing local solutions to global problems, be it marine pollution, lack of education opportunities for communities, biodiversity loss or access to clean water. 

Facilitated by 11th Hour Racing, a total of over half a million euros was distributed to our grantees in 2023, all geographically located in areas where we either had a team base or at one of The Ocean Race stopovers. 

On the surface, it might be easy to assume that apart from contributing to the health of our oceans and The Ocean Race route, these projects have little in common, given the geographical diversity and range of specific local issues the projects each addressed.. But in fact, as we discovered after having the privilege of experiencing their work first-hand, they have one big thing in common… They all demonstrate the power of people in the quest for a better future. 

So, we’d like to take this time to celebrate the people behind these projects. People who are demonstrating first hand that solutions to the declining health of our ocean are everywhere and that with vision and determination, we can all play our part – no matter how small – in the journey towards a better future.