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Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Ocean Race formerly known as the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, was the first ever attempt at a global, crewed yacht race. The race which started in the year 1973, was conceived and organised by the British Royal Naval Sailing Association (RNSA) with sponsorship from the London-based brewery company Whitbread. The race with its headquarters at Portsmouth, England is conducted every four years.
The race comprises of leg races and in- port races. Racing from one port to another in a traditional windward-leeward course is termed as a leg race. In- port racing takes place at one particular port. The race course is very short and is always close to the shore and may last less than an hour. The course is the usual windward one but with a gate the teams must pass through as they make their way up and down the race course. In- port racing is an integral part of the ocean race as it is only chance that the spectators get to see the action at close quarters, without actually being on board one of the race boats.
Scoring and Prize
The winner of the race is decided based on the points received by each team. There are points for offshore legs, scoring gates and in-port racing. They all count towards the overall prize - the Fighting Finish Trophy.
For each Leg, each Boat will receive points equal to the number of entries at the start of the Race less the number of Boats placed above her on that Leg, amended when appropriate by penalties or redress awarded by the International Jury.
In-port races award 20% of the total race points on offer. For each In Port Race and scoring waypoint, Boats will receive points equal to half the number of entries at the start of the Race less half the number of Boats placed above her in that race or at that scoring waypoint, amended when appropriate by penalties or redress awarded by the International Jury. Points scored at scoring waypoints count only toward the overall score and do not affect Leg places.
On September 8th, 1973, 17 race yachts, carrying 167 crew from seven different nations, sailed their way out from Portsmouth, United Kingdom into the English Channel for the first time to take part in the longest, most demanding and perilous sporting contest in the world covering 27,500 nautical miles. For these fearless seafarers recording the fastest time between ports was the ultimatum. Though three of these adventurous men perished during the race, the contest came to be held every four years.
From 1973 to 2001 the race was held under the sponsorship of Whitbread but in 2001 it was taken over by the Sweden based Volvo group, i.e Volvo, supplier of commercial vehicles and Volvo cars, Luxury automobile manufacturer, and the race came to be known as Volvo Ocean Race. Volvo group sold off its Car Corporation in 1999 and Volvo Cars is currently owned by American Ford Motor Company.
Volvo Ocean Race was run for the first time in 2001-02 from Southampton, UK to Kiel, Germany covering a distance of 32,250 Nautical miles, touching10 ports.