Jimmy Cornell, the founder of the ARC and organiser of five round the world sailing events, has launched a global race for amateur sailors. “I want to give ordinary sailors the opportunity to race on their own terms,” declared the three times circumnavigator whose successful rallies, websites and books have always responded to the aims and interests of amateur sailors.
“In recent years I have spoken to many owners of production boats who are keen to race around the world in a competitive event but see themselves excluded by the dominance of all current offshore races by sponsored high-tech yachts sailed by professional crews. The World Odyssey will answer this demand by bringing back the Corinthian spirit of earlier round the world races.”
In order to keep costs at a reasonable level, only production mono-hulled boats between 40′ and 60′ LOA will be eligible, with no performance enhancing modifications being allowed to the standard design. There will be separate classes for double-handed and fully crewed boats. The World Odyssey will be run under the IRC rating rule and is scheduled to be held every two years.
The ten-month-long Odyssey will start in summer 2016 from a port in Atlantic France and follow the traditional sailing route around the three great capes of the Southern Ocean: Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn.
The 28,300 mile route has been divided into 11 legs, with stopovers in ports with good yachting facilities that are also attractive destinations. A longer stop has been planned in the New Zealand capital Wellington for families and friends to join the crews for the Christmas holiday season. Having successfully weathered the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn, an extended sojourn in Ushuaia will allow the crews to enjoy Patagonia during the austral summer.
During their circumnavigation participants in the World Odyssey will take part in a number of oceanographic and meteorological projects by deploying autonomous scientific instruments, gathering and transmitting data from remote ocean areas from where there is an acute absence of up-to-date information on climatic conditions. In recognition for this valuable contribution to scientific research, the World Odyssey will be run under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organisation and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
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1. Start port (tba) – Arrecife (Lanzarote)
2. Arrecife – Rio de Janeiro
3. Rio de Janeiro – Cape Town
4. Cape Town – Fremantle
5. Fremantle – Melbourne
6. Melbourne – Wellington
7. Wellington – Ushuaia
8. Ushuaia – Mar del Plata
9. Mar del Plata – Salvador da Bahia
10. Salvador da Bahia – Horta (Azores)
11. Horta – Start/Finish port (tba)