The biggest sailing competitions in the world

Every year the best sailors in the world participate in competitions in different parts of the globe, representing the top of this increasingly popular sport.

The magnificent classic sailing boats, but also those of the new generation, the beauty of the sea, and the difficulty of the races make sailing a truly unique sporting spectacle.

Professionals for over a century live events sailing in seas and oceans in search of glory, and for the satisfaction of achieving the primary purpose of their activity and at the same time gratify their innate passion for sailing.

To identify the best competitions, explain the routes and their peculiarities, it is enough to mention those that are the most popular, and take place every four years such as Volvo Ocean Race, the Barcelona Puig, the America’s Cup up to the 5 Oceans Regatta.

The Volvo Ocean Race

Probably the best-known regatta in the world and also important in terms of participation of crews is definitely the Volvo Ocean Race that lasts 9 months and winds on a route in stages.

The sporting event in question is celebrated since 1973 every three years, although in the early days the cadence was four years.

Each event always starts from a different place, and so for example the last edition started from Alicante and precisely on October 22, 2017, with the sailboats that made a well-defined maritime route that included 11 stages with the last one leading to The Hague in the Netherlands, after passing the coasts of Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Newport, and Cardiff.

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The next Volvo Ocean Race will start in October 2022

The organization of the 14th edition of The Ocean Race -Tour of the World by Stages- will start from the Spanish port of Alicante in October 2022, finishing in Genoa (Italy) in the summer of 2023, postponing the planned start date of 2021 by one year.

The change in the start date of the next edition has come after a strategic planning and consultation process with the parties involved in the event, to determine the best trajectory in a sporting landscape affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To fill the void left by this postponement, a uniquely European regatta started last 29th May in Lorient (France).  The fleet made two stopovers, in Cascais (Portugal) and Alicante (Spain), before crossing the finish line in Genoa (Italy).

Combining sport and sustainability is one of the main formulas of the organizers of The Ocean Race and The Ocean Race Europe to make the projects viable.

In this Europe Race, the sustainability program included several education initiatives, scientific data collection onboard the boats and round tables on social and environmental policies aimed at finding solutions to improve the health of the ocean, and reduce the impact of climate change.

The Barcelona Puig

Another of the most famous sailing competitions in the world is the Barcelona Puig, which happens every four years. The last one took place in the waters of Barcelona between the 14th and 17th of July 2021.

This regatta, which touches the whole world, has no stages so it is a non-stop event, which begins and ends in Barcelona.

America’s Cup and the 5 Oceans Regatta

The world competition defined as the queen of regattas is still America’s Cup, despite the last few tribulated years that have seen much more paperwork than wind and sea. It is however an event that in addition to the sporting glory, represents a very important economic impact for the area that hosts the races.

The other world-class competition involving sailing is the 5 Oceans Regatta in which the boats are managed by one person. Its origin dates back to 1982 and the journey around the globe on average exceeds 26,000 miles. In this case, it is possible to have assistance, contrary to another similar competition such as the Vendée Globe.

The itinerary usually begins on the east coast of the United States, and then in order, it winds its way through the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific to return to the Atlantic.