Portimao Global Ocean Race
Even the very first leg will present a variety of challenges for the participating teams. The Atlantic is waiting with rough seas and torrential downpours as well as complete calm in the equatorial regions. Over 6,900 nautical miles have to be covered from Portimão to Cape Town, South Africa starting on 12 October. The first destination should be reached around 22 November, after 41 days on the high seas.
The starting signal for the second leg will be given on 7 December. It is the longest stage of the race, 7,500 nautical miles, and goes from Cape Town to Wellington, New Zealand. This means the sailing teams will cross the Indian Ocean heading for the Pacific at Christmas and New Year while arrival in New Zealand is scheduled for 18 January 2008.
The participants have around three weeks’ time in Wellington to recover from the stresses and strains and to lick the boats back into shape. For then, beginning on 8 February, they have to tackle what is presumably the hardest stage of the Global Ocean Race. The 7,100 nautical miles to be covered run right through the middle of the feared regions of the “Roaring Forties“ and “Howling Fifties“, across the endless and lonely expanse of the South Pacific and around the legendary and notorious Cape Horn. The destination of this leg is Ilhabela, Brazil with scheduled arrival in mid-March 2009.
On the fourth leg the vessels head for spring in the northern hemisphere. The route runs 5,000 nautical miles from Ilhabela to Charleston in the US, where the crews will be received with a maritime festival at the beginning of May. The teams will spend 26 days in the “friendliest city in the USA” to gather their strength and prepare the boats for the last leg.
The final 3,500 nautical miles are a relatively short distance compared to the four previous stages, but they likewise demand utmost concentration and sailing skill. According to the race schedule, the teams will reach their starting point, the port of Portuguese tourist town Portimão, on 21 June 2009.
This moment will be something special for everyone – 30,000 nautical miles and eight months after the start of the first Portimão Global Ocean Race, a sailing challenge of a very exceptional kind.
1st leg: Portimão, Portugal – Cape Town, South Africa
Start: 12 October 2008, 12:00 UTC
Arrival: 16 November 2008, 9:58,14 UTC
Distance: 6,285.1 nautical miles
Time at sea: 34 days, 21 hours, 58 minutes and 14 seconds
Average speed: 7.5 knots
2nd leg: Cape Town – Wellington, New Zealand
Start: 14 December 2008, 10:30 UTC
Arrival: 15 January 2009, 14:01,37 UTC
Distance: 6,893.4 nautical miles
Time at sea: 32 days, 3 hours, 31 minutes and 37 seconds
Average speed: 8.94 knots
3rd leg: Wellington – Ilhabela, Brazil
Start: 21 February 2009, 1:15 UTC
Arrival: 2 April 2009, 13:52,54 UTC
Distance: 7,200.1 nautical miles
Time at sea: 40 days, 12 hours, 37 minutes and 54 seconds
Average speed: 7.4 knots
4th leg: Ilhabela – Charleston, USA
Start: 25 April 2009, 15.00 UTC
Arrival: 17 May 2009, 0:49,47 UTC
Distance: 4,771.1 nautical miles
Time at sea: 21 days, 9 hours, 49 minutes and 47 seconds
Average speed: 9.28 knots
5th leg: Charleston – Portimão
Start: 4 June 2009, 14.30 UTC
Arrival: 21 June 2009, 8:04,42 UTC
Distance: 3,440.3 nautical miles
Time at sea: 16 days, 17 hours, 34 minutes and 42 seconds
Average speed: 8,57 knots
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