Five VO65 sailboats will be at the starting line in Alicante in January to compete for a new trophy within ‘The Ocean Race’, called The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint Cup’, along with the five IMOCA teams that have confirmed their presence at the round the world sailing

The new trophy has been specially created for VO65 teams and will be awarded to the team that accumulates the best score in three different stages of the regatta: Alicante-Cape Verde, Aarhus (Denmark)-The Hague (Netherlands) and The Hague-Genoa ( Italy).

The VO65 teams participating in The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint Cup will compete in the VO65 class in the ‘In-port’ regattas scheduled in each of those cities, as well as in the three ocean legs.

“This new trophy will allow a new generation of sailors, along with some familiar faces, to gain valuable experience in The Ocean Race,” said Phil Lawrence, The Ocean Race’s Race Director.

“This format provides the opportunity to compete in The Ocean Race, competing in host-to-host stages in combination with inshore racing. Participating VO65 teams will have significant exposure in the oceanic stages,” he added.

The first round of The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint Cup is the coastal race in the port of Alicante, on January 8, 2023, followed by the first ocean leg of the event from Alicante to Cape Verde starting on January 15.

“We are very happy to compete in the In-Port regatta (January 8) and then start the first leg in Alicante on January 15. We are looking forward to competing in three incredible legs against top-level rivals. It promises to be a epic battle,” said Jelmer van Beek, a 27-year-old Dutch sailor from The Hague who has been named skipper and will lead the young Team JAJO.

“For me personally, it’s an incredible challenge to be the skipper of the JAJO team. I think I’m one of the youngest skippers to start the regatta. It’s a great responsibility and above all a challenge. But a challenge I’m up for. prepared and with a lot of desire, especially with this team”, affirmed van Beek.

The Dutch boat underwent a refit at Royal Huisman last summer and is almost race-ready; she only has to do the finishing touches in Barcelona before the team meets for training on December 6.

“It has been a great learning experience working on this boat to prepare it for racing,” said Mateusz Gwózdz of the Polish team, who will be the youngest sailor in the regatta, at just 17 years old, although he has previously competed in The Ocean. Race Europe. “I can’t wait to put the boat in the water and do some more training before heading to Alicante,” he added.

The Polish team have been preparing their new VO65, the former AkzoNobel, from a base in Valencia and plan to announce the full team and crew shortly.

Working on its return to The Ocean Race is Team Viva México, which seeks a Mexican return to the regatta after Sayula II’s historic victory in the first edition of the regatta in 1973. No team flying the Mexican flag has participated in the regatta since then.

“In 2019 we set ourselves the goal of bringing what we consider to be the best regatta in the world back to Mexico,” said skipper Erik Brockmann, who led the team in The Ocean Race Europe. “Many things have changed in the last three years that we did not anticipate at the time, but being on the start line to compete in The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint Cup is an exciting step for Mexico to return to racing and a way to pay tribute. to the historic victory we achieved 50 years ago,” he said.


Meanwhile, the IMOCA fleet is ready to compete in The Ocean Race with five teams: 11th Hour Racing Team, Team Malizia, GUYOT environment-Team Europe, Biotherm Racing and Holcim – PRB, featuring several of the biggest names in sailing. ocean racing around the world.

The IMOCA fleet will meet in Alicante from January 2, 2023 before the coastal race on January 8. The first leg of The Ocean Race begins on January 15.