The Portugal Ocean Race is already considered by many to be the future of offshore ocean racing. Building on the success of the inaugural Class 40 around-the-world race that finished in Portimão in 2009, the event now embraces all of Portugal in a global circumnavigation race that has received the highest level of endorsement; the prestigious Alto Patrocinio da Presidência status has been bestowed on the event by Cavaco Silva, the President of Portugal.
Two words sum up the thinking behind the Portugal Ocean Race; innovation and affordability. The inaugural running of the event was touted as "one of the most innovative and interesting things to happen to sailing in over a decade.” The idea of a new global race for smaller teams in smaller boats was truly innovative and made global offshore racing accessible to many more people. The cost of each entry was dramatically reduced when compared to the cost of fielding an entry in the Vendée Globe or Volvo Ocean Race. While the concept was new and original, it’s clearly here to stay and has become an integral part of global offshore racing.
The organisers of the Portugal Ocean Race continue to innovate for the second edition:
A better course - The course is shorter, simpler and takes in some of the truly great sailing cities in the world; Cape Town, Auckland and Rio de Janiero are synonymous with global offshore racing.
Syndicates of Six - The event allows for teams of up to six people to be part of a syndicate thereby spreading the costs and reducing the expense per person. For strategic reasons a team can choose to sail with only one person on board in order to save weight, but may also opt for a crew of four (maximum number allowed onboard) in order to push the boat hard. This adds a degree of strategy and intrigue not found in other offshore races.