From the standpoint of continuity – When the idea of the first “affordable” Class 40 around-the-world race was presented to government officials in Portugal back in 2006, their interest was immediate. They recognised the opportunity, seized the idea, and with hard-earned tax payer money, backed the event. Despite a sharp economic downturn and recession the event was fully funded and supported all the way to the finish line.
Mayor Manuel da Luz and the citizens of Portimão have made this event their own and they continue to support the Portugal Ocean Race at the highest level. The city of Portimão has committed to the next two editions of the Portugal Ocean Race. We hope that you will reward Portimão by doing the race and competing for the beautiful trophy that was won by the German team of Boris Herrmann and Felix Oehme on Beluga Racer.
From the standpoint of sailing - The reasons for starting and finishing an around-the-world race in Portugal are too many to mention; but we will try. Let’s start with the obvious. If this is your first around-the-world race what better way to get going than to cross the start line, take a left, and hoist a spinnaker.
Portugal is south of the dreaded Bay of Biscay, a legendary body of water than can dish up some dirty weather even in the middle of summer, and the trade winds are already firmly established. Instead of dealing with ships, currents and messy weather on your first night at sea, you can enjoy the sailing, settle into the routine and come to grips with the enormity of the task that lies ahead. No hurricans, no Biscay, no Straits of Gibraltar. Just great sailing.
From the standpoint of tradition - Portugal has a rich seafaring history that is ingrained in the psyche’s of all Portuguese people. They can relate to the sailors and team participating in the Portugal Ocean Race and will support the event not only in person, but in spirit.
Portugal is the Country of the Oceans and is making a concerted effort to reconnect with its strong heritage. President Cavaco, the President of Portugal, has give the Portugal Ocean Race the prestigious Alto Patrocinio da Presidência status - the High Patronage of the Portuguese Presidency. This is a Portuguese event from the top office down, but with global reach and ambition.