Sail Fast!

Racing a Volvo Ocean Race sailboat around the buoys, that's nuts!

Posted by George Stevens on Thu, Mar 15, 2012 @ 03:35 PM
Volvo irt resized 600

In-Port Racing


Short, sharp, and intense

The in-port racing during this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race is sure to be among the highlights of the entire event. This is the closest that spectators can get to the action without actually being on board one of the race boats.

The in-port race is a critical component of the Volvo Ocean Race, an integral part of the spectacle of the race. This is when the public can see man and machine engage in battle in very close quarters. The race course for the in-port race is always close to shore, so even if you can’t get out on a spectator boat, the nearest beach or breakwater may offer just as good a view.

The race course is very short, ensuring close-quarters, intense action. The course layout will enhance the closeness of the racing, and allow the spectators to get a better look.

See the in-port race live

We are currently negotiating with television broadcasters for live coverage, but in any event, the In-Port Race will always be broadcast live on Each boat will have an onboard camera crew as well as the fixed cameras running to record all the action onboard. In addition we will have helicopters following the fleet from above as well as RIBs in the middle of the fleet. There will be 2D and 3D graphics on the website, so you can also monitor the in-port race from any angle you like and clearly see who is ahead. This will be as close as you can get to the real racing.

How does it work?

The start
Winning the start is essential in an in-port race. As these races are 45-60 minutes long, you have very little time to recover from a poor start. The sailors will do their best to be the first off the starting line, as the gun fires. Being at the tactically favoured end of the line is crucial too. But there is only one ‘best’ place to start, so look for aggressive jockeying for position ahead of the start. In fact, this fight for position in the final minutes before the start can be one of the most fascinating moments of these races. The rules apply from the 5-minute gun, and from then on, you are free to use them to your advantage. Teams will attempt to ‘squeeze’ out their competition forcing them into a poor start, or even pushing them onto the wrong side of the starting line. A boat starting early will have to return to the other side of the line, or if many of the boats in the fleet are early, the Race Committee will make a General Recall to re-start the entire fleet. A team starting early in the subsequent start may be disqualified from the race.

The start sequence is 10 minute warning (sound signal) - 5 minutes preparatory (sound signal) - 1 minute (sound signal) – START
Volvo Ocean Race resized 600

Register for a free 2 hour sail

Tags: Sailboat racing