Lisbon launch around-the-world race

A new global around-the-world yacht race – the Portugal Ocean Race – has been announced in Lisbon. The venue was a replica of one of sailing’s most famous landmarks, Peter’s Cafe Sport. Surrounded by iconic images of legendary sailors like Eric Tabarly and Sir Francis Chicester, race co-founder Brian Hancock articulated his vision for the event.

“The world of offshore ocean racing is exploding,” he said. “I am sure the sailors of old would be delighted to see how many people are interested is racing around the world. The Portugal Ocean Race is an affordable way for those sailors to realize their dream. We are limiting our entries to Class 40s only to take advantage of the exponential growth of this dynamic class. In addition to the solo and double-handed divisions we are introducing a new fully-crewed division. Teams of up to six people will be able to take part with four on board and the possibility of rotating crew out at each stopover. Suddenly the idea of a campaign, spread six ways, is a budget many sailors from around the globe can afford.”

The Portugal Ocean Race will be a true reflection of Portugal and will capture the history and culture of this seafaring nation. No one represents the spirit of Portugal more than fado singer Mafalda Arnauth who will serve as the Godmother of the event. Race co-founder Ricardo Diniz explained.

“Mafalda is pure Portugal,” he said. “Her beauty and grace reflect the Portuguese people. She will be the link between the sailing community and the rest of the country. Mafalda will join the Navy represented here by Captain Barbosa as well as Portugal Tourism, represented here by Migel Moraes, to form a solid foundation for the race that is firmly rooted in Portugal yet with a reach that will take it around the globe.”

This strong foundation is enhanced by the skill and expertise of Race Director and event CEO Larry Rosenfeld, a highly experienced offshore sailor and businessman.
“We are building this event with the vision of it becoming the preeminent global around-the-world race,” Rosenfeld said. “Because of Class 40 and the exceptional growth of the class, and because it’s affordable and practical and offers sponsors a global platform to showcase their products at a time when budgets are tight, we feel that this race is the right race at the right time.”

No great event is complete without great competitors and the first two to sign up for the race were on hand to lend their support. Sarah Outen has just completed an epic rowing voyage from Australia to Mauritius and Sally Kettle has rowed twice across the Atlantic. Sailing will be a new challenge to them but their skill, determination and credentials are beyond question.