On Monday, the sailors of The Ocean Race will enjoy a day off. But that is literally silence before the storm. Because in the coming days, with Pro-am’s and InPort-Races on Tuesday and Wednesday, there is still plenty of sailing spectacle to experience off the coast of The Hague. We list what is going to happen.
Both Tuesday and Wednesday, starting at 11.30 am, a Pro-am will be held, a race for – as the name suggests – professionals and amateurs. No standings will be made of these races, in both the IMOCA and VO65 classes, but for the participating amateurs, it will undoubtedly be the day of their lives. Usually, each team invites its guests for the Pro-am, usually sailing enthusiasts who have a link with the boats’ sponsors. Incidentally, the amateurs are expected to perform the necessary tasks on board, thus contributing to making speed at sea.
At the In-Port races, though, it is for real. Indeed, in theory, the In-Port Races could decide which boat wins The Ocean Race. If, after the voyage around the world, two boats have accumulated the same number of points, the final victory will go to the boat that did best in the In-Port Races. For the In-Port Races, a course is set out off the coast of The Hague, which the boats have to cover.
Especially before the start, it is enormously hectic on the water. The five boats literally try to outdo each other, passing the starting line just before the others after the starting signal. Whoever takes a small lead there usually has the best papers because the race is relatively short.
Boat crews are made up of sailors who have sailed the leg from Aarhus to The Hague, or sailors who are racing on the leg from The Hague to Genoa.
The IMOCA boats will hold their In-Port race on Tuesday, leaving the jetty around 4pm. The race starts at 6pm. Wednesday is the boat to VO65 class. Both Tuesday and Wednesday, the honouring of the winners will take place at 7.30pm.
Start of final leg
On Thursday, the world’s toughest sailing race sets sail for Genoa for the final leg. The VO65 boats will get the signal at 13.05 that day that their leg has started. They will walk in a traditional parade from the Sailor’s Terrace to the dock from 11.15am. The boat will set sail between 11.30 and 11.50 am.
The IMOCA sailors will follow a similar schedule later in the afternoon. At 4.20pm is the Sailors Parade, with the boats sailing out between 4.35pm and 4.55pm. And at 6.10pm, their leg to Genoa also started.