Home of the Volvo Ocean Race

  • Village opening
    11 Oct 2017
  • MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante
    14 Oct 2017
  • Leg Start
    22 Oct 2017

City Info

Race Village opening: 11 October 2017
MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante: 14 October 2017, 12:00 UTC (14:00 Alicante)
Leg Start: 22 October 2017, 12:00 UTC (14:00 Alicante)

More information can be found on the Alicante host city website: 

Download 3D Maps:
Alicante Race Village (PDF 2.5MB)
- MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante (JPG 1.5MB)
- Leg 1 Start Course Map (JPG 1.3 MB)

Find out all the cool things to see and do in our Race Village here.

This is the fourth time the Volvo Ocean Race will start from Alicante
Alicante will welcome the world for the start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 when the Race Village opens on October 11. Home to just short of half a million people, it’s the fourth time Alicante has opened the action, and the third since the race set up its permanent HQ in the port.

The start of the longest professional sporting event in the world brings people from far and wide to explore the Alicante Race Village, see the iconic Volvo Ocean 65 boats first hand and even, if you’re lucky, bump into the sailors are they prepare themselves for battle.

© Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

Alicante is a vibrant city
Alicante is located on Spain’s southeastern Costa Blanca and the capital of Alicante province. There are a number of gorgeous city beaches and just out of town there’s a seven-kilometre stretch of sand and blue water at Playa San Juan. There’s great nightlife as well – particularly in the old town. You can basically choose any of the old streets in the Barrio as a starting point and you’ll soon find a host of restaurants, tapas places and cocktail bars to choose from. Perched on top of Mount Benacantil stands one of Spain’s largest medieval fortresses, the Castle of Santa Bàrbara, providing a great view of Alicante including the Race Village.

© Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race

Alicante averages 3,000 hours of sunshine a year
While October is one of the wetter months for Alicante, that’s still not very wet, and it rarely rains for long here. The average daytime temperature is 24C in October, but bring a jacket for the evening Race Village stroll as it cools off to 15C at night.

Over and above anything else the start of the 2017-18 edition of the race is not to be missed as it marks the beginning of nine months of storms, speed, life-changing stories, stunning imagery and nail-biting finishes in an epic journey around the world. 

How do I get there?

Race Village: 
Zona Volvo, Muelle n°10 de Levante,
Puerto de Alicante,
03001 Alicante

Air: Alicante-Elche (ALC) 
Train: Alicante Train Station
Bus: Plaza Puerta del Mar I - Stop ID: 2607
Alternative: The Party Bus from Benidorm… you know you want to!

Thank you very much to our awesome volunteers who have made this stopover a huge success to Alicante and to the Volvo Ocean Race. We are very thankful for all the time and commitment you gave to each and every volunteer role. Thank you for your energy, your smiles and your warm welcome to all who visited.

If you would like to get in touch, please email Ruth Tuiraviravi, our Volunteer Program Manager.

© Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race

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MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante


MAPFRE draw first blood in 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. It was a comprehensive victory for the Spanish team in the MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante.

The local heroes on Xabi Fernández's MAPFRE were a popular winner in the first point scoring race of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race.

© Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

Fernández and his team made a bold call at the start to duck behind the entire fleet in order to sail up what turned out to be the favoured right hand side of the course, coming from behind to earn a narrow lead at the first gate.

“It was pretty clear from Joan (Vila) and Rob (Greenhalgh) that we wanted to hit the right side of the course in the first upwind looking for more breeze," explained Fernández.

"Our intention was to start on port but Pablo (Arrarte) saw the gap himself when Brunel did a poor tack and they couldn’t accelerate so we want for the cross and we had plenty of room and once we hit the right everything went well.”

MAPFRE then managed to stretch out to a lead of nearly one-minute at the bottom gate, giving them a lead they would enjoy the rest of the way.

"The truth is it hasn’t been an easy race but we took a bit of a risk at the start," Fernández said after the finish. "We saw the gap in front of Brunel and we went for it. Everything went really well."

© Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race

In fact, the Spanish team sailed a flawless race, in terms of strategy and execution, and were never threatened after grabbing the lead at the first mark.

But behind them, it was a hard-fought race. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag was strong on the first leg, but dropped back over the course of the race. In contrast, Dongfeng Race Team fought up the fleet to grab second place, battling with Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Team Brunel who were trading places throughout the race.

“There was a lot of action! MAPFRE played their own game alone but behind them, we had a big fight for second place. It’s good, it’s good," said skipper Charles Caudrelier on Dongfeng Race Team.

"We showed how we can sail well, after having not such good results in the last few days. It’s great that we managed to come back and get this result.”

“It was a very exciting first In-Port Race for us," said Charlie Enright, the skipper of Vestas 11th Hour Racing. "They’re always really close. You know, when you’re racing these 65-foot canting keel boats around a one-mile track it gets interesting, with a lot of exchanges and big headsails and a lot of grinding. We did some good things and some bad things and got third place. All in all, not a bad way to start the campaign.”

"I had a bad start and that put us on the back foot," said Bouwe Bekking the skipper of Team Brunel. "But we sailed the boat very nicely. All in all, we're pretty happy with how we sailed today."

Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag made a late gain to grab fifth over team AkzoNobel with Turn the Tide on Plastic never recovering from a poor first leg.

"It was okay. Fifth’s not great but it was okay. We were second at the top but we just made one mistake on the first run and it cost us. Basically, it was good. Amazing to be racing here in Alicante," said David Witt, the skipper of Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag.

MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante -- Results

Position Team Elapsed Time Points
1 MAPFRE 54:38 7
2 Dongfeng Race Team 56:06 6
3 Vestas 11th Hour Racing 56:54 5
4 Team Brunel 57:13 4
5 Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag 58:07 3
6 team AkzoNobel 58:31 2
7 Turn the Tide on Plastic 59:39 1

MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante highlights
Watch the best bits from the first competitive action of the 2017-18 edition.

MAPFRE In-Port Race Highlights | Volvo Ocean Race

Download here the crew line-ups for the MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante.

Watch more replays on our YouTube channel here.