The start date for leg one of The Ocean Race 2022-23 has been confirmed with both IMOCA and VO65 fleets scheduled to burst from the starting blocks on Sunday, January 15, 2023, from Alicante on Spain’s Mediterranean coast.

The Ocean Race said in a press release today that there will be race activity throughout 2022, with teams building their campaigns towards prologue racing as well as with The Ocean Race Legends, sustainability, and youth programs ahead of the assembly period in Alicante late in Q4 of the year.

Then, in January, the start of leg one will see the fleets racing away on one of the greatest challenges in sailing and the toughest test of a team in sport – over 31,000 nautical miles (57,000 km) around the planet.

“This marks a change for The Ocean Race, as we adjust to the challenges of this new world with a more compact and exciting race route than ever before,” said Johan Salén, Managing Director of The Ocean Race in the press release.

“We are pleased to have been able to work with our partners in Alicante, which has been the home of the Race since 2009, to agree on a start date for leg one that takes advantage of the Christmas and New Year holiday season and allows for maximum stakeholder opportunities in the week leading up to the start as well.”

The opening leg of the Race will see both fleets racing for nearly one week to a finish in Cabo Verde. It will be the very first time The Ocean Race has stopped in the African island chain.

From there the race proceeds to Cape Town, South Africa, before starting the longest and most challenging leg in the history of the Race – nearly 13,000 nautical miles direct through the Southern Ocean and past the three great southern Capes (Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn) before a finish in Itajaí, Brazil.

The Race then goes to Newport, Rhode Island in the USA; Aarhus, Denmark; The Hague in The Netherlands; and on to a Grand Finale finish in the Mediterranean in Genova, Italy in the summer of 2023.

Stopover dates for Newport and the other stages of the Race will be confirmed before the end of the year, according to The Ocean Race.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).