Punta del Este back on the ocean racing map

South American stopover announced for Global Ocean Race

Friday July 9th 2010, Author: Ollie Dewar, Location: Uruguay

In the mid-1980s, Punta del Este, Uruguay, was the traditional South American stopover port for the fully-crewed Whitbread Round the World Race and in the following decade, solo sailors in the BOC Challenge pulled into the port at the end of their brutal Southern Ocean leg from Australia. The Global Ocean Race 2011-12 can now confirm that Punta del Este will be the South American stopover port at the end of the 6,000+ mile Leg 3 from Wellington, New Zealand. The stopover will be hosted by the Uruguay Ministry of Tourism with the fleet to be based at the prestigious Yacht Club Punta del Este.

For Dr. Hector Lescano, Uruguayan Minister of Tourism, the GOR stopover is an exciting prospect. “It is a great honour that this international event has chosen Punta del Este as the South American stopover,” confirms Lescano. “Our national and local authorities are working together to support and coordinate the event and ensure that all requirements for the Race Organisation and racing teams are in place,” he continues.

Located at the southern tip of Uruguay on the northern shore of the River Plate, the South Atlantic port of Punta del Este is an overwhelmingly attractive prospect for round the world race teams. The town is a very popular resort for international holiday makers with the deserved reputation of being the ‘St. Tropez of Uruguay’. With a network of global flight connections for the GOR crews, their teams, friends and families, miles of pristine beaches and a cosmopolitan and relaxed atmosphere throughout the city, there could be no better place for the teams to relax and recuperate after the exacting demands of the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn.

The nature of the GOR Leg 3 demands that the South American stopover provides the vital services required for carrying out checks, maintenance and repairs to the racing yachts following 6,000 miles of hard sailing through high latitudes. The choice of the Yacht Club Punta del Este as the GOR base is ideal with the vastly experienced team at the YCPE capable of supplying all facilities from an essential travel lift to fibreglass work and a comprehensive range of skilled specialists.

Commodore of the Yacht Club Punta del Este, Horacio Garcia Pastori, has been an enthusiastic advocate of bringing the Global Ocean Race to his Club. “We have a long history of hosting round the world yacht races and it is with great pleasure that we will be welcoming the organisers and the brave sailors of the Global Ocean Race to our Club,” he commented.

In addition to the world class yacht racing facilities at the YCPE, the clubhouse can also provide accommodation; an exclusive restaurant with a decked balcony overlooking the River Plate; the Recalada Bar - renowned for mixing the best cocktails in town - and the atmospheric and famous Sailors’ Bar.

Race Director, Josh Hall, has personal reasons to be delighted by this announcement. “Having visited Punta del Este as a solo racer in the 1990-91 BOC Challenge, I know first-hand just how welcoming the Yacht Club Punta del Este members and the people of this remarkable city are,” says Hall. “Excellent facilities, fabulous people and a perfect geographic location combine to make Punta del Este a dream stopover for the Global Ocean Race 2011-12, where sailors and sponsors alike will enjoy a very unique experience at every level,” he continues. “We would like to thank The Ministry of Tourism and our long-standing friends at the Yacht Club Punta del Este for granting us this exciting opportunity to bring a highly competitive round the world yacht back to their shores.”

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