11th hour course change for Velux 5 Oceans
Clipper Ventures today announced a change to the route of the present Velux 5 Oceans. The third leg was to have concluded in the Brazilian port of Salvador, however once the Eco 60s have departed Wellington, New Zealand, on 6 February they will now be heading for the South American hotspot of Punta del Este, Urugary. Punta is of course famous for hosting the earliest round the world races, both Whitbreads and the BOC Challenge. It is also to feature in the forthcoming Global Ocean Race for Class 40s.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of Clipper Ventures and the Velux 5 Oceans, said: “Punta del Este will provide a fantastic stopover for the Velux 5 Oceans. The Uruguayan port has hosted this classic race three times in 1990, 1994 and 1998, and provides the ideal backdrop for the skippers, teams and race partners. While we were not keen to change route mid-race, Salvador was unfortunately not able to fulfil our demands with regards to the obligations to host the race. We therefore felt a change in route was in the best interests of all the race stakeholders.”
The race will be hosted by the Punta del Este Yacht Club during the stopover, providing services and facilities to the race management and competitors. The club will also provide office space to race management and media, as well as container space and RIBs. The club’s experience in hosting stopovers and starts will be invaluable as the fleet set off for the Northern Hemisphere.
The race is expected to reach Punta del Este in early March. The start of leg four to Charleston, USA, is now set for 27 March 2011.