From Barcelona to Cleveland to Hong Kong, World Sailing, the governing body of all sailing sports, has penned 284 regattas into its schedule in 2017 (including youth level races). Out of this, three events stand out as the top sailing races in the world today due to their prestige and difficulty.
Founded in 1851, America’s Cup is the world’s oldest international sporting trophy. It also offers the richest prize money in sports.For the 2017 edition, defending champion Oracle Team USA of San Francisco-based Golden Gate Yacht Club, will face off against the winner of the Louis Vuitton Qualifiers starting from 17th June, 2017 in Bermuda, which spent $77 million for the hosting rights. The qualifiers will feature teams from France, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and the UK. The British team will be headed by none other than sailing legend and the most prolific Olympic sailor in history, Sir Ben Ainslie. Each team is expected to spend almost $100 million to develop a state of the art hydrofoil catamaran.
The Vendee Globe is a brutal round-the-world yacht race. The quadrennial competition, which was established in 1989, features solo sailors competing against each other and the elements in a non-stop and no-assistance single-handed race. The 2017 race was won by Frenchman Armel Le Cléac'h with a record time of 74 days. 11 of the 29 participants failed to finish the race. The most remarkable result came from New Zealand sailor Conrad Colman, who arrived at the finished line in 110 days despite experiencing a fire and a broken mast on his boat. He had also finished his food ration and was down to his final piece of survival biscuit.
Volvo Ocean Race
The ten-leg race will start on October 14 this year in Alicante, Spain and is expected to conclude in June 2018in The Hague, Netherlands. Dubbed as the Formula One of the seas, the high-performance Volvo Ocean 65 carbon fibre racing yachts, used by all of the eight teams, will once again vow audiences with their speed and manoeuvrability- even under the most extreme weather conditions.