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Legends gather in Gothenburg for historic Volvo Ocean Legends Race

by Marie Båge 19 Jun 16:08 BST
Legends Race Dock in Gothenburg © Event Media

Legendary boats from seven of the 13 round the world races have gathered in Gothenburg in preparation for a race between the Swedish stopover port of the Volvo Ocean Race, to the Dutch port of The Hague, the finish destination for the current round-the-world race.

It will be the first time that a mixed fleet of veteran racers has undertaken an offshore race.

The overall winner will judged on corrected time, as it used to be in races gone by, but there will also be class racing for some of the more modern boats.

Spectators are able to get up close and personal with boats as famous as Conny Van Rietschoten's first yacht Flyer, the winner of the 1977-87 Whitbread Round the World Race, which later, in 1998, became the Volvo Ocean Race. Also from that era is Neptune, who has been reunited with her original skipper, Bernard Deguy.

The grand old lady of the fleet is the 46' (14m20) Polish yacht Copernicus, who completed the very first Whitbread in 1973-74. She was the smallest yacht to complete the race and sailed with a crew of five. Her skipper, Zyfryd 'Zyga' Perlicki, was an Olympic yachtsman.

In addition to Flyer, race winners include illbruck from 2001-02 and Ericsson 4 from 2008-09. At 80' (24m5) Rothmans, originally skippered by Britain's Lawrie Smith, is the sole maxi yacht at the event.

Chris Dickson's 1993-94 entry Tokio is represented by her sistership as is Neal McDonald's 2001-02 second-placed Assa Abloy.

There will be five Whitbread 60/Volvo Ocean 60s racing: Tokio, Silk Cut, Assa Abloy, SEB and illbuck and three Volvo Open 70s, the ferocious 'street fighters' fitted with a canting keel for the first time: Green Dragon, Telefónica Blue and race winner Ericsson 4.

The fleet of 12 will be open to the public in both Gothenburg and The Hague.

The Legends will use the same start line as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, starting approximately 45 minutes in front, although this year's round the world racers will sail a slightly longer and less direct course to The Hague. The overall winner of the Legends Race will be presented with the beautiful Sir Peter Blake Trophy in The Hague. In addition to class prizes, there will also be a concours d'elegance prize for the yacht in the best condition.

Each boat is fitted with a Yellowbrick tracker to enable fans to follow as they race to The Hague.

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