Volvo Ocean Race (May 24 – June 7)

The Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s longest professional sporting event and leading offshore sailing competition. Seven teams will battle it out during the nine months of the race: Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing from the UAE, Team Alvimedica, the US/ Turkish youth challenge, Team Brunel, the Dutch campaign, Dongfeng Race Team, a Chinese entry, Team SCA, the all-female team, MAPFRE from Spain and the Danish entry, Team Vestas Wind.

In 2015, the Race returns to Lisbon and promises to liven up the city even more with many events, activities, live music and many more. Lisbon is also the perfect stopover for enthusiasts to take a closer look at the boats: Lisbon is where the boats will have their maintenance on-shore, so it’s possible for event-goers to get up close and personal with these mythical boats.

The race has always been run in legs and in 2014-15 there will be nine of them, with the boats covering 38,739nm (71,745 km/ 44,580 miles), crossing four oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans) and visiting 11 countries in five continents: Spain, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, China, New Zealand, Brazil, United States, Portugal, France, The Netherlands and Sweden. Each host port stages a festival lasting around two weeks, featuring free family entertainment and a chance to see first-hand what the sailors have to put themselves through to succeed. In the last edition, crowds totalled 2.9 million at the 10 Host Ports around the world. The 12th edition of the event consists of nine offshore legs and 10 in-port races. The final leg from Lorient to Gothenburg will include a 24-hour pit-stop in The Hague. The in-port races are part of a separate series and will only count for overall race points in the case of a tie. The 2014-15 race will use a low point scoring system, meaning that the team that finishes first in an offshore leg, or an inport race, is awarded one point, and the team that finishes second, two points, etc. At the end of the race, the team with the least number of points will claim the Volvo Ocean Race Trophy.