The Volvo Ocean Race has picked Melbourne, Australia, as a stop, officials announced yesterday. The race will start in November 2005 from the Mediterranean, go to Cape Town, South Africa, and reach Melbourne in January-February 2006.
Melbourne, picked over Auckland, New Zealand, also will stage the Commonwealth Games in March 2006.
After leaving Australia, the Volvo fleet will race through the southern Pacific Ocean and around Cape Horn to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
A new feature of the competition, intended to "greatly benefit host cities" will be in-port racing that counts toward the overall race result, said Glenn Bourke, the Volvo Ocean Race's chief executive officer.
Baltimore, which had been previously announced as a stop, will have six in-port races open to public viewing on the last weekend of April 2006. The races, to be held on the Chesapeake Bay between Baltimore and Annapolis, will be worth half of the leg from Rio de Janeiro to Baltimore.
After departing the Chesapeake Bay, the fleet will head north for a pause of several hours in New York before racing across the Atlantic to the next stop in Southampton, England.
The Volvo Ocean Race, established in 1973 as The Whitbread Round the World, is considered, along with the America's Cup and Olympic sailing, as part of the triple crown of sailing.