The next edition of The Ocean Race in 2021, alongwith the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, have been postponed by at least one year due to the pandemic. Image Credit: Courtesy: Volvo Ocean Race

Dubai: Two of the biggest global sailing events stand postponed till next year due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic. Respective organisers have announced this week that the 2021 edition of The Ocean Race and the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race have both been postponed by at least one year due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Organisers have announced that the 2021 round-the-world sailing race will begin in Alicante in Spain in October 2022, 12 months after it had been scheduled to start at the Mediterranean port city on the Valencian Community.

The finish date has also been pushed back by one year, with the event set to conclude in Genoa in Italy in the summer of 2023.

Meanwhile, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race was among the first to be postponed earlier in March where the crew remained under quarantine in Subic Bay in the Philippines, where the Clipper Race fleet has been berthed since mid-March.

In addition, the fleet was due to race across the North Pacific Ocean from Saturday (March 21) towards Seattle.

But with the American city currently in a state of emergency and travel and medical insurance restrictions in the United States, teams could not be allowed to depart without a viable destination.

Three remaining legs

The Clipper Race still has three legs remaining. These race stages have now been postponed for approximately ten months, when the remaining circumnavigation is scheduled to be completed. The next full edition of the Clipper Race is scheduled to start in the summer of 2022.

“We now find ourselves in unprecedented times and our first priority is with all those who have been and continue to be affected by the pandemic,” Richard Brisius, Race Chairman of The Ocean Race, related. Brisius had also served as chief executive of Stockholm-Åre’s bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“As an international sporting competition, with stops on six continents, we are deeply connected to the changing reality of sailors, teams, cities and partners across the world. We have worked positively together over the past months to develop a stable and improved future, and this has led to the first ever 10-year plan of The Ocean Race, a 10-year plan adapted to the new reality in an innovative, sustainable and responsible way,” he added.

“This provides improved opportunities for sailors, teams, cities and partners to prepare properly for The Ocean Race and it gives fans something outstanding to look forward to over the coming years,” Brisius insisted.

The next three editions of The Ocean Race will be fully-crewed, around the world yacht races and are scheduled to take place in 2022-2023, 2026-2027 and 2030-2031.