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The Mirpuri Foundation celebrates the heritage of The Ocean Race

by The Ocean Race 14 Jun 2023 12:14 UTC 14 June 2023
The Ocean Race 2022-23. 15 January 2023, VO65 Leg 1 Start in Alicante: Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team © Carlo Borlenghi / The Ocean Race

From its beginnings as the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973, to the current edition of The Ocean Race, this is an event that motivates people to achieve the extraordinary and drives change towards a healthier and more sustainable planet.

"To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this race across the oceans, we have created a symbolic point just off the Portuguese coast. In partnership with our Heritage Guardian, the Mirpuri Foundation, we want to honour with a special recognition the Navigator of the first boat to pass the designated latitude on their way down the Atlantic on this final race towards the Grand Finale in Genova," explained Richard Brisius, the Race Chairman of The Ocean Race.

"It's our way of commemorating the legendary navigators who discovered the oceans on which we sail. We have named the heritage waypoint after the great Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama."

The Vasco da Gama Mirpuri Foundation prize will be awarded to the first Navigator to pass latitude 37-degrees north, corresponding with Sagres, Portugal, which is the extreme southwestern point of continental Europe. Sagres is associated with Portugal's first oceanic voyages around the great southern latitude Capes.

"As a nation, Portugal has a long and rich history as sea seafarers, and the opportunity to celebrate this alongside the 50th anniversary of The Ocean Race as Heritage Guardians is a proud moment for the Mirpuri Foundation," said Paulo Mirpuri, President of the Mirpuri Foundation. "I look forward to presenting the award in Genoa to the first Navigator passing the designated latitude of the Vasco da Gama Mirpuri Foundation prize, in honour of our Portuguese navigators who explored the oceans before us."

The race from The Hague to the Grand Finale in Genova, Italy, will feature two fleets - the IMOCAs and VO65s - crossing from the Atlantic Ocean into the Mediterranean Sea ahead of the finish at the end of June.

The IMOCA fleet will be completing its race around the world for The Ocean Race trophy, while the VO65 fleet will be on its third and final stage of The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint. The Mirpuri Foundation Vasco de Gama point will be a symbolic line on the course before the fleets turn east towards Gibraltar and enter the Mediterranean for the final time.

No scoring points are awarded at the Vasco da Gama Mirpuri Foundation latitude but the Mirpuri Foundation will have a prize for the first Navigator to cross the milestone which will be awarded at the Grand Finale prize-giving at the end of the leg in Genova, Italy.

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