Ocean Sprint 3 set to finish in Punta del Este, Uruguay

Ocean Sprint 3 set to finish in Punta del Este, Uruguay Clipper Ventures, organisers of the VELUX 5 OCEANS solo round the world yacht race, today announced a change to the 2010/11 race route. Ocean Sprint 3, which will see the fleet of Eco 60s depart Wellington, New Zealand, on February 6, will now finish in the Uruguayan city of Punta del Este, rather than Salvador in Brazil.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman of Clipper Ventures and the VELUX 5 OCEANS, said: “Punta del Este will provide a fantastic stopover for the VELUX 5 OCEANS. The Uruguayan port has hosted this classic race three times in 1990, 1994 and 1998, and provides the ideal backdrop for the skippers, teams and race partners. Whilst we were not keen to change route mid-race, Salvador was unfortunately not able to fulfil our demands with regards to the obligations to host the race. We therefore felt a change in route was in the best interests of all the race stakeholders.”

The skippers of The Ultimate Solo Challenge will be hosted by the Punta del Este Yacht Club during the stopover, providing services and facilities to the race management and competitors. The Punta del Este Yacht Club will host the Eco 60s in their marina, which is deep enough to accommodate their substantial keels. The club will also provide office space to race management and media, as well as container space and RIBs. The club’s experience in hosting stopovers and starts will be invaluable as the fleet set off for the Northern Hemisphere.

The ocean racers are expected to finish the 5,800 mile leg in early March and the start of Ocean Sprint 4 to Charleston, USA, is now set for March 27 2011. Ocean Sprint 5, the final sprint, will still depart Charleston on May 14 as the skippers return to La Rochelle, France, to complete their solo circumnavigations of the planet.