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July 3, 2012 / Stephanie Vermillion

Volvo Ocean Boat Race finals, Galway, Ireland

I’ve been to Galway before, but never like this. I’ve been sailing in Ireland before, but it doesn’t begin to compare with this. This is the worldwide Volvo Ocean Boat race, which started in October 2011 in Alicante, and last night, nine months later, it ended here in Galway. How incredibly cool, and what great timing with our semester break.

New Zealand celebrates the win!  (

New Zealand celebrates the win! (

The boats crossed the finish line last night around 3 a.m., and tens of thousands of Galway residents and sailing fans were out in masses to cheer on the sailors. And when it was announced that New Zealand came in first, fans from across the globe cheered in unison for their accomplishment.

But more exciting for us was the race’s third finisher: the US of A! We cheered, hooted and hollered with pride for our country (further enhanced with tomorrow’s upcoming Independence holiday).

The race route is as follows:

  • Alicante to Cape Town
  • Cape Town to Abu Dhabi
  • Abu Dhabi to Sanya
  • Sanya to Auckland
  • Auckland to Itajai
  • Itajai to Miami
  • Miami to Lisbon
  • Lisbon to Lorient
  • Lorient to Galway (last night!)

Watching the boats ride in was a surreal experience, but unfortunately one I couldn’t last long for, because by 4 a.m., these eyes are nothing but slits. Fortunately the festivities continue throughout the week, starting tonight with the sailors arrival party (expect details on this event in one of my next few posts). In the meantime, here’s a quick look into the excitement and action created when sailors complete this worldwide race: The Volvo Ocean Boat Race.


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