The Ocean Race, the museum of the epic sailing competition
Can you imagine going around the world in a sailboat? The Ocean Race is one of the longest and most challenging sporting events in existence, a real team adventure that brings together some of the best sailors in the sport. In recent years it has always started in Alicante.
This titanic journey through the five continents is one of the three great sailing events on the planet, in addition to the Olympic Games and America’s Cup. With such an important event in its city, Alicante decided to create a museum that would bring people closer to this impressive competition.
The Ocean Race Museum, formerly known as the Volvo Ocean Race Museum, is located in the port of Alicante, an essential venue for this championship. It is a totally interactive space with more than 1,000 square metres that will fascinate adults and children alike.
What is The Ocean Race?
The round-the–world sailing race is now known as The Ocean Race, a regatta that was first held in 1973. At that time it was called the Whitbread Round the World Race. Between 2001 and 2019 it was named the Volvo Ocean Race, as the sponsor of the competition was Volvo.
The first edition of this exciting sporting event left the port of Portsmouth in England on 8 September 1973. A total of 17 boats participated and the race lasted 152 days. It was held in four stages until 1989, then changed to six and increased to nine or ten nowadays. It covers about 80,000 nautical miles (just over 148,000 kilometres).
The route has varied over the years, both in distance and the stages. In 2005 the race started for the first time from Spain, the port of Vigo. In 2008 the starting point was moved to Alicante, where it was established for the following years.
The competition welcomes the most exceptional sailors on the international stage, taking them to extreme situations. They must search day and night for the advantage necessary to win in the most difficult waters there are. It’s a marathon in the ocean, where team cohesion is absolutely key. Some stages last more than 20 days, and each crew member has a key role to play.
The severity of the weather and the changing temperatures, which vary massively, are very challenging aspects. The sailors only eat freeze-dried food and hardly take any clothes to change into, in order to reduce the weight of the boat as much as possible. A unique extreme experience that you can learn more about at The Ocean Race Museum.
What awaits you at The Ocean Race Museum
When the Port of Alicante was chosen as the starting point for the regatta for the second time, the decision was taken to build a museum to pay tribute to this competition, bringing the experiences of its participants closer to the general public.
The opening of the museum took place in June 2012, and it was located in the old Orán Marine Station. Its 1,300 m2 are used to display a fully interactive tour of the more than 45 years of history of The Ocean Race. The greatest heroes of the race, the different boat designs, life on board and the technology used are all part of this exhibition. The principle of sustainability, always present in the regatta, is another of the museum’s most outstanding features.
The building has two floors. The permanent exhibition and library are located on the ground floor. The first floor has various spaces for children’s workshops, a cafeteria and a wonderful terrace with sea views.
Highlighting the values of sailing, exploring the different marine ecosystems and making visitors aware of the risks involved in human actions on these environments are the key objectives of The Ocean Race Museum.
As it is an interactive centre, there is no doubt that the little ones will be delighted, as they will learn and have fun at the same time. Among other things, you will be able to experience the conditions in which the crew lives by visiting the interior of one of the boats from the competition, a real boat that participated in the Around the World Sailing Race in the 2005-2006 edition.
Another fantastic attraction is the Simulator The Ride. Through a virtual simulator you can become a real participant in the regatta, experiencing sailing at 25 knots on board a VO70 class boat. Are you going to miss this unique experience?
The Ocean Race Museum’s wide range of children’s activities, guided tours and temporary exhibitions can be a perfect plan for the family, learning about the history of the sailing world and its marine environment.
Information of interest
How to get to The Ocean Race Museum:
Address: Muelle de Levante, 10. Port of Alicante. 03001, Alicante.
- By bus. Puerta del Mar Plaza stop: 14B, 21, 22, C-6; and Juan Bautista Lafora 2-Puerta del Mar stop: 02, 14A, 21, 22.
- By tram. Porta del Mar stop: line 5 (from June to November). There are also several car parks at the pier and port.
- Winter: Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday, 10 am to 2 pm. Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm.
- Summer: Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am to 9 pm. Sunday, from 11 am to 3 pm. Closed on Mondays. For The Ride you must book your slot at the museum, see all the information at the official website.
- Entry is free. Request prices for private guided tours and groups.